27 Fall Flowers For A Gorgeous Autumn Garden

Stunning Marigold Fall Container
Photo: Photo: Helen Norman

Who says you can only enjoy pretty flowers during spring and summer? When the temperature drops, your garden may suffer from neglect and overgrown plants. However, just because the end of summer is near, it doesn't mean it's the end of your garden. As the days get shorter, it's time to brighten up your landscaping, flower beds, and container gardens. All it takes is planting a few perennials and annuals to keep your garden alive through the cold-weather season.

We think Southern gardens show their true colors in fall. Spring may garner much attention from gardening enthusiasts, but fall has a pleasantly surprising array of blooms. Arrange your cold-weather garden with various jewel-tone shades like red, gold, orange, and purple. Don't believe us? Scroll for a little growing inspiration and a dose of autumnal whimsy.

01 of 27

All Fired Up

All Fired Up
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Highlight autumn's bounty by packing your garden with various plants, such as sedum, purple cabbage, ornamental peppers, Mexican bush sage, and cosmos. The fiery shades of orange and yellow balance the cooler tones of purple and blue in this vibrant container mix. Add colorful stacked pumpkins to take your garden to the next level.

02 of 27

Stunning Marigold Container

Stunning Marigold Fall Container
Photo: Helen Norman

Marigolds add a splash of bright orange and yellow to container gardens. Enjoy these hardy blooms throughout summer and early fall. Add some trailing plants to balance the pops of color and add variety to your containers.

03 of 27

Tall Lavender Wands

Perennial Russian Sage
Photo: White Oak Gardens

Using Russian sage makes a bold statement in any garden. It's known for its purple-silvery color and height, making Russian sage perfect for brightening your fall garden. Make sure to have enough room for this plant to grow as it reaches up to five feet in height and can spread three feet wide.

04 of 27

Tough-As-Nails Perennials

Lenten Rose Ramble
Rob Cardillo

Perennials are plants that not only survive through early fall but also thrive. Here, viola, euphorbia, and variegated ivy merge with pink Lenten rose to create a beautiful home container. The best part of this display is Lenten rose grows in shady areas, so plant them in parts of your garden that get partial sunlight.

05 of 27

Decorative Mums and Pumpkins

Decorative Mums and Pumpkins
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The classic fall combination of mums and pumpkins gives your front entry a warm welcome. This duo brings a feeling of autumnal bliss to mind. Coordinate the color of mums with your home's exterior for a seamless look, or use white pumpkins for a classic twist.

06 of 27

Sun-Kissed Flower

Perennial Sunflower
Photo: High Country Gardens

While perennial sunflowers don't bear the large flowering heads like their annual counterparts, these long-blooming, daisy-like plants are still just as bright. Plant once and enjoy for years to come. These flowers like sufficient watering but will adjust to typical gardening conditions.

07 of 27

Fire Up Fall With Color

Plant an Autumnal Container
Laurey W. Glenn

Lantana is a fall-blooming favorite that will reward you handsomely with abundant flowers and many colors this season. Lantanas are relatively low-maintenance, so they make a good choice for fall gardens when getting outdoors may become less frequent. Thrill, fill, spill your containers with it, as well as fountain grass and sweet potato vines.

08 of 27

Edible Attraction

Lettuce, Violas & Mums
Photo: Southern Living

This container garden is a feast for the eyes and the plate since it contains leafy lettuce greens, colorful violas, and fall-inspired mums. Available in all of your favorite fall colors, mums make a great addition to any planter. Lettuce might require more regular watering, so keep this in mind for this arrangement.

09 of 27

Cheery Chrysanthemums

Cheery Chrysanthemums
Photo: Van Chaplin

If you could pick any plant for your garden's grand finale, it should be the official flower of autumn—the chrysanthemum. Mix in a bit of coleus to make your containers shine.

10 of 27

All-Star Aster

Aster Fall Flower
Photo: King of Wallpapers

Plant perennial asters in late summer, and you'll enjoy a vivid display of blooms in various shades, including blues, reds, pinks, and purples, from mid-September through November. Possibly the best substitute for mums for fall gardens, asters will thrive late in the year as temperatures decrease. Plus, they look great in containers and planters.

11 of 27


Carve Out a Mumkin
Hector Sanchez

This display is the brilliant result of packing mums inside pumpkins, creating the "mumkin." Add an autumnal flair to your entryway by stepping up your container arrangement decor in this unique, DIY-style planter. Use this opportunity to complement the orange-colored pumpkins with the various mum hues.

12 of 27

Stair-Step Violas

Bold Blossoms
Southern Living

These red viola-filled containers have serious curb appeal. A display like this deserves to be front and center. Stack the containers on your entryway stairs or group them for a clustered arrangement.

13 of 27

A Fragrant Addition

Anise Hyssop
Photo: Kathy Diemer/A Garden for All

If you haven't already, you'll fall in love with wispy anise hyssop. Not only is it a beautiful flower to plant, but it's also a medicinal herb and aromatic perennial that attracts bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. This tall plant looks great on its own or alongside a wall or fence.

14 of 27

Dramatic Pansy Container

Dramatic Pansy Container
Southern Living

When you grow tired of smaller-bloom violas, try their country counterparts—pansies. These eye-catching flowers will liven up your garden throughout the fall. Pansies are great for containers, borders, or ground cover.

15 of 27

Bright and Bold Foliage

Bright and Bold Foliage
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Bright colors and bold foliage lend themselves to an impressive container garden display. A large terracotta pot complements the neutral color palette with touches of fall foliage. Surround the container with plants and ground cover for an overgrown look.

16 of 27

Stacked Violas

Stacked Violas
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Galvanized buckets filled with violas and creeping Jenny are true garden gems. The spillers add some interest to wherever you place this container. Try using this arrangement in hanging baskets to see the whole spiller plant's effects.

17 of 27

Sunny Marigolds

Sunny Marigolds
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Say hello to this late-season beauty. The autumnal-gold color livens up any fall garden. Despite blooming into the fall, these plants thrive in full sunshine, so make sure to plant in an area that still gets sunlight late in the year.

18 of 27

Bursting Bulbs

Colchicum Fall Flower
Photo: Growing with Plants

Colchicum grows in the winter with a significant wow factor. Colchicum, commonly known as autumn crocus, are toxic to consume, so don't mistake these for a different edible plant in your garden. Autumn crocus grow well in gravel gardens, so this might be a good plant for borders or walkways.

19 of 27


Helenium Fall Flower
Photo: Fleuroselect

For vertical height and tri-color impact, you can't go wrong with velvety heleniums. Some varieties of heleniums bloom late in the season, up to the first frost. In addition, they're also a great deer and rabbit repeller.

20 of 27

Heirloom Blooms

Heirloom Viola Container
Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson

No fall garden should be without these petite heirloom violas or, as they're often called, "Johnny Jump-Ups." The delicate flower is great as a filler between larger shrubs or under trees. Keep these in areas with at least partial sun.

21 of 27

Classic Mums

Classic Mums
Photo: Ralph Anderson

As we said, mums are a classic. This selection of varying mums uses a fall color palette to highlight the season's best feature—the changing foliage. No matter where your tree's foliage is in its transition, there is a mum to match.

22 of 27

Autumn Joy

Sedum Fall Flower
Photo: Gardening with Charlie Nardozzi

A late-blooming standout, sedums require very little attention and are drought tolerant. You can either plant the creeping, low-growers or tall, vertical sedums. Both types offer tiny, colorful clusters in pink, yellow, red, white, or purple.

23 of 27

Versatile Fall Container

Plant Fall Flowers
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Bring a little enchantment and excitement to a rustic planter with mums and foliage. Allow foliage to spill over the container, creating an elegant cascading display. Surrounding the arrangement with pumpkins adds an extra dosage of fall scenery to the display.

24 of 27

Prolific Butterfly Magnet

Purple Coneflower Fall
Photo: Natural Living Ideas

By far, coneflowers are one of the longest-lasting bloomers and the showiest plants that make up the perennial group. You and the butterflies will appreciate the purple coneflower's large rose flowers and rust-colored central cone. These flowers add a bright pop of color to a traditionally rustic scene.

25 of 27

A Monochromatic Container

Aster, Ornamental Cabbage, Mexican Bush Sage, Purple Waffle Plant, Lamb's Ears, and Alternanthera Container Garden
Robbie Caponetto; Design: Mark Thompson

Move over, mums—another colorful perennial is taking center stage. Loosen things up with free-flowing asters. Mix purple ones with ornamental cabbage, Mexican bush sage, purple waffle plant, lamb's ears, and 'Purple Prince' alternanthera to create this moody fall display. Blooming in late summer and early fall, asters can withstand the South's fickle autumn temperatures.

26 of 27

Tip-Top Shape

Spruce Topiary Container Garden
Robbie Caponetto; Produced by: Mark Thompson

An evergreen topiary like this ball-form spruce is also a hard worker, going strong through fall and winter. Pair it with the 'Orange Marmalade' firecracker flower, and it will feel at home on the porch during the changing seasons. The firecracker flower (also called Crossandra) is an MVP from late August through early fall as its colorful bloom spikes continue to shine even when most other summer flowers are dying off. If your area gets a final heat wave, the firecracker flower will take it in stride as long as you keep it watered.

27 of 27

Endless Color

Bountiful Container with Ornamental Kale and Cabbage
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Marigolds and coneflowers make a magnificent summer-to-fall transition. Plant variegated sweet flag in the center, and surround it with alternating plantings of bright coneflowers and marigolds. Fill in the outer edges with ivy, allowing it to spill over the sides. Water regularly, particularly if the sweet flag and ivy are sitting in direct light. The flowers love full sunlight and will provide color for a long time (even until the first frost) if you remove dried blooms throughout the season.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles