Just because it’s late August doesn’t mean your garden has to look drab! There are many perennials that flower in late summer and fall which can be used to brighten up your yard. Alternatively, blooming perennials are also great to liven up your containers, and you can plant them in the ground in the fall if desired. Greenland has a fabulous selection of late season perennials in bloom that will reinvigorate the gardener in everyone!
Coneflowers start blooming in late July and continue straight through until the hard freeze. Grow coneflowers in full sun and well-drained soil – they rot easily in soil that is too moist. All are tolerant of periods of drought when established. Traditionally available in pink, many other colors are now available, including red, orange, yellow, and white. Some of our favorite varieties:
‘Pica Bella’ – needle-like deep purple-pink petals.
‘Red Knee High’ – dwarf with large flowers saturated in rich deep pink.
‘Satin Nights’ – compact grower with silvery pink flowers that have contrasting deep reddish-black cones.
‘Sombrero Salsa Red’ – deep, true red flowers.
‘Tangerine Dream’ – stunning orange flowers.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
This relative of the coneflower has a sunny disposition that is sure to make you forget about the oncoming winter! Planted with red or pink coneflowers, they really make an impact when they flower from July to frost. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil; tolerant of periods of drought when established. ‘Goldsturm’ and ‘Little Goldstar’ are excellent varieties to try.
One of the longest blooming perennials, blanketflower will bloom all summer and well into fall. The daisy-like flowers have a soft cone in the centre. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil; these do not tolerate heavy or overly moist soils. ‘Goblin’ has flaming red and yellow blooms and a compact habit – excellent for the front of a bed or a small container.
Sneezeweed or Helen’s Flower (Helenium)
An easy-growing plant with strong, tall stems bearing masses of small flowers that resemble miniature blanketflowers, in shades of yellow, orange, and red, from midsummer through fall. Despite the common name, the flowers are non-allergenic. Plant in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Try ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ for some instant pizzazz!
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
A stunning contrast plant with tall silvery stems bearing grey-green leaves below and, from late summer to frost, airy spikes of lavender-purple flowers above. An aromatic plant that basks in the sun in dry soil. Cut back to 6 inches above ground in late fall or early spring. Try the classic Russian sage or, for a more compact version, ‘Little Spires’ is also great.
If you have a shady area that could use some rejuvenation, look no further than coralbells. The showy foliage of these plants will persist until it is covered with snow. Tiny white or pink flowers appear during the summer on tall stems that rise well above the foliage; these can be cut off if desired. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade to full shade; if you have adequate moisture you can also try growing coralbells in a sunny area. Many varieties are semi-evergreen; clean up browning leaves in spring but do not cut back to ground level. Here are some of our top picks:
‘Midnight Rose’ – glossy, deep purple-black leaves with bright magenta-purple specks.
‘Lime Marmalade’ – bright chartreuse-yellow foliage.
‘Zipper’ – ruffled, burnt orange-brown leaves with neon-purple undersides.
‘Peach Flambe’ – burnt orange-red leaves with faint silvery netting.
‘Caramel’ – caramel-brown foliage with pinkish undersides.