Audition Some Autumn Bloomers

Extend the beauty of your garden with vivid autumn-blooming perennials. When you think of fall-blooming plants, don’t stop at mums – there are many perennials that can add color to your yard at this time of year.

Top Autumn Bloomers

While there are different autumn-blooming perennials for different growing zones and climate conditions, some of the most popular and widespread options include…

  • Fall Daisies
    For fall daisies (besides daisy mums!) grow Boltonia or Nippon Daisy. Boltonia is a tall (3-4′) grower, suitable as a background plant. White or pink daisies are borne in profusion atop fine grey-green foliage. The Nippon Daisy (Chrysanthemum nipponicum) is covered with large crisp white daisies in October. Both love lots of sun and make excellent cut flowers.
  • Autumn Sedums Bold-foliaged sedums provide texture as well as color in a sunny place. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is the most well known. It has coppery-pink flower heads. Sedums ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Stardust’, with soft pink and white flowers respectively, are also attractive. For a totally different color combination plant sedum ‘Vera Jameson’. It has gray-purple foliage with rose pink blooms and looks stunning when planted with Blue Fescue, Artemesia Silver Mound and other silver-foliaged plants. As an added bonus, all the sedums are attractive to butterflies.
  • Autumn Asters
    Asters are another fall bloomer that butterflies love. These perennials like sun and moist, well-drained soil. There are many colorful aster varieties in shades of pink, purple, blue and white. Some favorites include tall-growing aster ‘Alma Potschke’ with bright pink flowers, blue-flowered aster ‘Professor Kippenburg’ and low-growing aster ‘Purple Dome’ with its deep purple blooms.
  • Autumn Goldenrod
    Sunny yellow goldenrod (Solidago) is another bright addition to the fall garden. Wrongly blamed as the cause of fall allergy problems, goldenrod has rightly taken its place in the fall garden. It looks particularly effective combined with blue flowering plumbago, purple asters and ornamental grasses.

Fall Bloomers for Shade Gardens

Even shade gardeners can enjoy late blooming perennials. Tall growing Japanese Anemones are a stately addition to the perennial garden. Bloom colors range from pure white to various shades of pink, and flowers can be single, semi-double or double blooms. Anemones grow well in light to moderate shade and spread quickly to form large clumps, filling in space vacated by spent summer plants. Turtlehead (Chelone) is another fast spreader for shade. Rose pink flowers cover the tops of the plant from early September to October. For a deeply shaded location, try Toad Lily (Tricyrtis), which has clusters of beautiful cream flowers, spotted with maroon along its upright stems. For light shade, plant Blue Cardinal Flower (Lobelia siphilitica), whose intense blue spikes can be admired from mid-August until frost.

No matter what type of garden you have, the end of summer does not need to mean the end of colorful blooms. Instead, just opt for amazing fall bloomers and enjoy brilliant color even longer!

Don’t Miss Out on Perennial Brunnera

Are you trying to add drama and beauty to your shady spots but keep finding only bland, lackluster plants? You won’t want to overlook Brunnera with its stunning appearance and easy care.

Introducing Brunnera macrophylla

Also called Brunnera-Heartleaf and Siberian bugloss, this plant is a stunner for its delicate foliage. The broad, heart-shaped leaves of ‘Jack Frost’ are dark green with a heavily frosted metallic silver overlay. This allows only the green veining to peep through, giving the plant a crackle-like finish with a thin green border. Sprays of tiny bright blue forget-me-not like flowers burst forth in mid- to late spring, growing well above the foliage on delicate stems.

Using Brunnera in the Landscape

Excellent in a woodland garden, the genus Brunnera is a group of classic perennials valued as a shade tolerant ground cover. The variegated forms are slower to spread than most other species, making this cultivar ideal for smaller spaces where crowding may be a concern, such as around younger trees, in smaller beds or in borders along a shady fence, deck or pathway. This plant is fabulous as a specimen plant or may be massed to show off its phenomenal floral display. It would also make a wonderful addition to a shady container garden on a deep porch or covered deck. The flowers are long lasting when cut and can be lovely, delicate additions to arrangements. Because this plant is resistant to deer and rabbits, it can also be a favorite in wildlife-friendly areas.

Proper Care is Key

Brunnera is a woodland plant, and that must be kept in mind if it will be able to show off its full potential in your landscape. ‘Jack Frost’ should be grown in full shade and consistently moist soil in southern regions to mimic the thicket-like conditions it naturally favors. In the north, morning sun is acceptable as long as the soil remains moist and the temperatures in the sun do not rise too high. Although tolerant of many soil types, this plant will grow best rich soil. If needed, amend soil with lush compost to improve its condition and provide proper nourishment. Little care is needed once Brunnera is established. Cut back the old foliage in the spring rather than in the fall; it will help to protect the crown during the winter. A winter mulch is also recommended to help keep the soil moist and warmer to protect the roots.

Brunnera may not be widely known, but once you meet it, you’ll want to invite it to every shady part of your landscape!

Perennial Flowering Vines

Vines are valuable and versatile plants that provide a remarkable vertical display while using minimal ground space. Offering an extensive mixture of decorative foliage, flowers, fruits and fragrance, vines are generally fast-growing, relatively pest-free and require minimal maintenance.

Why Choose Vines?

There are numerous uses for vines in the landscape. They can visually soften fences, walls and trellises or dress-up a lamp or mailbox post. They will provide summer shade when grown over an arbor, gazebo frame or pergola. Vines may be used to provide privacy by screening a patio or porch and can define any outdoor living space when used to create living outdoor walls or green barriers.

Three things should be considered when selecting a vine for your garden:

  1. Intended Use
    If you want a thick barrier or screening look, opt for vines that will provide dense foliage, but if you prefer a more delicate vine, choose plants with more space in their foliage. Check flowering options, growth speed and how much training the vine will need to reach its full potential. At the same time, consider how the foliage is shed in autumn and how much care the vine may need to stay in good condition.
  2. Planting Location
    Like any plant in your landscaping, vines will have specific needs for sunlight, soil condition and watering. Also consider the size of the space where your vine will live to be sure it won’t crowd out nearby plants or be stunted in a too-small space. Condition the soil appropriately to nourish your vine, and adjust a drip system or sprinklers to provide adequate water as needed.
  3. Vine Support
    Vines need adequate support to stay upright and sturdy. Because vines climb in several different ways, support is critical. Wires, spirals, trellises, fences or arbors should support vines that use tendrils or a twining stem. Other vines attach themselves with aerial rootlets. These vines grow best on brick or stone walls. Some vines have no natural method to attach to a vertical structure and will just sprawl if not manually assisted with garden wire or string to an appropriate support.

You will want your vine to thrive for many years to come, therefore you must select the right vine for your chosen location. Use the chart below to learn about some of the more common, landscape-friendly vines you can welcome into your yard.

Amsonia hubrichtii

Amsonia hubrichtii, commonly known as Arkansas blue star, Arkansas amsonia or threadleaf bluestar, grows 36 inches tall and 36 inches wide in a mounded form. This hardy perennial grows in hardiness zones 4-9 and is a versatile North American native ideal for many landscaping uses in all types of yards and gardens. It was named “Perennial Plant of the Year” 2011 by the Perennial Plant Association. We also carry the variety called ‘Blue Ice’, which grows to only 1-1.5′ tall.

Amazing Seasonal Interest

Unlike many plants that truly shine only for one season, Amsonia hubrichtii offers a variety of features throughout the seasons. From late spring to early summer, 2-3-inch wide clusters of small, light blue, star-shaped flowers are borne above the delicately soft, ferny or lacey foliage. The alternate-arranged, narrow leaves are a marvelous bright green in spring and summer, but turn a bright yellow-golden color which is second to none among herbaceous perennials in fall. In winter, the foliage can hold its shape and support snowfall, creating a beautiful mounding effect in the winter landscape.

Caring for Amsonia hubrichtii

These plants thrive in full sun to partial shade and perform best in average, moist, well-drained soil with a neutral (7.0) pH. Full sun will promote the best autumn color, but spring and summer blooms will be more prominent in a part-shade location. In a full shade location or when planted in too-rich soil, however, the plant may tend to open up and flop over, losing its full mounding traits. Though initially slow to grow and less lush and attractive when young, once established, it can tolerate drier conditions. Having no known severe insect or disease problems, other than minor occurrences of Mycosphaerella leaf spot and rust, this is a very easy to care for perennial.

After the flowers have faded, cutting back the foliage to 6-8 inches will help keep the mounds full and compact. Late season growth will fill in the plant in plenty of time for its showstopping autumn color. When the plants are large, they can be divided for transplanting to add even more specimens to the landscape.

In the Landscape

Amsonia is a real asset in borders, native gardens, cottage gardens or open woodland areas. Because of this plant’s versatility, it is also ideal in rock gardens or even rain gardens in well-drained soil. It is best when planted in masses and very attractive when mixed with ornamental grasses and other plants that have attractive seed heads. It tolerates deer and attracts butterflies, making it wildlife-friendly as well.

The outstanding ornamental qualities, ease of maintenance and many uses make Amsonia an invaluable perennial selection for any gardener.

Plants for Wet Soil

More water is always good for plants, right? Wrong! When water stands in the soil, air is displaced, which in turn smothers the plant roots. Once the roots are damaged many symptoms appear on leaves and shoots including wilting, marginal and inter-veinal browning of leaves (scorch), poor color and stunted growth. But the excess water isn’t always coming from overwatering, it may be the result of poor draining soil.

Poor drainage is often produced in disturbed sites when heavy clay soil is compacted by construction machinery or other excessive use, such as yards where several children are often playing. Areas cultivated for plantings, such as flowerbed or borders, then collect water running off the compacted ground – this is called the teacup effect. Wet areas may also be the result of swales, drain spout runoff and low areas even when soil percolation is adequate in most of the site but when general moisture levels are routinely high.

To check for a potential drainage problem, dig a hole at least 2 feet deep, fill it with water and note how long the water remains. If it doesn’t drain completely away within 24 hours a severe drainage problem exists.

Fortunately, you can correct drainage problems in different ways. Easy options include…

  • Divert water past plantings using drainage pipes, splash blocks or rain chains.
  • Plant in mounds or raised beds so water will run off and away from the plants.
  • Install drain tiles in saturated areas or use French drains to contain excess water.
  • Amend the soil with organic matter such as compost to improve its structure.

An even easier solution is to simply select plants that tolerate wet sites. The following trees and shrubs tolerate wet sites and flooding better than most. Few tolerate standing water for long periods (those that grow in truly swampy conditions are marked *), but all will do better in wet areas.

Shade Trees

  • *Acer rubrum/Red Maple
  • *Betula nigra/River Birch
  • Liquidambar styraciflua/Sweet Gum
  • Alyssa sylvatica/Sour Gum
  • Platanus occidentalis/Sycamore
  • Quercus phellos/Willow Oak
  • *Salix spp./Willow
  • *Taxodium distichum/Bald Cypress

Flowering Trees

  • Amelanchier Canadensis/Serviceberry
  • Magnolia virginiana/Sweetbay Magnolia

Evergreen Trees

  • Calocedrus decurrens/Incense Cedar
  • Ilex opaca/American Holly
  • Thuja occidentalis/Pyramidal Arborvitae

Deciduous Shrubs

  • *Aronia arbutifolia/Chokeberry
  • Clethra alnifolia/Summersweet
  • *Cornus spp./Twig Dogwoods
  • Enkianthus campanulatus/Enkianthus
  • Ilex verticillata/Winterberry
  • *ltea virginica/Virginia Sweetspire
  • Lindera benzoin/Spicebush
  • Myrica pennsylvanica/Bayberry
  • *Rhododendron viscosum/Swamp Azalea
  • *Salix spp./Pussy Willow
  • Viburnum spp./Viburnums

Evergreen Shrubs

  • *Andromeda polifolia/Bog Rosemary
  • *Chamaecyparis thyoides/White Atlantic Cedar
  • *llex glabra/Inkberry
  • Kalmia atifolia/Mountain Laurel
  • Leucothoe spp./Leucothoe

Perennials

  • *Arundo donax/Giant Reed Grass
  • Aster nova-angliae/Asters
  • Astilbe spp./Astilbe
  • Chelone/Turtlehead
  • Cimicifuga racemose/Snakeroot
  • Helenium autumnale/Helen’s Flower
  • Hibiscus moscheutos/Hardy Hisbiscus
  • *Iris kaempferi/Japanese Iris
  • Iris siberica/Siberian Iris
  • *Lobelia cardinalis/Cardinal Flower
  • Lobelia syphilitca/Blue Lobelia
  • Monarda didyma/Bee Balm
  • Myosotis scorpiodes/Forget-me-nots
  • Tiarella cordifolia/Foam Flower
  • Trollius europaeus/Globe Flowers
  • Viola spp./Violets

Ground Covers

  • Gallium odoratum/Sweet Woodruff
  • Gaultheria procumbers/Wintergreen
  • Hosta spp./Hosta
  • Mentha spp./Mint
  • Parthenocissus quinquifolia/Virginia Creeper

Annuals

  • Cleome hosslerana/Spider Flower
  • Myosotis sylvatica/Forget-me-nots
  • Torenia fournien/Wishbone Flower
  • Viola wittrockiana/Pansies

Not sure which water-loving plants to choose? We’d be happy to help you evaluate your landscape moisture and other conditions to help you choose the very best plants for your yard!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 4

© Bedner's Farm and Greenhouse
315 Coleman Road, McDonald, PA 15057
(724) 926-2541

Site by Miles Media

Call Now
Directions