Some great plants to try in your garden for fall color are the fall blooming anemones (Anemone hybrida), Rabdosia longituba, flowering gingers, abutilons, chrysanthemums, camellias. Don’t forget foliage colors as well since they remain colorful for the full growing season!
There are also fruits/berries with color for the garden in reds, yellows, oranges, whites, pinks, purple-black, and even blue depending on the species you select.
The fall blooming anemones are easy care perennials and will increase in clump size over the years. Cut ornamental foliage forms clumps and then produces ascending graceful flowering stems above the leaves. Softly hairy and attractively cut leaves form a nice mounding effect and then you get flowers in late summer and fall. When these finish, you have round ball shaped seed heads which expand to white cottony drifts when the wind eventually blows them to disperse the seeds. This all dies down in winter, so maintenance is easy, just cut off foliage and that is all you need to do.
Rabdosia longituba is an elegant ‘blue’ flowered perennial of the mint/salvia family. Ascending stems in clumps rise to perhaps 4-5 ft and then graceful luminescent tube flowers almost lit like neon lights top the tall flower clusters. It is a wonderful plant for fall and in the rare blue color range! Sun to shade and regular water is all that is needed.
Flowering gingers make lush tropical accents for the garden. They are difficult to find but are well worth the search as they provide foliage interest all season long and many are topped in late summer, fall and winter with flowers, many of them richly scented … (think plumeria or gardenia). They come in whites, pinks, red, oranges, and yellows. Size of plants vary from dwarfs to full sized specimens almost corn like and tall 6-8 ft+. There are also variegated and bronze colored foliage forms. These make easy care specimens for containers as well and you can move them when in flower or hide them when dormant in winter.
Chrysanthemums are old fashioned easy care favorites. They need rich soil to produce lush abundant growth from which the blooms will come in profusion later. I prefer the more interesting floral types like the pom poms, spiders, quills, and football/incurved types. Colors are whites, yellows, bronzes, almost reds, pinks, purples, and bicolors. Pom poms and spiders, quills are not common at all anymore but very choice plants for the garden, cutting and containers.
Abutilons are floral factories, still producing their bells continuously in yellows, oranges, red, pinks, and whites. Hummers love them and they are very easy care. If planted in the garden, they can bloom 12 months out of the year.
We should still be having roses in our gardens as well, they can bloom into frost and if you choose species, their fruits/hips/heps will give long season color useful in the garden and also the vase.
colorful foliage is an option which should be considered in every garden from the largest to the single container. Foliage lasts for all the growing season and looks good for a much longer period than ephemeral flowers. It is a nice addition to any planting. There are numerous choices from small plants to large trees. Just see what attracts your attention and remember the color chart to find what pleases you most in combination(s).