Discover 8 Dynamic Plant Combinations to Infuse Vibrant Colors into Your Autumn Garden.BaoHa

1. Black-Eyed Susan and Joe Pye Weed 

North American native (Rudbeckia hirta, USDA zones 3 to 9; is a fall favorite for good reason. They start blooming in midsummer but really come into their own by early fall — just when many other summer bloomers are looking tired. Plus, their vivid gold petals and dark centers catch the eye in an autumn garden.

In this Chicago garden by the black-eyed Susans mix with eastern North American native Eutrochium purpureum, zones 5 to 10), which bloom from July through September with butterfly-attracting mauve-pink blossoms.

Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun for black-eyed Susan; full sun to partial sun for Joe Pye weed

You can get a delicious dose of fall foliage color — without allocating the space for a tree or shrub — with autumn fern and Japanese forest grass. Both plants thrive in partial to full shade and look lovely in woodland settings or mixed in

The leaves of (Dryopteris erythrosora, zones 6 to 9) turn from medium green to a rich gold-bronze in fall.

The foliage of Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, zones 4 to 9), particularly hybrids like ‘Aureola’ or ‘All Gold’, doesn’t change color in fall, staying golden throughout the growing season (early spring to fall in cold climates; year-round elsewhere).

Water requirement: Moderate water for autumn fern; moderate to regular water for Japanese forest grass
Light requirement: Partial to full shade

Need a pro for your landscape design project?

Water requirement: Moderate to low, once established
Light requirement: Full sun

Water requirement: Moderate for switchgrass, low to moderate for sedum
Light requirement: Full sun


Light requirement: Full sun
8. Sneezeweed and Beebalm 

The magenta-purple flowers of ‘Scorpion’ beebalm (Monarda ‘Scorpion’, zones 4 to 9) complement the red-orange sneezeweed pictured in this Dutch meadow-style garden.

Aptly-named, beebalm (Monarda spp., zones 4 to 9) is a bee and butterfly magnet wherever it’s planted.

Sneezeweed (Helenium spp., zones 3 to 8) offers a late-summer to early-fall floral show. Try the speckled orange and redvariety for petals that look like they’ve been tie-dyed, or try yellow-flowered Helenium autumnale for a North American native.

Gardening tip: Deadhead sneezeweed and beebalm regularly in late summer in order to extend their blooms as long into fall as possible (up to October for sneezeweed or September for beebalm, depending on care and climate).

Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun

Tell us: Do you have any favorite fall garden planting combinations? Share with us in the Comments.

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