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Fall Color: What to Plant

As the sunny, warm, brightly colored flowers of summer begin to fade, instead of lamenting about the days past, look ahead to the colors of fall! Now is a great time to uncover new blooms that flourish in the cooler, milder days of fall.

If you’re looking to add gorgeous fall colors to your property, here are some examples of beauties to plant right now! Some are annuals that will only last for the season, and some are perennials that will continue to spring up year after year.


These annuals prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. Many are quite hardy and will grow well into the cooler months. Their color variety and fun shapes make them a great addition to your fall garden. Consider planting them in window boxes where you can appreciate them inside as well.


These carefree annuals come in a wide range of fall colors, making them perfect for your late summer or autumn garden. Add color to your porch by hanging them in a basket or filling in your garden bed with other late bloomers and ornamental grasses.

Snap Dragons

Here’s another annual that lasts well into fall, especially when grown in a sunny spot sheltered from the wind. They come in a wide variety of colors to beautify your fall garden like no other flower can.


With leaves of orange, red, yellow and many other hues, you can provide a splash of color with vibrant crotons. They look especially attractive when paired with ornamental grasses and kale. They also provide complementary vegetation when paired with mums. These plants grow best in full sun or partial shade.


This is a beautiful, late-blooming perennial you can add to your fall garden. Primulas come in hundreds of varieties and bloom in brightly colored clusters of yellow, red, purple and other hues.

Mexican Bush Sage

You can choose to have this perennial in your garden all summer long for its greenery, but you won’t appreciate its true beauty until fall. That’s when Mexican Bush Sage blooms with white, dark pink or purple flowers. The bush grows up to three or four feet wide and four or five feet tall. The graceful gray-green coloring allows for a beautiful contrast with greener foliage in your garden.

Ornamental Grasses

While these don’t provide blossoms of their own, ornamental grasses are a great way to fill in space around late-blooming flowers. Popular choices include Japanese forest grass, black mondo grass and coral bells.

Ornamental Kale and Cabbage

You may be more familiar with buying kale and cabbage to eat in your kitchen, not grow in your yard, but you can add ornamental versions to your fall garden. With very little effort, these tenacious plants grow exotic-looking foliage with varicolored heads of cream, purple, pink and green. The colors become more intense as the weather gets colder, making them a resilient addition to your fall garden.

Autumn Joy Sedum

This perennial emerges from the ground in early spring, but waits until fall to come to its full glory. This is when sedum’s thick, succulent leaves grow to their full size and the flower heads that formed back in July start to change color. At two to three feet high and two feet wide, Autumn Joy Sedum is a great size for most gardens.

Is the number of fall color choices a little bit overwhelming for you? It’s true that it can be difficult to implement all the fall color choices properly. For help designing a beautiful garden that provides greenery and blossoms for as much of the year as possible, give The Grounds Guys® a call. Our crews can help you create and execute the perfect seasonal color design for your property.

Fall Color: What to Plant infographic