Proctor's Garden: Colorful plants for cool weather

Proctor's Garden: Plant for cool weather. 9NEWS at 9/15/16.

KUSA - The late season garden should be as colorful as any other time of the growing season. To keep your garden bright, provide proper care and grow late-blooming perennials.

Don't ignore deadheading. If you keep spent flowers removed, you'll get more flowers from rudbeckias, perennial sunflowers and butterfly bushes.

Asters are a great source of late season color as well as an important source of nectar for bees. There are many different species and varieties. 'Purple Dome' stays low and is smothered in purple flowers. New England asters are also short and compact (generally less than two feet tall). I grow the varieties 'Snowbank' and deep red-pink 'Winston Churchill.' New England asters can grow six feet tall but should have been pruned in May or June to keep them more compact and bushy. They may be pink or purple.

While most asters need regular moisture, 'Dream of Beauty' is an pale pink aster variety derived from Great Plains species and is drought tolerant. The white wood aster is also drought tolerant and grows in partial shade. It is native to eastern forests.

Japanese anemones bloom well into fall. Their charming pink or white flowers add a cool touch to the perennial border. The striking deep blue flowers of Salvia 'Black and Blue' also command attention against the black stems. Hummingbirds flock to this plant. It's not hardy so it should be taken inside for the winter.

Keep your perennials and container plants well-watered during this extended drought. With proper care such as deadheading, they'll keep your garden colorful through the cool late season.

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