Plant now for autumn colour

autumn colour

Now is the time to plant autumn-blooming perennials so they can settle in before their autumn showtime.

In tropical and subtropical areas, sun-tolerant impatiens continue producing endless colour well into the cooler months. Gaura, Michaelmas daisy and other perennial asters flourish in cooler areas. Japanese windflowers make a massed autumn display in a range of climates, as do penstemon, rudbeckia, daylily and dwarf dahlias. All give repeat performances in following years.

Plectranthus varieties, such as the compact ‘Mona Lavender’, are good choices for an autumn show in shaded beds. And don’t forget to check out the seemingly endless parade of new salvia introductions for sunny spots.

Prepare the soil before planting by mixing in compost. Mulch well, water regularly at the base of the plant, and rig up some temporary shade over the new plantings on super-hot days.

You’ll find more than 50 gardening jobs and projects to do this month, including how to net fruit trees and care for a living Christmas tree, in the December issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.