10 Favorites for Fall Planting

Staff at White Flower Farm Weigh In

With the promise of cooler months ahead (at least in our part of the world), it’s time to prepare for a major season in the gardening year. For a number of reasons, fall is an ideal time to add new plants to the garden. So, to get the wheelbarrow rolling, we’re sharing 10 top picks for fall planting that were chosen by staff members at White Flower Farm. Scroll below, and we hope you’ll be inspired by a diverse selection of bulbs, perennials, and shrubs that are beloved for a surplus of outstanding qualities. You may find a shared favorite, or you can continue to our website to identify your own top picks.

(1) Crocus tommasinianus

“Despite a healthy population of chipmunks, these Crocus bloom every year in early spring. They start out a dark purple and then turn lavender as they open. Plant them close together for a bouquet of Crocus that will grow over time. I can see why this heirloom Crocus has been a favorite since the mid-1800s!”
~Barb P., Nursery Manager

(2) Hydrangea serrata ‘Blue Billow’

“Graceful and dependable, ‘Blue Billow’ thrives in a slightly shady spot (sun, too) and delivers colorful blooms that get better every year. Combine it with large-leaved Hostas for a garden space full of texture and color. Pollinators also love it!”
~Rob S., Director of Horticulture

(3) Iris germanica ‘Petalpalooza’

“I got my start in gardening by weeding my mother’s patch of Tall Bearded Iris, so I have an affinity for this classic genus. If you’re looking for a ‘wow’ for the June garden, then you’ll find it in ‘Petalpalooza.’ Its ruffled, two-tone flowers will stop you in your tracks while adding a vertical accent to the garden. Autumn is a great time to plant Tall Bearded Iris, and with this reblooming variety you’re likely to get a repeat show every fall.”
~Tom B., Retail Store Manager

(4) Tulip ‘Ballerina’

“A beautiful standout from a White Flower Farm Tulip trial of over 100 varieties. The long petals of this Lily-flowered Tulip stand upright, and their color combination of tangerine with highlights of pink/magenta cannot be missed. With straight, tall stems (18-20”), this Tulip is very graceful and perfect for cutting. It has a sweet fragrance, too. Later-blooming and longer-lasting than most Tulips in our trials.”
~Mary A., Product Information Manager

(5) Syringa vulgaris ‘President Lincoln’

“A large, graceful plant with flowers on the blue/lavender end of the Lilac spectrum. It’s fast-growing but won’t flower to its potential for several years. The fragrance and color are well worth the wait.”
~Eliot A. W., Owner

(6) Allium christophii

“Showy, silvery amethyst globes, each comprised of up to 100 starburst florets, hover above early summer perennials like Lady’s Mantle and Geraniums. Cluster the bulbs between perennials to conceal ripening foliage and enjoy this deer-resistant pollinator magnet as a dried flower after bloom, in the garden or a vase.”
~Karen B., Senior Horticultural Advisor

(7) Geranium Rozanne®

“This Geranium is so versatile and requires no maintenance! Once it starts blooming, it doesn’t quit for the whole season, and that gorgeous purple color goes with everything.”
~Liz Z., E-Commerce Director

(8) Spiraea japonica Double Play® Candy Corn®

“The foliage color makes this small-scale shrub a standout for any garden. You notice it early in the season when the foliage emerges a bright red, a nice sign that spring is here! As the weather warms, the foliage changes to an orange shade with red tips. A great plant for season-long interest!”
~Ray H., Product Development Coordinator

(9) Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’

“I like this minor bulb because it’s unique. While it’s delicate, you can still see its snowy white blossoms from a distance.”
~Cheryl D., Nursery Inventory Manager/Buyer

(10) Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’

“This may have been the first plant I ever picked out for my garden, and every year I love it more. While I was initially drawn to the reddish-pink color of the flowers, I now treasure it for the molasses-colored cones that attract and support a diverse array of pollinators over a long season. I love to watch the bumblebees, honey bees, and Monarch butterflies feeding in summer, and in fall, it’s a delight to see goldfinches balancing atop the cones, feasting at the seeds. Plants spread slowly to form generous clusters. Mine pop up like bouquets amid Ornamental Grass Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster,’ Chelone ‘Hot Lips,’ Amsonia hubrichtii, and Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (Slender Mountain Mint). The tall stems supporting these flowers make ‘Magnus’ easy to cut for meadow-style bouquets, but I prefer to keep the flowers in the garden where they support the lives of so many small but significant visitors.”
~Deb H., Senior Writer