October in Bloom

Hydrangea Blossom
One of the goals in planting a perennial garden – besides sustainability – is to have plants that bloom for every month, from spring through fall. I thought about this as I walked around the garden yesterday trying to find fall chores but realizing the plants just weren’t ready yet. And, many plants are still blooming! Here are some ideas for fall-blooming plants you may want to add to your garden…in Zone 6:

New England Aster

New England Aster

The New England aster (Aster novae – angliae) is a stout, leafy plant with showy, daisy-like flowers that will attract butterflies. It  is in the peak of bloom in October.

The toad lily (Tricyrtis), is one of my favorites. It is a very hardy herbaceous perennial that sends up small, orchid-like blooms along the stem in late September and early October. The flowers are usually spotted in different shades of purple. This is a shade plant and looks wonderful with hostas and astilbes.

Toad Lilies

Toad Lilies

Spirea (Spirea x bumalda) has a few cultivars, but I recommend ‘Anthony Waterer’ and ‘Goldflame.’ Tiny pink flowers, in flat-topped clusters, cover these shrubs in late spring to mid-summer and are attractive to butterflies. The beauty of these plants is that if you deadhead them before the flowers turn brown they will bloom again and again…literally, three bloom cycles and the last one is late September into October.

Hostas generally bloom in the summer but I found a cultivar that blooms in October. It is called ‘Red October.’ It is a shade perennial with red stems and only grows to about 20 inches wide.

Then you might also consider hydrangeas, roses, and dahlias (not a perennial, of course). While these plants first set blooms in the summer, they are continuous bloomers and will keep producing flowers into November.

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1 Response to October in Bloom

  1. Noelle says:

    I just love the picture of our Hydrangea tinged with blue. Out west, our hydrangea are often tinted with pink due to our alkaline soils.


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