Colorful Flowers for Autumn Gardens in New Jersey

Fall is officially upon us in New Jersey, and it’s time to think about colorful flowers for autumn. So many summer flowers are starting to lose their bloom. But that doesn’t mean your garden should give in to the winter doldrums just yet. With a little planning and care, your garden can continue to shine as the weather cools. Here are some fall-blooming plants perfect for adding warm color to a cool New Jersey garden.

Chrysanthemums

Colorful Chrysanthemums Closeup

There is probably no flower more strongly associated with fall especially when placed right beside a pumpkin. Mums bloom profusely all autumn in a wide range of warm, autumnal colors.

Chrysanthemums can be planted in the garden from spring through fall, but the roots need to be in the ground and well-mulched six weeks ahead of extreme cold weather, so buy a hardy breed and get them established right away.

Fall Crocus

Fall Crocus Closeup

The fall or autumn crocus will last for the entirety of fall if planted in late August. This flower is great for colder weather because it requires very little maintenance. Just a touch of water every now and then is enough to keep the vibrant purple crocus healthy for weeks.

Balloon Flowers

Purple and White Balloon Flowers

Platycodon grandiflorus, also known as the balloon flower, is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant with prolific bell-shaped blooms in shades of blue, pink, or white.

This agreeable plant will grow in sun or light shade, is deer resistant, and only needs to be trimmed back in the spring to start blooming in late summer through autumn.

New York Asters

New York Asters Closeup

What better choice for The Garden State than the Aster novi-belgii, better known as a New York Aster. These native flowers are versatile, low-maintenance, easy to grow, and produce a vivid splash of color until the late fall.

Birds and butterflies love these asters in the garden, and they also make excellent cut flowers for your autumn table.

Always cut New York asters back in the spring to prevent legginess and deadhead to prolong blooming and prevent self-seeding.

Miscanthus

Miscanthus Plant

If you’re looking for a flower that can be spread out to help cover up a dead patch within your garden during the colder months of the year, miscanthus is a great choice. Miscanthus is green and grass-like but offers small pink blooms that add an interesting pop throughout.

Obedient Plant

Obedient Plant in Bloom - Dloseup

This flower announces the arrival of fall, usually flourishing in the early days of the season. Obedient plants are purple and white and grow in clusters. The Obedient plant gets its name from the fact that a flower pushed towards one side or another will remain in this position.

This is ideal if you want to fill in some awkward gaps in your landscaping, as you can position them however you want to create the best look.

Gaillardia

Gallardia Closeup

When you think of fall, colors like yellow and orange probably come to mind. Gaillardia, then, is the ideal flower for autumn as it features yellow, orange and red shades. Like miscanthus, Gaillardia spreads out fairly easily, so you don’t have to pack the seeds too tightly to cover a lot of space.

By choosing the right plants, your garden can add interest, color, and appeal to your landscape all year long. Make this fall even more beautiful with a stand-apart mix of brightly colored flowers and evergreen shrubs

Black-Eyed Susan

black-eyed-susan

Fall is all about beautiful colors and celebrating a change in season. The black-eyed Susan is a great native NJ plant to bring the cheer of summer into your autumn garden. These golden beauties resemble daisies, with blooms lasting well through summer and into early October. They are a reliable and hardy plant, requiring little maintenance.

Helenium

Helenium

These vibrant buds are nothing to sneeze at. They were historically used as a method of driving evil spirits away, by inhaling their crushed and dried leaves

Now they are loved for their deep colors, ranging from shades of yellow, red, and orange. You can expect blooms in late summer, providing colorful flowers for autumn gardens that will last well into the season.  They are also a great choice for attracting butterflies to your garden. 

Pansies

Pansies

While they may appear dainty, these brightly-colored flowers actually prefer cooler weather. Plant these in the early spring so their roots can develop, and they may even survive a gentle frost.

And while pansies grow in a range of colors, the purple and blue varieties accent the more prominent reds, yellows, and oranges of the autumn season.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

A personal favorite, snapdragons are available in just about every color imaginable. They grow on a tall stem, making them an ideal option for providing depth and variety to your landscape.

They are resilient in cooler weather, preferring it to the summer heat. In the winter, simply mulch your gardens that contain snapdragons, and they will regrow in the spring. 

Sedum

Sedium

These unusual plants are actually a type of succulent, making them tolerant to drought and cooler temperatures. They are available in many different colors and usually grow rather tall.

Sedum blossoms in beautiful clusters of star-shaped flowers, with thick stems. They are a unique option that thrive in almost any garden.

Editor’s Note:  This blog was originally published on September 14, 2017. It has been updated to include additional information.