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Connecticut Garden Journal: Fall Blooming Perennials

Orange red Hibiscus rosa-sinensis blooming
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Orange red Hibiscus rosa-sinensis blooming.

It's August and in many perennial flower gardens, the color show has waned. Maybe the rudbeckias and echinaceas are still going strong, but many flower gardens can benefit from a pop of color from some late summer and fall bloomers.

While the traditional asters and sedums will provide some color, if you're looking for a big splash, nothing beats the hardy hibiscus. Unlike the tropical hibiscus, this perennial dies back to the ground each winter and is hardy in Connecticut. It produces dinner-plate sized, white, pink, bi-colored or burgundy colored blossoms from late summer into September. Most plants grow about 3- to 5-feet tall and wide and they make a statement in your garden.

Monk's hood or Aconitum is an impressive, tall, upright perennial that thrives in part shade. The hood-like flowers come in white, pink or purple colors and the plant loves the cool, moist weather of fall. Just make sure animals or kids don't eat the leaves or flowers because they are poisonous.

Another tall, late blooming perennial is Rudbeckia Hortensis 'Golden Glow' or the privy plant. Originally grown to hide the outhouse on farms, this rudbeckia grows 6- to 7-feet tall and can spread. The bright yellow, double petaled flowers bloom right into fall and make a nice cut flower.

For something a little lower growing, try the Montauk daisy. Originally from Japan, this perennial daisy has naturalized on Montauk, Long Island, hence the name. It only grows 1- to 2-feet tall with bright white, daisy flowers that bloom from fall to frost. It adds a splash of brightness contrasting well with fall mums.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.