Cut flower gardens aren't just for spring and summer – there are plants with great fall color that can be added to seasonal bouquets until (and sometimes beyond) the first frost.
These eight perennials will help you create stunning fall flower arrangements all season long.
Goldenrod is a U.S. native wildflower that blooms in late summer and fall. The yellow flowers sit on long spikes that provide interest in an arrangement even before they've fully bloomed. Cut back stems left on the plant as flowers fade to encourage reblooming. (Note that despite what is often believed, Goldenrod is not a plant responsible for seasonal allergies – so don't be afraid to add this strong-growing perennial to your garden!)
Another native wildflower, Orange Butterfly Weed is a type of milkweed plant, making it a vital food source for different life stages of the Monarch butterfly. This tall plant blooms with clusters of small, bright orange flowers into fall, making it perfect for a cutting garden.
A native hydrangea plant, the Oakleaf Hydrangea has a lot to offer for autumn flower arrangements. First, the flower clusters are in a unique conical shape. Second, they fade in color in the fall from pink to a pretty brown. Third, the leaves of the plant change color in the fall as well, turning purple, bronze, and red. Cuttings from this shrub make for a showy centerpiece!
The Bicolor Butterfly Bush produces unique, two-toned lavender-and-yellow flowers on long spikes. The flower clusters bloom from summer into fall, can reach at least 5 to 6 inches in length, and are fragrant.
Rudbeckia, also known as black-eyed susan, is a native wildflower with golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers that bloom readily into mid-autumn. Their upright stems and plentiful blooms make them ideal choices for cut flower arrangements.
Asters bloom in late summer and fall with purple flowers. Asters are very easy to grow, providing bright spots of color in the garden as other perennials are winding down for the season. They produce large numbers of blooms that do well both on their own in a vase or as fill-ins among other flowers.
The Apricot Delight Yarrow blooms in summer and fall with small clusters of flowers in apricot and rose-pink hues. The plant is dense, with fern-like foliage, and the flowers produce a light fragrance. Yarrow does well in both fresh and dried flower arrangements.
Pineapple Sage features striking red flowers on long spikes that grow above its foliage. The flowers bloom in summer and into fall. This sage plant is easy to grow, and both the foliage and the flowers work well in arrangements. The plant also gives off a pineapple scent when its leaves are bruised.
Don't Forget the Foliage!
While these eight plants all provide blooms in the fall months, fall bouquets are about more than just flowers. In autumn, the branches of trees and shrubs also have a chance to shine. Look around your garden for bare branches that will look nice in a vase (such as from a burning bush), as well as branches with colorful fall foliage (including maple trees) or berries (like the winterberry shrub). Don't forget ornamental grasses for added interest in your Autumn Bouquets as well as Corkscrew Willow.
Use combinations of branches and flowers to create stunning fall flower arrangements to brighten up your home in the darkening autumn days.
Plant now for bouquets next fall!
Learn the basics on how to assemble fall or autumn flower bouquets with this video.