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Plants for an Autumn Garden

Updated on January 11, 2018
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love gardening, garden design, learning gardening techniques & photographing & painting plants. Member of Royal Horticultural Society.

Hardy Perennial Fuchsia


As part of your spring planting, choose seasonal plants for your garden with an autumn interest

Imagine this scenario: Summer is on its way out and the nights are getting shorter and darker. The Autumn leaves are still on the trees, but in a month or two they'll be gone. The garden which looked so lush in spring and summer can start to look a bit bare and tatty in Autumn.

But it doesn't need to be like that -

If you would like to learn how to make your garden beautiful all year round, read this web page, which shows you photographs and descriptions of easy-to-grow plants which are at their best in Autumn, either because they are late bloomers, or because their leaves change to bright colours in Autumn, or they have attractive berries, or evergreen leaves with a shapely appearance.

With a little forethought you can plan to get some good Autumn colour and shapes in in your garden.

Look at the sbove fuschia, which flowers from late summer to early winter, and you can see how good the right seasonal plants can look, even if there are not so many flowering plants in Autumn.

Here are some Plants Which Flower in Autumn

Japanese Anemone (Anemone Japonica)

Pink or white Japanese anemone (Anemone Japonica) -

They have very attractive foliage from Spring onwards.

Japanese Anemones keep flowering from August until about November or even December - they have quite a long flowering season.

They are perennial (which means they flower every year), and sometimes take a while to get started, but, once established, Japanese Anemones are vigorous growers, and spread quickly. After a year or two, you may need to control them or they will take over a larger area of your garden border than intended.

Pink Anemone Japonica

American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (The American Horticultural Society)
American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (The American Horticultural Society)

I have the English version of this, and I call it my gardening bible, because it is so useful to be able to look up plants to choose the right colour scheme, season, size or habitat, and just leafing through the colourful pages will give you pleasure


Ice Plants (Sedum) Have a Long Flowering Season

Succulent leaves of Sedum give year-round interest

Ice Plants (sedum) grow to about 2 ft high. They have a profusion of lacy pink flower heads which come out in late August and last until late November. The flower heads then turn brown but still look quite pretty, and, to give winter interest, you could keep them till Spring,

The leaves are fleshy, succulent and evergreen, so this is a very useful plant.



Cotoneaster Has Red Berries

Cotoneaster is Evergreen and has all year round interest

This woody shrub is often seen fanned out against a wall. It has evergreen small shiny leaves which turn red in autumn, rather inconspicuous little pink and white flowers in early summer, followed by a profusion of red berries which last through most of the year.

They provide food for birds and squirrels.

They can spread quite high (about 10 ft. and about 10ft wide), and little plants often grow up from the seeds of the berries which have dropped nearby.

Cotoneaster | Source

Pernettya is a Shrub which has white berries in Autumn

Pernettya has little pink and white flowers in Spring and early summer

This is what it looks like in early October, with lots of luscious fat white berries.

Pernettya is another shrub which takes a while to get established, and then starts to spread vigorously by seeding itself and also by spreading roots.

Pernettya | Source

Geraniums and Pelargoniums

Geraniums have a very long flowering period, from about June to December, in the right conditions

The leaves of the geranium are quite ornamental, and even when the flowers are less prolific, the leaves give a good show.

And, in a reasonably protected porch, they will often flower until the end of November or even December. They hate frost, which kills them off very quickly, so it is best to bring them indoors.

This photograph was taken in June, and there may not be so many flowers later in the year, but they certainly don't die off completely.

Geraniums in the Porch
Geraniums in the Porch | Source

Virginia Creeper

Beautiful leaves turn red in Autumn

Virginia Creeper is a very vigorous climber. It can grow 20 feet in a year.

The leaves start off green, and as Autumn approaches, they turn an almost luminous brilliant red, lighting up the area of the garden where they are growing.

But remember that you will need to keep it under control by pruning it back, or it will cover windows, roofs, drainpipes and anything in its way.

Virginia Creeper
Virginia Creeper | Source

Holly has red berries through autumn and winter

Also known as Ilex

There are numerous types of Holly.

The leaves are shiny and evergreen, which gives year-round interest, and it bears red berries in autumn and winter, which birds love.

The leaves are very firm and sharp, so be careful.

At Christmas you can cut a few stems to use for decorations or a Christmas wreath.

Holly or Ilex


Bergenia, also known as Elephant's Ears


Bergenia (Elephants' Ears)

Bergenia has large evergreen leaves

Bergenia is another of those very useful plants which has big ornamental leaves which turn partially rusty red sometimes. They are evergreen.

They flower in late spring to early summer, for about three months.

The photograph to the right shows them in early summer.

Fuschia flowers late in the year - It continues to flower until the weather is freezing

Fuschia | Source

Here is my Garden in October - Full of Colour - Bergenia, Wychhazel, Ice plant and Castor Oil Plant

Autumn border with mixed plants
Autumn border with mixed plants | Source

On the left foreground is Bergenia, Castor Oil Plant is behind the bergenia, and Ice Plants in the flower bed with wychhazel in the right foreground

Roses often flower until December

Roses will sometimes flower until December, if the weather is not too cold, and some of them have ornamental hips. The leaves are evergreen

Pink Rose


Buddleia, also know as the butterfly plant, is a very beautiful shrub - Buddleia is a vigorous grower and comes in a few different varieties

This is my buddleia - no matter how much I chop it back to stop it spreading too wide, it comes back every year and attracts butterflies and bees, who love its sweet smell.

If you cut back the dead flowers, it goes on producing new flowers well into autumn.

buddleia | Source

Choose plants which have some interesting feature in autumn:

Attractive berries,

Colourful or evergreen leaves,

Attractive seed heads, and

Stems which look good even when their leaves drop

What Sort of Gardener are You?

Do you plan your garden to flower nearly all year round?

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John winter vegetables: Central Texas Gardener

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice selection of plants to have flowering in the autumn.

      I like Geraniums, also the smell but don't have much luck with them they always die on me.

      Happy days gardening.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, I've got marigolds, nasturtiums and petunias still blooming, as well as the flowers mentioned above

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      I was pleasantly surprised to see my marigolds blooming again, at the beginning of fall. I think this is the first time that this has happened for me. I love seeing some splash of colors for fall.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @GrammieOlivia: Yes, aren't they beautiful?

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 4 years ago

      Good plants all of them especially the ones who's leaves will look like they are on fire!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @PlantNerd: : Thank you for your message which will be dealt with as soon as possible.

      This is an automated reply.

    • PlantNerd profile image

      PlantNerd 4 years ago

      Autumn is my favorite time to garden outdoors... the leaves are changing color, the air is cool, and the plants are outstanding... not to mention the lack of mosquitoes! Thanks for some ideas for plants I hadn't thought of before!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      I love the Virginia creeper ~ it add so much vibrant color and requires no care at all. Thanks for introducing me to some of the others! Happy Fall! B : )

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Scott A McCray: : Thank you for your message which will be dealt with as soon as possible.

      This is an automated reply.

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 4 years ago

      Beautiful - love 'em all!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      Great illustrations and ideas.

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Virginia Creeper is one of my favorite plant for fall

    • sidther lm profile image

      sidther lm 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens! My favorite is the Pernettya.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Another beautiful gardening lens.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Great suggestions for an autumn garden - blessed.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Your Autumn garden is beautiful. I enjoyed my visit and lensrolled to my Fall Flowers lens.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 7 years ago from Scotland

      beautiful. I love my blossom that leaves turn the most beautiful burnt orange in autum, and produces Pink blossom in the spring.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Really lovely selection of autumn garden plants which will look glorious. Blessed by a passing Squid Angel