From spring to summer, a pure flower festival takes place in the garden. But even when it starts to get cooler outside again and the light intensity slowly decreases, one longs for colourful highlights in the garden. So if you plant late-flowering perennials, you can still create atmospheric accents at the end of the garden season and even preserve the summer feeling for a while. And of course the extended food supply is also crucial for the survival of bees, bumblebees and other insects.
Great variety of perennials in late summer
Late-flowering perennials are often extremely long-lasting bloomers or only come into their own at the end of the gardening season. They do not only cut a good figure in the bed. They also look good in decorative pots on the balcony or terrace during the transitional period.
Tip: Late summer or early autumn is also planting time for some perennials. If you give the hardy representatives a suitable spot in the garden, they can still take root sufficiently. Some species, such as the autumn anemone, should be protected with a bit of spruce twigs during the first few winters.
Late summer bloomers for the sun
The coneflower (Rudbeckia) is a particularly bright eye-catcher. The variety ‘Herbstsonne’ (Autumn Sun) forms stately clumps up to two metres high. The magnificent candle (Gaura) and the coquina flower (Gaillardia) also bloom tirelessly until the first frost. The popular phlox even provides continuous colour if the flowering times of the different varieties are cleverly combined.
Some “real” asters also provide highlights in the late summer garden. The wood aster ‘Little Carlow’ enchants with its countless blue flower heads and looks its best in the natural garden. Candlewort (Bistorta) also keeps its elegant flower heads until October and comes in many valuable varieties.
Encourage repeat flowering
If you take the trouble to clip or cut off withered flowers, you can encourage many perennials to flower again. The cocklebur, for example, is particularly grateful for this and will continue to flower well into autumn. Ball thistles will also produce a second flower in a few weeks after pruning.
Late-flowering perennials for partial shade
The enchanting cupped flowers of the autumn anemone are perfect for partial shade. The fragrant October silver primrose (Cimicifuga) is an imposing large perennial that beguiles with its white, filigree flower corollas. The long-lived daisy (Astilbe) with its bright flower panicles also brightens up darker corners and can even tolerate the deepest shade. Another jewel is the perennial begonia, which is also surprisingly persistent in terms of flowering time.
Late-flowering perennials for the shade
Even in full shade you don’t have to do without attractive late bloomers. The narrow lily cluster (Liliope graminifolia) does very well here and enchants with pink flower clusters and grass-like foliage from August to September. Some cranesbill species are also suitable for semi-shady and shady areas, for example the Mountain Forest Cranesbill (Geranium nodosum), which flowers from June to October.
Those who miss friendly colours in the shade, on the other hand, could turn to St. John’s wort (Hypericum androsaemum), a robust ground cover – after the yellow flowers have faded, fiery red fruits adorn the plants.
Extra: particularly insect-friendly perennials for late summer
If you opt for tried and tested late-flowering perennials with high nectar and pollen values, you can often observe the bustling activity right into autumn.
The blue-violet flowers of the pigeon scabious (Scabiosa) are extremely valuable as insect pasture. The species flowers continuously from May to October. There are also several varieties available that grow comparatively compactly. The stonecrop (Sedum) with its sturdy flowers is a real autumn classic and a good pollen source for wild bees. The candelabra speedwell (Veronicastrum) harmonises wonderfully with autumn grasses and is also an attractive bee pasture. The somewhat sparse Argentine verbena (Verbena) is a popular meeting place in late summer, especially for butterflies.
Tip: Late-flowering species survive the cold season more reliably if they are planted in the ground in spring.
Creating a perennial bed involves not only choosing plants that are suitable for the location, but also a suitable frame: An individual border makes the arrangement shine.