In my previous two blogs, I discussed the necessary considerations for putting together a late-Summer and Fall perennial program, as well as variety selections for building a basic, but well-rounded, program.
So, what about those of you who want to raise your Fall perennial offering to the next level?? I’ve got you covered! Here are some additional great choices that stand up to Summertime production and raise the bar on a Fall perennial program.
First, here’s a couple of perennials for the Southern market, or varieties that can be used as a tender perennial or annual attraction for Northern growers.
With 13 colors to choose from, this S. greggii series has a hue for all occasions. Full of continuous color that loves late-Summer heat, these are specifically selected for their non-fading attribute. The two newest colors, Blue and Rose Bicolor are certain standouts. I also love the Mirage in mixed containers. The Neon Rose or the Cherry Red really make a combo pop! Only 6 weeks to finish from a liner!
Caryopteris ‘Gold Crest’
An improvement upon existing gold varieties in that its color does not wane in the bright light of Summer. Nor will the leaves curl up in the heat. This one is certain to brighten up the perennial display. Naturally flowering in the Fall, I love watching the bright blue flowers develop and contrast with the glowing gold foliage. A tender perennial at zone 6 hardy, I have heard of this surviving in Chicagoland when well protected from the Winter chill. It takes 8 weeks to finish and flowers naturally around week 35.
And for reliably hardy selections …
Lavender continues to be a hot seller in all markets. 'SuperBlue' is a superb standout and can be a sold 10 weeks from transplant. Not all lavender can stand up to Summer production, but this one can. (For those in the deep South, check out Lavender 'Annet'.) Receiving top ratings at the Chicago Botanic Gardens’ multi-year trials, 'SuperBlue' is reliably zone 5 hardy, has superior flower power, and has that strong English lavender aroma that is sure to appeal to the senses at retail.
Eupatorium Euphoria™ Ruby
This one has received some notable press lately due to its performance at the Penn State trials. Scaled down to 24-32" height and width, Euphoria Ruby begins glowing in mid-July in the garden. This is also when it starts buzzing with all kinds of pollinators. I always loved the Chocolate Joe Pye in my garden, but this one takes the (chocolate) cake. Transplant by week 24 for best performance.
I love the craziness of Perovskia in the Fall. A landscape staple, I love how the flower spikes branch with even more color. A unique aspect about ‘CrazyBlue’ is that, in addition to its bold color that blows traditional Perovskia away, these branching flowers intertwine to hold each other together. No breaking open in the container or the landscape. Only 8 weeks to finish for your Fall sales.
Now. Want to take your perennial program over the top? Make it a premium program! Use these two selections; they’re no-brainers to grow for the Fall.
These really should be your Fall perennial go-to’s. Transplant an actively growing liner, pinch pre-mature budding for two weeks, and let them go! Full sun, incorporated or liquid feed, overhead or drip irrigation. BAM! In 10 weeks I have seen single Echinacea Sombrero plants, in gallons, with 20 flowers on them. These are that easy.
The Carnival series has a full range of colors and stands up well to Summer production. Be sure to provide some shade for these and you will have some fabulous foliage for the Fall.
One more next-level idea: How about mixing and matching any of these Fall perennials into large combo containers? Unlimited possibilities for unique Fall decorations!
Be sure to watch our LinkedIn video post below. Now you’ve got all the information you need for a fabulous Fall program. Bring it on!