The Best Fall Flowers (That Aren’t Mums)

Plan on adding some of these blooming plants to your garden to get more flowers and color in the fall.

monarch on goldenrodCourtesy Lisa Thompson
Monarch butterfly on goldenrod

The Best Fall Flowers

Q: “Besides mums, what should I plant to get more flowers and color in autumn?” asks Judy Roberts, Graytown, Ohio.

A: Mums definitely signal the end of the growing season, but native asters, turtleheads and goldenrods are also excellent options. Try sunny Ohio goldenrod or the cultivar Fireworks. They provide nectar for pollinators preparing for winter or migrating to their southern homes.

Asters are a late-blooming, bee and butterfly friendly flower that looks gorgeous in the garden and in a fall floral display. Psst—these are some of the best flowers that attract bees.

purple mountain AsterCourtesy Douglas Beall
Purple aster flowers

One of our favorite nonnative plants is toad lily (pictured below). The flowers may remind you of orchids and appear along or at the tip of the plant’s stem. Native and noninvasive ornamental grasses also provide texture year-round, and many flower in fall, producing attractive seed heads that last through winter.

Toad-Lily-PlantCourtesy Heather Labuda
Toad lily plant

When landscaping, don’t forget about shrubs for autumn beauty. These are the best fall shrubs for your garden.

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.