|Ornamental flowering plants for autumn colour|
For many gardeners, autumn is the time for preparing the garden for winter. The lawn has stopped growing (hopefully), the leaves are turning on the trees and there is a crisp bite in the air that suggests you go back indoors and make a cup of tea.
However, as the nights are drawing in and most plants species are in the process of dropping their seeds, there is n reason why the garden should remain a landscape of green. Chose wisely and even in November you can still have a riot of colourful blooms - at least until the first hard frost! Incidentally, the majority of the autumn flowering plants are from the Americas.
So to save hours of research, check out my top ornamental flowering plants for autumn colour.
Rudbeckia species and cultivars
|Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy'|
Arguable the most ornamental are cultivars of Rudbeckia hirta. 'Cherry Brandy' is a particularly attractive example, although it is not fully hardy and will need protection from frosts in cold areas. However cultivars of Rudbeckia fulgida also worth considering
Helenium species and cultivars
|Helenium 'Summer Circle'|
Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' is a particular favourite as is the cultivar 'Summer Circle'.
Grow in any fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Provide support for best results and cut down dead stems in november. Divide and replant every few years to improve flowering.
Native to tropical South America, Verbena bonariensis is a tall and slender-stemmed perennial. It bears sparse, oblong leaves and large branched clusters of small, purple flowers.
Growing to approximately 120 cm tall, it will grow well in a moist but well-drained or well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. In cold areas, protect with a dry winter mulch
Cut down stems in the spring as new growth emerges from the base. The spent flowers can be deadheaded in the autumn if seed is not required
It has an erect habit, growing to a height of approximately 75cm. It will be happy growing in any garden soil but avoid excessive winter wet.
Be aware that Anemone hupehensis can spread rapidly once established and can be difficult to eradicate
Nerine bowdenii is the most commonly found species available to purchase, but that is because it is the hardiest and most reliable.
In colder areas it can be overwintered using the protection of a dry mulch such as bracken or straw, or grit. Just make sure that the mulch does not become too wet which can cause the bulbs to rot.
Sedum spectabile cultivars
|Sedum spectabile 'Purple Emperor'|
Grow Sedum spectabile cultivars in any moderately fertile, but well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. It will need a position that receives full sun to promote flowering and encourage a compact habit.
|Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'|
Ornamental Salvias are best grown in full sun in well-drained soil with shelter from cold winds