We’re almost there. Almost into fall and time to start thinking about fall flowers. Before too long the heat will break and with some good fortune we’ll be able to feel a kiss of coolness in the air. If you are new to North Texas you may not realize that gardening and lovely flowers aren’t just something that happens in the spring.
Texans take great pride in their homestead year around. Be it a 20 acre ranch with rolling hills or a charming Austin stone cottage with terrific curb appeal we’re always looking for opportunities to turn our land into something special. It even goes beyond pride – beautiful landscaping increases the value of property and improves the quality of time outdoors.
If you don’t have fall flowers already in place in your garden, now is the time to add some loveliness to the landscape. There are many colorful options for North Texas that will add a nice pop to your yard just about any time through the year.
Fall Flowers Can Fill the Gap
As the temperature starts to cool, it is a good time to take stock of your landscape to see if any plants did not make it through a hot summer. If you have holes to fill or if you want to expand your growing area, getting plants into the ground now will give them a chance to settle in before winter weather.
Once you get an idea of where the landscape needs some improvement, think about your landscape goals. Determine color palette, textures, size and design. Reading through the list below of good options for North Texas should trigger your imagination and jump start your plans.
Not to be confused with coneflowers, this species is also known as bachelor’s buttons and they will add a lovely spray of blue to the landscape from fall through winter and maybe even into spring.
Early September is a good time to sow cornflower seeds indoors. When they have grown to about 2” tall, you can transplant them to your outdoor garden. They will need a sunny growing space of around 2 feet.
If you want to perk up your border, asters are a good option. The daisy-like blooms are a sweet shade of purple and the plants will do well in rocky or sandy soil. Full sun is preferred but they will tolerate part shade.
Be careful not to overwater letting soil dry completely between waterings.
Mums are probably the most ubiquitous of popular fall flowers, just be mindful that many of the flowering plants sold in retail stores may not be winter hardy. To ensure success in your garden, buy from a reputable nursery who can verify winter hardiness.
Mums will take a year in the garden to produce bountiful blooms. When they begin to grow rapidly in the spring, prune them back fairly dramatically to delay budding until fall. Be sure to give then a sunny spot in the garden.
Mexican bush sage
If you love the look of a cottage garden, you will appreciate the natural looking habit and velvety flowers of this plant. Expect blooms from the end of summer until hard frost. At that time you can trim it back to about 6” high and cover with mulch. It should return gloriously in spring.
This sun-loving plant will be sizable at maturity – about 2’ by 4’. Be sure to give it plenty of room to grow in a bright location.
This showy, curly-edged plant will add a bright splash of green, pink and purple to your garden. They can be a show stopper in big pots adding unique form and texture. Grown for its foliage and not considered a flowering plant, if they experience a mild winter they can send up a wild flower spike. To keep kale happy, make sure it gets good direct sun.
Commonly known as Sweet William, this species has beautiful clustered flower heads in white, pink and red. They will love cooler temperatures and need a bright spot of morning sun with afternoon shade. You can prolong the blooming period by cutting off any dead blooms above the first set of leaves. Be careful not to over water because dianthus is susceptible to fungus in wet conditions.
This list of good choices will get you started creating a special winter garden. If you have more questions regarding fall flowers for North Texas gardens, check with a local landscape professional for more comprehensive guidance.