Landscape Ideas: Fall Annuals
By Maria Bargellini of Dallas Curb Appeal Inc.
We are lucky here in Texas to have great fall weather and a nice long season. The perfect time for planting your annuals is right now. There are two common mistakes people make with planting fall annuals.
Planting too Late
Planting too Early
Most common reason why these mistakes are made
My begonias look fantastic
Landscapers just want to plant now
It doesn’t feel like fall yet
Choosing your Plants–Early Fall to Frost
Mums: Love Chrysanthemums, nothing says autumn like mums. Unfortunately the blooms do not last long so when you buy them don’t expect to see those gorgeous blooms for more than a few weeks.
Crotons: There are many varieties of Crotons available on the market. These beautiful plants have a long growing season here-lasting from spring till frost with care. They are sold as annuals because they cannot handle our frost but they are actually evergreen or ever tropical and can be brought inside to over winter. The foliage colors on these plants scream autumn with golds, orange, red, and green leaves.
Peppers: Ornamental peppers come in many varieties. My favorite is the black pearl. With dark purple foliage and black fruit that ripes to red it is a striking plant. It will die down at frost but miraculously sometimes they will come back in the summer.
Fall to Winter
Pansies: Bigger flowers don’t necessarily mean more followers or better displays. I know-I know–everything is bigger in Texas– In my experience I find that the mid to smaller size pansies flower more profusely, handle the freeze better and stay around a bit longer in the heat–no that that should stop you from planting summer plants but you can definitely use them in early spring when in some shade. The collasus or XXL Pansies are very pretty but are never really as full as their smaller cousins. Both are attractive and it’s your personal choice, you can always mix them too.
Ornamental Cabbage: This isn’t the kind that you eat but it’s much prettier. Cabbage also comes in a variety of colors. The most popular is red, which is more of a purple to pink color, and green which has a white center. They do well in our weather and look fantastic all season. In the early spring it will grow these tall yellow flowers. I cut them off because I don’t like how they look but you’re free to leave them if you like.
Flowering Kale: Ornamental Kale is a really pretty plant ans it is often confused with Cabbage. My Favorite is the Red Bore Kale. It’s taller and has a great purple color. Red or White Peacock Kale has scalloped edges and isn’t as common as the Kale normally seen. Some of these also flower at the end of the season and you can either keep or cut these also.