Plant Flowers For Fall And Wildflowers For Next Spring

2 comments by Juanita Schulze

It is time to think about planting fall flowers, both the ones that will grow now and those that need to be planted before the cold to come up in spring. In warm climates, you can grow flowers year round. Some are cool weather flowers while others need to be cold stratified to bloom in spring. Get them all in the ground by October in Texas.

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Around this time of year, you start seeing all of the red, orange, and yellow fall flowers in pots at the grocery store. Black Eyed Susans, colorful daisies, violas, pansies, petunias, coneflowers, amaranth, Cock's Comb, dahlias, zinnias, goldenrod, colorful sunflowers, and snapdragons are there to decorate your gardens and your front porches for the fall season.

Basically, get some garden pots out and order seeds for fall flowers in fall shades of browns, coppers, golds, peach, apricot, purple, reds, yellows, and oranges to make your yard look festive. Put some in the front to give your home curb appeal.

If you live in warm Texas, you can order some sunflower seeds that will grow with gorgeous browns, reds, oranges, and yellows. You will probably want to plant them right in the ground.

Dahlias and zinnias come in some gorgeous colors that will work in fall. They will keep growing until the first frost. You can put them in the ground but it might last longer if you put them in pots. If it gets cold too early, you can move the pots inside overnight. The dark purple, reds, oranges, corals, yellows, and  magentas will all look great on your front porch as you welcome autumn.

Black-eyed Susans, daisies, asters, marigolds, calendula, and coneflowers do well in Texas in the fall. They look nice in pots near your front door as well as on your patio. Daisies come in more than white. Fluffy, colorful asters are perfect in pots. Marigolds don't smell pretty but they look fabulous in all the right colors. Coneflowers have brown centers and make perfect fall flowers.

If you are looking for some smaller flowers, we plant small petunias, pansies, and violets in the fall and they do very well in cooler weather.

Amaranth, Celosia, Dianthus, and Gomphrena all have flowers that are not typical. They look very cool and can be easily mixed in with regular looking flowers for a show stopping fall flowers display. Don't forget the flowering Kale! Yes, there are non-edible kale flowers that are just beautiful. They will look stunning in your fall garden.

Each fall, we grow some snapdragons. The smaller blooms grow tall and then something happens along about February that is not supposed to happen in Texas and that never used to happen. We got some horrifying cold snap along with snow and/or ice. We then cover the snapdragons with some of that white garden "cloth" until the horribleness is gone and very magically, the snapdragons are okay and live and bloom until May or June when it is just too hot for snapdragons.

If you're like most gardeners, you want to plant wildflower seeds in the fall to come up in early spring. They will bring pollinators to your garden in the spring. In Texas, you need to plant wildflower seeds in the ground in October. In turn, you will get gorgeous spring blooms. In our Farm Store, we have a whole section with just wildflowers because they are different than regular flowers.

Most regular flower seeds do not have to be planted in fall. You can actually plant regular flower seeds in the early spring. Bluebonnets and all other wildflowers need to be put in the ground in October in Texas. Wildflower seeds need the cold temperatures that winter brings so they can properly germinate in early spring. First, if you live in Texas, you need to get your wildflower seeds in the ground during the month of October. Why? Because wildflower seeds need to be stratified. That means they need to go through a period of being cold before they will germinate. If you forget by the end of October, put them in the ground in November. I will be planting bluebonnets and maroon bluebonnets plus a handful of other Texas wildflowers this week.

Choose a nice space that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. Do not just toss a handful of wildflower seeds and wish them well. They will either blow away, wash away, or get eaten by hungry birds and bugs. Do a bit of weeding. Clear the soil. Put the seeds directly in the soil, about 1/4 or less of an inch deep and cover with soil. Then gently water them. They should come up in March. When they do, don't pick them. Let them blossom and die on the stem so they can drop their seeds. If they are allowed to reseed, that means they will come up again the next March so you don't have to replant.

We have wildflower seeds for all over the USA, not just Texas. In Texas, if you want Bluebonnets, they must go in the ground in October. People come by the store in March to buy Bluebonnet seeds. They think if they plant them in March, they will have a yard full of Bluebonnets. No. It doesn't work that way. They must go through a time of cold in order to germinate. Since October will soon be here, plan now to get wildflower seeds so that you can plant them in October for early spring blooms.

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2 comments


  • Chrissy Baker

    Thank you for posting this article. New to the planting business in Central Texas. We will be putting out seed next week.


  • Nancy Marrison

    Thanks for this information. I love growing all types of flowers. Would love to try my hand with wildflowers planted in the fall here in East Tennessee.


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