“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
– Albert Camus
Slowly, but surely, the days are getting shorter and soon our nights will be getting colder, as well. Summer is passing in a swift, hot haze and soon will change to the crisp beauty of a color-changing fall. While spring and summer are the traditionally thought “gardening season”, there is still plenty of beauty to be had in autumn, as well! Here are some of our favorite Iowa perennials for fall.
Pictured below: Japanese Anemone
Japanese Anemones are one of many Asiatic beauties that have made the journey to North America to dazzle in our gardens. They produce deep, dark mounds of green foliage with long-stemmed, buttercup flowers that shoot upward like a star. They are relatively low-maintenance and are excellent choices for planting in boggy spots, since they don’t mind getting their feet wet. Plant them in partial shade and you can enjoy their lovely spring colors – like the rosy double blooms of the Pamina – right up to the first frost.
Joe Pye Weed:
While it may be called a weed, this flower is one you won’t want to pull from your garden. The gorgeous plumes are lined with large, serrated leaves and bunches of beautiful purple-red flowers. They are low-maintenance, attractive to butterflies, and you can find them in a variety of sizes – like the tall, elegant Gateway that can grow to 6’ tall! Give them full to partial sun and keep the soil moist for the most amazing growth all season.
Pictured below: Toad Lily
Also known as Stonecrop, this unique flower makes an interesting combination of flower and succulent. Thick, fleshy foliage makes up the dense groundcover this plant provides, but perched atop the leaves are delicate clusters of tiny flowers in varying hues of pinks and reds. Pollinators simply love them in the late season and their low-maintenance care makes them a simple fit for any garden – especially the radiant raspberry red of the Dazzleberry. They thrive in full to partial shade with occasional watering.
Toad Lilies are a captivating plant with a distinctive look to dazzle in the garden. The stunning star-shaped flowers feature a myriad of speckles that almost make it appear like a toad’s skin and sit atop a mound of green, oval leaves. They come in many amazing colors, including a beautiful powder blue dotted with purple called the Blue Wonder. To enjoy these tremendous lilies, plant them in partial to full shade and keep the soil evenly moist.Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.
Pictured below: Turtlehead
Turtlehead flowers get their name from their unmistakable resemblance to a turtle’s head poking out of its shell. The little petals sprout from a green cone and hood together on top and bottom to form a little head with a mouth. While the blooms come in bright colors, like the hot pink Hot Lips, the foliage is dark and glossy, creating beautiful, tropical contrast in the garden. Just like their namesake, these plants like to be wet, making them great additions to sunny, boggy areas or surrounding a pond.
When autumn comes, your garden doesn’t have to end. These perennials will give your garden a perfect touch of color and brightness right until the first frost for an everlasting season. To explore more fall favorites, take a look at our perennial blooming calendar for Iowa or visit us in-store today!