With the end of summer behind us, the cold weather months will begin moving into the panhandle of Florida. If you’re one of the many gardeners attempting to figure out the best fall flowers for Northwest Florida, then this article is for you.
Fall can be a glorious time for adding color to your garden – if you know what flowers thrive in the cooler months. Take a look at our list of charming autumn flowers for Northwest Florida for an inspiring and colorful garden this fall.
Fall Flowers for Northwest Florida: Perennials
Perennials are a gardener’s dream: plant them once and they will return year after year. Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials, as their root systems can get a head start and be ready for prolific growth in the spring. Many of these fall blooming perennials keep gardens colorful all the way through the first frost.
Here are a few of our highly recommended fall perennials for Northwest Florida:
Firespike is considered a tender perennial, and is known for its striking red blooms that appear throughout the year. Extreme freezes at the tail end of the winter tend to dampen the plant’s blooms, so it’s best to cover them up if you’re expecting a hard freeze. Firespike prefers some shade, as the full sun can leave it wilted in hot weather. It’s best to allow plenty of room for it to expand as firespike can grow up to four feet high.
Lion’s ear is an amazing but rarely used perennial that offers up adorable, fuzzy orange flowers that start blooming in the late summer and early fall. It is a semi-woody flower that belongs to the mint family. Gardeners in Northwest Florida love lion’s ear for its bright flowers that attract pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies and honeybees. When grown in full sun, lion’s ear can reach over six feet in height.
Cassia is another favorite fall flower for Northwest Florida gardeners. It is a delight during the fall months, producing cheerful yellow flowers at a time when few other plants are blooming. These plants also are the hosts for several types of butterflies in Florida, making cassia a favorite for Florida gardens. Cassia can grow in a variety of soil conditions, and fare best when they receive full sun and moderate watering. If you want to add vibrant color and provide shelter for butterflies, cassia are an excellent choice.
Coreopsis species are native to the southeast, and provide a beautiful little yellow bloom that can add a simple charm to any garden or backyard. They are a southeast native perennial, and are also the official Florida state wildflower. This species is not found natively anywhere else in the world, making it an even more attractive option for Florida gardeners looking for interesting native specimens.
Other Fall Perennials for Northwest Florida
In addition to the flowering plants on this list, Northwest Florida gardeners should consider chrysanthemums (mums), pansies and verbena for autumn gardening. Mums provide a variety of shapes and colors that you don’t want to miss over the fall months. Their rusty oranges, reds and browns are perfect fall colors and create the atmosphere you crave for your garden. Pansies also provide outstanding color groupings and attract everyone’s favorite garden visitor, the butterfly.
Fall Flowers for Northwest Florida: Annuals
For annuals, one of the easiest fall flowers for Northwest Florida gardens is the marigold. This charming flower has virtually endless blooms consisting of yellow and orange hues that do best in spring and fall. Marigolds grow up to two feet tall and are prolific seed producers, making them easier to replant the following season.
Adding fall plantings of petunias to containers is a great way to add color to your home’s landscaping. While they thrive in full sun, petunias in containers will need daily watering to stay healthy and blooming. Therefore, they do best with fertile soil that drains well covered with a layer of organic mulch. Petunias flower well into the fall, and are available in a wide selection of hues and shapes. These easy to grow flowers are a favorite in Florida gardens.
Plant the Best Fall Flowers for Northwest Florida in Your Garden!
There is an endless array of colorful flowers that can be planted across Northwest Florida during the fall. However, some are easier to care for than others. If you’re new to gardening in our area, the recommendations we have made here are an easy bet. These plants will bring plenty of fall flowers for Northwest Florida gardens. They are sure to add the beauty and color that you are looking for this autumn. When you’re ready for new landscape designs for your home or garden, call Gulfside Landscaping and make an appointment to speak our designer team.