Fall Flowers To Keep The Blooms Coming
By now your summer flowers are probably looking a little tired and worn. The heat and summer drought have taken their toll. Fear not, there are plenty of annuals for brilliant fall color. Pansies, chrysanthemums, ornamental kale and cabbage, and fall asters all offer easy and very colorful options for your garden.
When To Plant Fall Flowers
Fall flowers typically prefer cooler weather. Plant them just as the heat of summer starts turning cool. Don’t sweat it (pun intended) if a heat wave hits after you plant your fall flowers, just be sure to water them extra so they do not stress. Also, if you are using fall flowers for pots, remember that the soil in pots dries out much fast and will need extra water all the time. In this way, you can expect fall blooms well into autumn.
Where To Plant Fall Flowers
For the most part, all plants used as fall flowers prefer full sun locations. The exception are pansies which can take light conditions for partial shade to full sun. Proper drainage is also a key to success with fall flowers. Soils that do not drain could cause root rot and even plants being heaved out of the soil in freezing temperatures.
Fall flowers can be used in masses in garden beds or as spot fillers. Of course, fall flowers always look excellent arranged in flower pots on patios, decks and front stoops.
Caring For Fall Flowers
As with any annuals, proper care after planting is key to success.
- Water in fall flowers after planting and then continue water several times per week for the first few weeks. As it gets colder, taper back watering to avoid freezing the foliage.
- Apply a mulch layer around the fall flowers after planting. This will keep the roots moist and warm, and help prevent the plants from getting heaved out of the ground.
- Apply a slow release fertilizer to the plants to keep them fed.
- For pansies, pinch off spent flowers to prevent the plant from putting energy into seed productions. This will help the plant push out new flower buds.
One of the nice things about Chrysanthemums is that varieties are available the bloom from late summer all the way until late fall offering a wonderful extension to the garden.
The colors are available are simply fantastic; white, yellow, red, purple, pink, maroon ….. The really nice thing about Chrysanthemums is that they are perennials and with the proper care, will return for years to come.
Pansies love the cool fall weather and will continue to push out blooms until the real cold temperatures arrive. In mild winters, they will live on to bloom again in the early spring. They are available in a multitude of colors and combinations.
Planting can begin in late August and continue well into the fall. Add some slow release fertilizer when you plant to give the young plants a boost.
One warning, deer like pansies too so if you have deer, be prepared to put deer netting over the pansies or apply a deer deterrent product.
Ornamental Kale and Cabbage
Where as ornamental kales and cabbages do not offer flowers, the foliage colors and textures can be spectacular. The foliage color choices are white, pink and purple. The cooler the season, the more vibrant the colors tend to be.The texture options are smooth to ruffled to very ornate. No matter which variety you choose, this plant is extremely dependable and long lasting.
Asters are easy to grow perennial plants that take care of themselves all summer long. Their vigorous blooms appear later in the season, right when other flowers begin to fade. A surefire way of adding great fall color for years to come, Asters’ gorgeous flowers will stay true and strong until hard frosts set in.
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