Hard Working Perennials For Your Late Summer Garden

Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha)

New England aster

Add several fall-flowering perennials to your garden that will add late season color and pizzazz . These are reliable tough perennials, and beneficial pollinators love them.  Visit garden centers in August to make your purchases.

However, for these great plants to return next year and subsequent years, plants need to get their root systems established. Have plants in their permanent garden spots by mid-August if you garden in northern climes. Most are hardy in zones 5-9.

Check out these hardworking perennials for a great autumn floral finish.

Tame goldenrods (Solidago x spp.) such as (S. rugosa) ‘Fireworks’ or (S. sphacelata) ‘Golden Fleece’ are garden-winning classics.

Fall blooming asters like New England (Symphyotrichum. novae-angliae) and aromatic asters (S. oblongifolius). There are lots of great cultivars.

Fall sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) – these are the perennial kinds like (H. angustifolius ‘Lemon Queen’), willowleaf (H. salicifolius), H. x multiflorus ‘Sunshine Daydream’  or hybrid cultivars like Helianthus x ’Lemon Queen’.

Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is a low growing (ground cover) that starts blooming in August into autumn those blue flowers provide an unexpected pop of color as the rest of the landscape fizzles.

Pitcher Sage (Salvia azurea) is a Central U.S. native that grows in a variety of soil types. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is mostly bloomed out by late summer unless properly deadheaded(zones 5-9). Blooming in late summer and early fall, pitcher sage is admired for its sky blue flowers and high drought tolerance. This salvia grows to 30 to 36 inches in height, but may be pinched back for bushier growth.

Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha), zone 7 hardy, is a fall-flowering perennial often at full-tilt as cooler temperatures set in.

Many kinds of stonecrop sedums come in a variety of sizes such as ‘Autumn Joy’, Dazzleberry® series, and ‘Matrona’.

Fall anemones (Anemone x) come in shades of white, lavender, and pink in full sun to partial shade.

The Ornamental Grasses:

Maiden hair grasses (Miscanthus sinensis) are beautiful in the early autumn landscape. Cultivars such as ‘Adagio’, ‘Rigoletto’ and ‘Morning Light’ are rated as less invasive types.

‘Northwind’ switch grass (Panicum spp.) offer long panicles of feathery flowers. Pink or white muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries) display colorful billowy inflorescenses.

Little blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium) are popular native warm season grasses; many varieties tend to lodge (fall apart) late in the season. ‘Standing Ovation’, a new variety, doesn’t fade or flop as temperatures drop off into winter.

 

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