Fall Blooming Flowers

When fall arrives in the Chicago area, so do the fall blooming flowers or superstars of the late garden season as I like to call them.

A new trend is about to emerge in the world of gardening…the increasingly popular fall blooming flowers, whether it’s annuals or perennials, we gardeners cannot seem to get enough! Truly, many of my gardener friends are taking to studying and ordering books solely for the purpose of fall planting. We work so hard all spring and summer to produce those splashes of bright, vibrant colors in our gardens, only to have them disappear toward mid-September.

Being that I have a country style garden, a real mixture of perennials, annuals and shrubs, let me share with you some of my favorite fall blooming flowers. The blooms listed below will create weeks of autumn color for your flowerbed gardens.

Fall Blooming Flowers in My Garden

late-blooming flowers

The plants and shrubs listed below need no special care. Most begin their blooming journey mid to late August, while other reach their peak in September. They are easy to grow and low maintenance. Just plant and enjoy!


Cleome Senorita Rosalita: This fall blooming flower or Spider Flower as it is sometime called is a definite must have! A annual workhorse in the garden. This new cultivar of Cleome out shines every other. Blooms from spring planting until frost. This is an annual plant in my zone 5a, but will flower 12 months of the year in a warm climate.

Salvia Mystic Spires: I have finally found a Salvia that seems to be disease resistant. No stem mold, no leaf yellowing, truly a beautiful annual plant. The Mystic Spires grows taller than most salvias varieties so it makes a great annual for the back to middle border. I have mine planted in the middle of my oval middle garden.

Becky Shasta Daisy: When I first purchased this daisy the tag indicated that it was a perennial. In fact, it was even once named Perennial Plant of the Year. Everyone flocked to their garden center to buy the Becky Daisy, including me. Unfortunately, the Becky Daisy is NOT a perennial in my zone 5a. However, I just love this plant, so every year I trudge to the garden center and buy at least one.

Sedum Autumn Joy: The Sedum Autumn Joy is probably one of the most popular of the Sedum family. Is there a garden out there that doesn’t have at least one of the Autumn Joy planted? I bet I can count 10 to 15 bees hovering on these plants and even competing with the butterflies.

Black-eyed Susan: The Black-eyed Susan or Rudbeckia as it is also known by is a perennial listed plant. I treat it as an annual for my flowerbed gardens, as it never survives our winters. Did you know that the Black eyed Susan is related to the Echinacea perennial plant? This plant holds its color well into October and can even survive and mild frost. There are many varieties to choose from and all can be used as border or mid garden plants.

Echinacea: Also known as the Coneflower, a nice variety is the Echinacea Double Pink Delight. The droopy blooms, along with the fact that deer do not like this plant is good enough for me. The stems are tall and sturdy and it is rarely bother by pests.

White Swan Coneflower: The white Swan Coneflower is not quite as hardy as the Purple Coneflower, and yet mine arrives, albeit slowly, in the spring and then blooms right until a hard frost. The creamy white petals are quite a contrast with the bright yellow centers. Not as tall as other Coneflowers, the White Swan is definitely a contender for border planting.
And there are more plants to consider…Scabiosa, light colored perennial. Russian Sage, soft lavender bloom stalks, perennial. Marigolds, a garden staple, annual. Helianthus,a bright colored perennial. Gazania, bright colored annual. Gaillardia, vibrant colors, perennial. Purple Coneflower, softer purple coloring, perennial. Salvia Black and Blue, deep purple/blue coloring, annual.

All of these flowers add to the beauty of our Northern Illinois landscaping.

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