COLORADO, USA — It’s already mid-September, and our summer flowers are slowing down and petunias aren’t thriving anymore. But that doesn’t mean our landscapes can’t be colorful. 

You can give your yard a new look by adding autumn plants better suited to cooler weather.

The nights are cooler, and the first day of fall is just around the corner. But don’t give up on gardening if you think everything will die with the first chilly evening. There are advantages to transitioning to fall plants. Every fall, there are some new varieties of fall flowers available that give us an updated look or some new color. We don’t have to simply watch our hot-weather-loving flowers slowly die, and what we plant now doesn’t have to be all browns and oranges. 

Some cool-season plants – like pansies – will overwinter and they will bloom again in the spring. That’s why gardeners love to plant pansies and their smaller relatives, violas, this time of year. It’s also a time to consider planting fall-blooming perennials—they offer seasonal color, and they can come back next year so we can enjoy them again and again.  

Try a mix of hardy annuals—like snapdragons and ornamental kale—that you can enjoy through the fall and some perennials that will stick around to delight you next spring. These plants like autumn weather, and they can be planted right now while the weather is still warm but not too hot. Recommended perennials include black-eyed susans (rudbeckia), coneflower (echinacea), and heuchera (coral bells). Autumn Joy sedum blooms in late summer/early fall and will stick around to give your landscape some color and texture all year. 

Looking ahead, it’s a good idea to think about spring as you add fall plants. While you’re digging in your yard, you can also plant bulbs that will bloom in spring.

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