Our Picks: September

You can feel fall in the air, but don't worry, our gardens are far from slowing down. In fact, fall is one of the loveliest times in the Pacific Northwest garden, as foliage shows spectacular color, new flowers pop-up, and certain summer plants just keep right on performing until frost. Here are a few of our favorites for the late-summer-to-fall season.


Heather (Calluna vulgaris)

Heather blooms summer to fall and many varieties have foliage with striking fall color. Look for a variety of colors: white, bright pink, mauve, and more. Scotch Heathers prefer sandy, peaty soils and little to no fertilizer. Shear after blooming to help keep this evergreen shrub compact and bushy. 

  • Full sun

  • Well-drained soil

  • 4"-3' tall x 24" wide, depending on variety


Gulf Stream Nandina

This outstanding shrub displays attractive foliage in all four seasons. New growth is orangey-scarlet maturing to a blue-green color in summer. Hardy and virtually pest and disease free, this plant also has the added bonus of beautiful fall color.

  • Sun to partial shade

  • Well-drained soil

  • 3-4' tall and wide

Helenium Mariachi Bandera.jpg


With glowing gold, orange, and red blooms mid-summer through fall, Helenium is a standout in the garden. This perennial grows about anywhere so it's a great plant for beds, borders, and containers. Excellent for cut flower arrangements. Combines well with Echinacea and Gaura.

  • Full sun

  • Average, well-drained soil; low-water use plant

  • 12"-24" tall x 15"-18" wide, depending on variety


Little Lemon Dwarf Goldenrod

Little Lemon Dwarf Goldenrod is a compact, long-blooming perennial with cheerful, lemon-yellow flower spikes that arch gracefully in September and October. Attracts bees and butterflies and looks great in the late summer with Echinacea, Agastache, and Penstemon.

  • Sun to partial shade

  • Average, well-drained soil

  • 12" tall and wide


Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemones are great choice for the late summer and fall garden. Snow white or pink flowers late summer to early fall. This plant needs little attention once it is established and spreads to a large clump.  Look beautiful when combined with Miscanthus grass and silver-leaved shrubs.

  • Partial shade

  • Average to dry soil; low-water use plant

  • 2'-4' tall and wide, depending on variety

Sedum autumn joy.jpg

Autumn Joy Sedum

This sturdy perennial is as tough and dependable as they come, with pink flower clusters that gracefully age to rosy, coppery-red in the fall and succulent foliage. Looks great when paired with grasses. Attracts pollinators and butterflies.

  • Full Sun

  • Well-drained soil; low water-use plant

  • 18"-24" tall and wide


Viola and Pansy

Cheerful, bright colors and long blooms make Pansies a favorite. Tucking pansies around taller, showier plants can really refresh your containers and garden beds fall-spring. Deadheading spent flowers will result in more blooms.

  • Sun to partial shade (dislikes hot sun)

  • Rich, well-drained soil

  • 3"-12" tall and wide, depending on variety



Chrysanthemums (or mums, as they are commonly called) are the quintessential fall flower. These lovely, multi-petaled flowers come in a wide variety of colors and bloom from late summer through fall. Mums make a great cut flower as well.

  • Full sun

  • Rich, well-drained soil

  • 12"-24" tall and wide, depending on variety


September is a great time to plant and to find the best selection of plants to brighten up your fall garden. And, during our Fall Sale, all trees, shrubs, perennials (including grasses, groundcovers, and herbs), and 8" mums are 30% off!

Our experts are happy to offer more great fall plant selections or you can ask us on social media using #heyswansons.