If you thought flowering colour in your garden was only for spring and summer, then think again! There are plants that respond to the cooler temperatures and shorter days by bursting into bloom. Here’s just a few and some tips on how to care for them.
With flowers ranging in colour from pure white through shades of pink to fire engine red, these hardy shrubs are a great choice for autumn colour. They also have attractive glossy deep green leaves that highlight the blooms.
GROWING TIP: Give them a light prune after they have finished flowering and fertilise in spring. Water regularly.
Starting in late summer and continuing through autumn, the massed spikes of tiny purple flowers are quite striking. Plant them en masse to get the best effect from the beautiful blooms. They’re suitable for most Australian climate zones and can be planted in sun or shade.
GROWING TIP: In late winter, cut back old ragged leaves to make way for the new growth of spring.
With a dazzling array of flower types and colours to choose from, it’s hard to go past dahlias for autumn colour. They’re also a great container plant so you can put them in pots to brighten up a courtyard or balcony.
GROWING TIP: If you’re in a cold climate, dig up the tuber of the plant once it has died back and store in your shed. Replant them in early spring.
Synonymous with Mother’s Day, when potted plants are given as flowering gifts, the Chrysanthemum is also a great way to add autumn decoration to your garden. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny part of your garden.
GROWING TIP: Water the base of the plant, not the foliage as damp leaves encourage powdery mildew and grey mould.
Masses of dark purple flowers starting from late summer are the signature of the Tibouchina. It can grow into a large tree if left unchecked, although there are smaller varieties available which are more suited to the home garden.
GROWING TIP: After flowering prune it back to maintain its size and keep the flowering season constant.