Add fresh excitement to your displays this autumn with Horticultural Trades Association’s (HTA) ‘Plant of the Moment’ for September– perennials.

Several hardy perennials have been patiently growing all year, waiting for their turn to take centre stage. And now their time has come to burst into bloom and fill your garden with vibrant colour.

Japanese anemones are always a favourite. Tall and bold, their simple flowers in shades from pink to white really celebrate the season. They’re adaptable too, growing in sites from full sun to partial shade.

Commonly called Ice Plants, the thick fleshy foliage of sedum varieties add interest throughout the year, from the moment it develops in spring. Varieties are available with foliage colours from green to grey and deep purple, and some with variegated green and white leaves look particularly impressive grown individually in small terracotta pots. Their flowers come in eye-catching colours from pure white to pink and red, proving as attractive to us as they are bees and butterflies.

Michaelmas Day is celebrated on 29th September, and lends its name to one of the most valuable hardy perennials to flower through September and October, the Michaelmas Daisies. Many are varieties of the New York aster, Aster novi-belgii, but several other types of aster are available too. A succession of blooms gives asters long-lasting appeal, and they make great cut flowers too.

So visit your local garden centres and nurseries now to discover a wonderful selection of fashionably late perennials that will transform your autumn garden, keeping the colour and interest going well into winter.

Favourite late flowering plants

  • Asters and Michaelmas Daisies
  • Ice Plant (Sedum spectabile and other varieties)
  • Japanese Anemones
  • Verbena

Top tips for planning and planting

  • When planning your borders always choose a selection of plants that flower at different times through the year so there’s always something colourful to enjoy.
  • Plant taller growing autumn flowering varieties behind low growing summer ones so they’ll grow up above them once summer displays fade away.
  • A small group of, say, three plants of one variety often looks more impressive than choosing three different things.
  • Leave old flowers on Verbena bonariensis to set seed and release this over the surrounding border to develop into new plants that will flower in following years.

Other popular autumn flowering plants

  • Alstroemeria
  • Bergamot (Monarda)
  • Carex
  • Cranesbill (Hardy Geranium)
  • Dahlias
  • Echinacea
  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Atropurpureum’
  • Ornamental Grasses
  • Monk’s hood (Aconitum carmichaelii)
  • Pennisetum varieties
  • Prairie Daisy (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia)

Visit www.the-hta.org.uk/plantofthemoment for more information and to download the media pack which features: plant information for each month including top plants, tips and companion plant ideas, high and low-resolution photos, plus Point-of-Sale samples from Floramedia and Hortipak.

Photo - ©Adam Pasco Media

Hi-res versions available upon request.

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