We are overflowing with fall annuals! Fall is one of our favorite seasons, but it it is always a bit disappointing to see our gardens begin to wilt as days get shorter and cooler. We love using fall annuals to keep our gardens full of color and interest during this time. Heritage Farm and Garden has plenty of garden mums, fall pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale, millet, celosia, gaillardia, and ornamental peppers to keep your garden going for several more weeks. Here are a few favorite ways to use each:

Garden Mums

For such a small plant, chrysanthemums have an incredible number of blooms! Planting a few together in a bunch results in a showstopping display of color well into the late fall. Mums also thrive in containers, so you can replenish windowboxes and other planters that are starting to look a little worse for wear. If you plan to decorate with pumpkins in October, choose varieties with orange, deep red, and creamy white blossoms (and return to this blog for a fall decorating post in about a month!).

We don’t think any flower says “autumn!” quite like the garden mum!

Fall Pansies

These pretty little flowers look lovely next to mums and can really add a lot of color to your fall garden. As a bonus, pansies planted in the fall often survive for up to 8 months, meaning you may get some additional blooms in the spring. Plant by early- to mid-September and choose a well-drained spot to maximize the potential for spring blooms.

Pansies in shades of red, orange, and yellow complement other fall decorations like pumpkins.

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale

Although these plants are technically vegetables, you wouldn’t know it by looking at them (and we do not recommend eating them, as they are bred for looks and are more bitter than the cabbages and kales planted in spring vegetable gardens). The pretty purple, rose-pink, or white leaves are so delicate and beautiful, they look more like giant flowers. They make excellent border plants and also thrive in containers. How to tell which is which? Ornamental cabbage leaves have smooth edges, while the edges of the kale leaves are frilly.

Ornamental cabbage and kale thrive in containers and this display really shows off their beauty. Who knew vegetables could be so gorgeous?

Millet

This fall annual is perfect for adding height to your garden or container display — it can grow to be four to five feet tall and the flower stalks can grow to 12 to 14 inches. The deep purple color looks striking next to the annuals listed here. It’s extremely easy to care for, so plant it in direct sunlight as a worry-free way to add interest to your garden.

Ornamental millet adds height to this garden. The deep purple stalks look striking next to the brighter fall colors.

Celosia

Celosia is one of our favorite flowers! The colors are so bright and vibrant, they almost look fake. Celosia also adds texture to your garden, as the blooms look feathery and velvety. The blooms hold their color for a long time, so we recommend drying out a few to use in indoor bouquets.

Celosia provides gorgeous color and texture in fall. Don’t forget to dry the blooms so you can enjoy them as long as possible.
There are several varieties of celosia. This one’s blooms resemble coral.

Gaillardia

These small flowers are related to sunflowers and you can tell — they look just like miniature, more colorful sunflowers. The yellow and deep red colors will look lovely in the fall. Plant them in full sun and watch them shine!

Gaillardia burst with fall colors.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental pepper plants are a fun addition to a fall garden. Unlike the varieties grown as vegetables, the peppers on the ornamental plants grow upward, so the plant looks like a spiky, tropical flower. The colors — usually vivid yellows, oranges, and reds, but some are a deep purple — are bright and festive. Ornamental peppers should be planted in full sun.

Ornamental pepper plants add a festive flair to fall gardens.

We hope these colorful plants make you as excited to usher in the new season as we are!