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7 Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden

7 Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden

Autumn is known for the burst of colour it brings when the leaves turn from green to orange, red and eventually brown, but at this time of year the days are getting shorter and your annuals begin to die, so your garden might begin  to feel lacklustre and in need of a lift.


Here we’ve gathered some autumn flowering plants, trees and shrubs to bring a bit of colour and variety into your garden this season.

Orange Chrysanthemums | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design


Botanical name: Chrysanthemum

Flowering time: September – October

Planting time: April – May

Chrysanthemums are in full bloom during September and October, making them perfect for perking up a dreary garden. For an instant effect, buy them in bloom and put them in position. They’re not particularly hardy though, so at the first sign of frost, bring them inside (though not near a heat source) and they will usually continue to flower.

Autumn Crocus

Botanical name: Crocus speciosus

Flowering time: September – November

Planting time: Late summer

Ranging from white, to lilac, to vivid purple, autumn crocus is a popular plant for the last flowering season of the year and complements chrysanthemums beautifully. Some types of autumn crocus can even flower through to November.

Purple Autumn Crocus | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design Blog
Orange leaves white berries | Sorbus Tree | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design Blog


Botanical name: Sorbus aucuparia

Berrying time: Autumn and winter

Planting time: Spring

Berries can be a beautiful source of colour in the autumn too, which is why sorbus have made this list. They offer up red, white, pink or yellow berries and their foliage can be yellow, orange or red. They’re perfect for smaller gardens, and they attract lots of birds too.


Botanical name: Acer palmatum

Flowering time: Early to mid-spring

Planting time: Autumn

A Japanese maple is the answer to your autumnal blues. With a variety of types to choose from, their leaves turn incredible shades of crimson, red, orange or yellow as autumn comes around. They grow slowly, and they’re compact, which means that they’re perfect for small gardens or container gardens. They need to be protected from northern and eastern winds and frosts, so make sure you give them a sheltered position.

Orange Acer Trees | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design Blog
Yellow Rudbeckia | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design Blog


Botanical name: Rudbeckia hirta

Flowering time: July to October

Planting time: March to May

Another long-flowering plant, Rudbeckia produce masses of colourful flowers from July through to October. They look a bit like daisies, and they’re usually yellow, orange or red. There are several types, including annuals and perennials so their hardiness can vary.

Bowden Lily

Botanical name: Nerine Bowdenii

Flowering time: Autumn

Planting time: Early spring

A bulb that flowers between September and November, the Bowden lily is a South African plant – and it certainly looks like it’s used to hotter climes. A bright pink flower with long, wavy petals, it truly is a burst of beauty in your autumn garden.

Bright Pink Bowden Lily | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design Blog
Pink Flowering Heather | Plants for a Colourful Autumn Garden | Garden Design Blog

Flowering Heathers

Botanical name: CallunaDaboeciaErica

Flowering time: Late summer to autumn

Planting time: Early spring

If you’re looking for vibrant colour throughout winter too, then flowering heathers are the perfect plant for you. Low maintenance and long-flowering, they’re also very bee-friendly. Bumblebees and solitary bees don’t store food over winter and so they have to make trips out during the colder seasons – long-flowering heathers provide food for them. With colours ranging from pure white to cerise pink, purple and orange and magenta, you’ve got a wide range to choose from.

Are you looking forward to your autumn garden?