Recommendations for perennials to plant now that will keep bloom until the fall?

West Newton, MA

Can folks here recommend perennials that I can plant now that will keep their bloom until the fall? I know there are a few that can even keep blooming after a light frost and those would be great. I'm mostly interested in herbaceous plants but a shrub or two would be ok. The area is in full sun. I'm just outside of Boston. Initial thoughts: Hydrangea for the shrub, then Gaillardia, Verbena, Astrantia major, Garden Phlox, Chrysanthemum. Others?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

This is not exactly what you are seeking but I grow mostly from seed and put into the ground, for sustained interest through the fall. Most of them, if not all, are actually tender perennials, and will bloom through successive light frosts. I have been growing them for years and people always ask me why I have color in October and November:

Cynoglossum in blue
Mirabilis jalapa (just stick the seeds into the ground)
Nasturtiums (again, direct seed)
Eragrostis tef
Pennesetum villosum
Pennesetum setaceum
Dianthus
Verbena bonariensis
Nicotiana alata
Heliotrope
Hardy geraniums
Salvia viridis
Salvia coccinea
Salvia farinacea

The bonus is that many of them will toss seed and come up the following year, but have small rootballs and can be pulled out. My salvias, verbena and cynoglossum are all coming up from last year's seed, so I have all this color without additional work.

Again, this is not quite what you are looking for, but it will give you a lot of color without a lot of work. I manage gardens and have clients that are enjoying their salvia for the third year in a row while doing absolutely nothing.

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Butterfly bush (you would have a variety of colors to choose from).

Miscanthus grass or various grasses could give good interest.

Red leafed shrubs would add color without bloom. Chartruse colored shrubs would add color without bloom.

Blue salvia (in my area acts as a perennial).

Sedums (especially Autumn Joy) would be GREAT.

Returning daylily

Asters are a lot like mums (I have those that bloom in fall with mums).

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

You can get miscanthus NOW on sale in a lot of places. Brenda is right - It's great. Just make sure you water it in well.

My garden center has every type of hydrangea on sale. I picked up two big oakleafs. They actually had five types of oakleafs, which is very unusual.

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Yes - Donna - Oakleaf Hydrangea would be a GREAT choice.

Rick - The Chaste tree (if it tolerates your zone) might be a thought.

Thomaston, CT

Joe Pye weed gives a lot of color late, so do aconitums.....there are also alliums that bloom in Sept. If you are looking for an annual, angelonia blooms right to frost.....most dahlias bloom late....mine are just starting to bloom now......

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Joe ye Weed (eupatorium) is sensational. You have to watch it, because it seeds. I was given one and it grows to large proportions. If you need privacy, it will give it to you. It also is a bumble bee magnet. But it can get out of control over time if you allow it. I watch mine and move seedlings to where I want them to be, but just dispose of some because the following pic, taken in Traverse City, shows what it can turn into. I have a client who has two or three of these, and it's still seeding. But it's a great block for unattractive views.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Thomaston, CT

Wow! Mine is not that large a clum, I dig it every other year....there's a variety in a butterfly garden at the flood control dam that I love...it's shorter than mine, & the color is more violet than mauve......

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ah, so is that how I should keep it under control. I love the plant, and have moved it to a couple of places for privacy, and now I know that it really can be dug.

Thank you!

Ack! Typos!

This message was edited Aug 5, 2016 4:57 PM

Thomaston, CT

Sounds like a lot of work, but it only takes a few minutes to dig some of the clump ....really makes a difference!

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Quote from ROBINDOG :
Wow! Mine is not that large a clum, I dig it every other year....there's a variety in a butterfly garden at the flood control dam that I love...it's shorter than mine, & the color is more violet than mauve......


Would be really nice if you could share pictures. You have painted a really nice picture. That violet color sounds very interesting.

Thomaston, CT

That Joe Pye is not mine....it is planted in a butterfly garden behind a federal flood control dam....we actually have 3 in our town! I haven't walked down there in a month, but I'll go down this afternoon, & see if it's blooming....I'll take a photo....the color is just lovely, much nicer that the traditional!

Thomaston, CT

Went down to the butterfly garden yesterday, but as you can see, the blooms are finished...don't know if that's because of our drought, or it's just an early bloomer.....2nd photo shows the lake at the end of the road....very low water, just a few fisherfolks there....the 3rd photo shows the dam at the end of my road.....the mowed field in the distance is for flying RC planes....there's also a river & brook for fishing...in the foreground are trails for dirt bikes, so I can only go down there early in the morning before the bikes come in...then in Oct. the hunters come in, so I can only use it on Sundays...that's when I use the other dam, with the lake....only bow hunting allowed there......

Thumbnail by ROBINDOG Thumbnail by ROBINDOG Thumbnail by ROBINDOG
Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

ROBINDOG - Well the trip to the dam was not wasted. Beautiful scenery and the body of water looks inviting. Thanks for trying to capture the Joe Pye.

Thomaston, CT

That's OK...nice place to walk the dog....I was there today & met my cousin walking his lab!

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Japanese anemone
hardy mums, like Mary Stoker.
Dahlias although you will have to lift the tubers once frost knocks them back
some toad lilies
Begonia grandis
callicarpa
Heuchera villosa Autumn Bride or similar
For a long blooming oakleaf, I recommend Snowflake.
Dark leaf actaeas such as Hillside Beauty

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