Finishing the Season

Autumn color extends the season visually which, in turn, extends the season financially. As customers ask about their choices, this trend has become more important. Businesses now seek perennials for commercial plantings, fall programs, landscape projects, and garden center sales. Many perennials showcase their best work in flower and foliage at this time.

Autumn bloom used to be considered a limitation—now it’s considered a strength.



This perennial has two seasons of interest. In the spring, it has a lightly blue star flower, but in the autumn the foliage turns a spectacular shade of gold. An important detail: only the hubrechtii species has this golden trait. Other Amsonia species stay green in the fall.

Early Fall


Shade is still an issue in autumn, so we recommend Anemones for their abundant blooms and long season of color under trees and alongside homes. Their long stems suit autumn cut flower gardens as well.
Late Fall


Garden Asters add color, primarily blues and purples, to the fall garden. 'Bluebird' has the lightest blue we sell, 'Pink Crush' has the most vibrant magenta, and 'Grape Crush' has the darkest purple. We also sell the three Wood varieties, well-known for their low carpet of color.


This well-known groundcover has a less famous trait: bronze foliage in the fall. As the light blue blossoms start to trail off, the foliage turns color in preparation for the colder season. A good all-season underplanting that adds enhanced color around shrubs and trees as well as over bulb gardens.

Late Fall


Among the last to bloom, these perennial Mums end the garden season with bright colors. They bush up better for retail presentation if you give them a pinch midway through their initial growth.

Early Fall


Echinacea pretty much revitalized the market for autumn perennials at the retail level, especially 'Cheyenne Spirit' and some of the late-blooming Butterfly series. Their bright harvest colors and natural bloom time fit the décor season well.

Early Fall


Helenium is one of the unsung heroes making the transition from summer to autumn. Established plants tolerate the heat, humidity, and dry spells found at the end of summer yet keep on blooming through early fall. Flowers stay firmly attached to their stems even if watering cycles are skipped. Very durable.

Early Fall


Another choice to move from late summer into early autumn is Heliopsis. It looks like a miniature Sunflower, or perhaps an over-achieving Coreopsis, but is covered heavily in blooms during the color drought of August. Native to the eastern half of North America, it doesn’t mind the conditions—even the clay soils.


Heuchera & Heucherella

A standout performer during the heart of autumn perennial sales, the genera is the staple of many shade programs. Foliage finishes quickly and stays in color for the full season. Some varieties even have maple-like leaves or harvest-style colors to complement harvest themes.



Although not a perennial, we do sell Pennisetum for the vase-like shape that enhances many, many perennial plantings and containers. Plumes are at their finest in autumn. Nothing else complements perennials quite so well.

Early Fall


Black-Eyed Susan is the backbone of many autumn programs, so we sell a wide variety. We have tall specimens like 'Herbstonne', mounded versions like 'American Gold Rush', and highly colorful selections such as 'Prairie Gold' and 'Cherry Brandy'. For purists there is the traditional 'Goldsturm', too.

Early Fall


Our collection of Upright Sedum adds variety beyond 'Autumn Joy'. Choices range from the variegated 'Autumn Charm' to the black stems of 'Matrona' to the bright magenta blooms of 'Neon'.

Early Fall


Practically an icon of autumn is 'Fireworks', the best of the Solidago varieties. Blooms are exactly as the name implies, with horizontal plumes of yellow sprays extending out from central points along the length of an arching stem.

Early Fall


An exotic choice for autumn, Tricyrtis blooms about the same time as Anemone. It forms tall stands of stems, whorled with leaves and ending with a spray of highly-spotted, orchid-like flowers.

For our cover, we selected Heucherella 'Pumpkin Spice' to represent Autumn Perennials. One of the innovative cultivars introduced by Walter's Gardens in 2022, this hybrid has the maple leaf shape of a Tiarella with the rich golden tones of Heuchera and an additional overlay of Tiarella veins of mahogany red. The villosa breeding from the Heuchera also means 'Pumpkin Spice' stays golden throughout the entire season with overwintering capabilities in the South. Like other Heucherellas, we find its performance is best in semi-shaded areas.

New to the market and released by Emerald Coast is 'Butterscotch', an Amsonia that turns gold in the fall. That’s putting it mildly, however, as the hubrechtii basics in this cultivar move the quality bar up a notch: the gold is more vibrant, the foliage color lasts longer, the red stems are brighter and more consistent, and the plant is more vigorous. Yes, 'Butterscotch' is the same—it's just better. This significant improvement is the reason why we put it on the back cover of our catalog for 2023.

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