Learning Center


Beyond the Mum!

Fall Annuals are here!

This fall, if you are looking for something a little different, consider these fun, but less utilized, annuals. Marigolds, rudbeckia, zinnias and crotons all  add tons of bright, big color to fall displays. Keep reading for details about each. We will also have fun mixed planters, ready to set and enjoy!



Crotons have long been popular houseplants but they also make perfect additions to fall displays! We love that there are different kinds to choose from, that there are a variety of container sizes available, that they do well indoors during the winter, and outdoors when temps stay above 50° F.  They can take a good amount of sun, even full sun, as long as they get adequate water.  The Petra variety (shown above) features wide leaves with green, orange, red and yellow highlights. These take more water than Mammy crotons, which have longer, thinner leaves. Avoid overwatering; this can lead to the plant losing leaves.

Often times, fall arrangements are on covered porches and may not get natural rainfall. Remember to check for water and water as needed.  A moisture meter can help determine how wet the root area is.  Pick up some mums, hay bales, pumpkins, gourds, cabbage, kale, and of course, pansies while you are here to complete the whole look.



Another warm season favorite! They don’t mind a cooler temps either but again, much like a mum, a frost will slow them down a bit and a freeze will mark the end of their season.  With bright yellow, orange and rust colors, they really add clear, bright color to a fall display.


Zinnias have been a popular warm season annual for year; many are started from seed year after year!  There are always new varieties coming out, with eye-catching streaks of color in flower petals. Within the past several years, zinnias have become a popular fall plant as well. Like other fall annuals mentioned in this post, they don’t survive the winter but the bright, cheerful blooms are perfect for fall. One other great attribute of zinnias is how long they last as a cut flower!  There are several different series of zinnias with some grower taller, others staying much shorter.  Magellan (pictured above) is a wonderful series that provides blooms as large as 4-5 inches in width and stems that have the strength to hold up these big blooms!


We shared this picture to talk about annual rudbeckia (a kind of black eyed-susan) but this picture also shows a bit of Intenz celosia (magenta colored flower spikes).  As you can see, both of these plants are striking and look amazing in fall displays and in combo pots.  Celosia has been in short supply this year too but we have annual rudbeckia available as of today. Rudbeckia is pretty tough, just place in a sunny spot and avoid overwatering. The weather has cooperated this fall and everything with a bloom is selling fast, so plan a trip sooner than later! Annual rudbeckias don’t overwinter so just enjoy the blooms while they last this fall. They should last until our first freeze, which is usually in early November.

Other fall favorites include celosia mentioned and pictured above, lavender blooming plectranthus and ornamental peppers.