While summer is rightly considered the high point of the year for Minnesota gardens, beautiful blooms and foliage are not limited to the summer months. There are an abundance of choices for flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees that can make your yard as gorgeous in the fall as it is in the summer.
Keep your yard bright and beautiful well into autumn with these 17 fall plants and flowers!
Show-Stopping Fall Flowers and Plants
1. Garden Mums. A fall classic available in white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, coral, or a mix. While considered an annual in Minnesota, you can increase their winter survival chances by planting them in well-drained soil with a root stimulator and plenty of mulch. Or opt for hardier varieties like MN mums or the U of M’s Mammoth™ Mums, which over-winter well even when planted in the fall.
2. Geranium. While geraniums are generally thought of as annuals, there are also perennial varieties available that can withstand cold Minnesota winters. Their interestingly-shaped, deep rust-colored leaves will add unmistakable fall flair to your gardens.
3. Flowering Kale. This annual makes a lovely accent to your mums in garden beds or containers. Flowering kale has waxy round or ruffled leaves and is available in gray-green or rose-green varieties.
4. Indian Summer Rudbeckia. With their signature big, bright yellow blooms, this annual version of Black-Eyed Susans adds classic fall beauty to your gardens. A taller plant, it lends itself well to container displays with mums and kale.
5. Pansies. With cold-weather-tolerant blooms, pansies are the perfect splash of color for your fall gardens. A wonderful addition to containers or flower beds, pansies are available in a variety of colors, ranging from yellows, bronzes, and oranges to blues, purples, and burgundies.
6. Japanese Anemone. Despite its name, this plant is native to China. It is well-adapted to northern climates and grows best in part shade and slightly alkaline soil. As summer fades into fall, the pink blooms of this plant are not only beautiful but inviting to bees as well.
7. Angelica Gigas. Also known as Korean angelica, this plant has large leaves and tall, deep purple stems. Purple, cabbage-like blooms pop out at the top of these tall stems in late summer or fall. Another favorite of bees, this low-maintenance beauty does well in dry soil and full sun to part shade.
8. Verbena Bonariensis. Often called verbena or purple vervain, this gorgeous filler plant adds tall blooms to a late summer or early fall garden. It is loved by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and does well in full sun.
9. Sedum. This hardy plant blooms with pink-red flowers from late summer into early fall. Along with its beautiful color, its pillowy softness adds interest and texture to a garden.
10. Amsonia. While amsonia’s delicate blue flowers bloom in early summer, its feathery foliage goes from pale green to deep gold in the fall. A perfect perennial border, growing to 3-4 feet tall and wide. Bonus: this plant is deer-resistant and drought-tolerant.
11. Herbs. Add scent and texture to your gardens or containers in the fall with a blend of herbs. Oregano, Rosemary, Lavender, Sage, Peppermint, Marjoram, Basil, Thyme, and more offer beauty as well as delicious ingredients for your kitchen!
Beautiful Fall Shrubs
12. Ninebark. The leaves of this shrub turn a gorgeous deep burgundy in the cool fall air. Some varieties have a mixture of dark and bright red leaves to bring additional texture to your garden.
13. Fothergilla. These yellow-orange colored shrubs will complement your garden’s red blooms or leaves, and are perfect to plant near the house or along a fence line. Its flat, matte leaves add extra vibrancy to its already lovely color.
14. Forsythia. This shrub lends itself well to dividing space or camouflaging your shed or the side of your home. Its leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow and red when the colder weather hits.
Trees for Gorgeous Fall Colors
15. Maple. Maple trees are, of course, the star of the show each fall. There’s truly nothing like their fiery blend of red, orange, and yellow leaves. Bonus: Collect their sap in late winter to make your own maple syrup!
16. Oak. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance beauty, the oak tree is your best bet. These trees are tolerant to almost any soil, so are perfect for the home or business that wants easy fall beauty. Their red, orange, or purple-colored leaves will brighten up any yard.
17. Elm. If mustard yellow is your fall color of choice, you can’t go wrong with an elm tree. Their yellow leaves are especially breathtaking when paired with maples or oaks.