The Q&A Archives: suggested plants for porch

Question: Besides mums, what would you suggest for a covered porch in NJ for the early fall season - sept through october...similar to the image on the web site with two white rocking chairs, I'm looking for some colorful options for the porch and its steps...

Answer: Lots of annuals like cool weather. I'd plant pansies, ornamental kale, and snapdragons. Perennials include Aster novi-belgii (Michaelmas Daisy);In shades of pink, purple, blue and white, these delicate daisy-like blossoms start popping open in late August and continue on until frost. Pinching in the early summer turns these Asters into mounds with dozens of flower buds. [p]Asters will tend to creep throughout your garden, but their airiness allows them to blend particularly well with other flowers. Sedum 'Autumn Joy' comes as close to perfection as any plant can. It looks good all year, requires minimal attention and attracts few problems. It's only drawback is that it is not deer resistant. 'Autumn Joy' has been joined in the garden by a growing number of fall wonders like: 'Bertram Anderson, 'Brilliant' and 'Matrona'. No fall garden is complete without sedum. Chelone (Turtlehead)
Nick-named for their blossoms shaped like turtles heads, Chelone is a carefree fall blooming perennial whose only real dislike is excessive dry heat. Chelone behaves itself, growing in a dense clump with attractive foliage and red, pink or white blooms. Caryopteris (Blue Mist Shrub) is a sub-shrub that is often grown in the perennial garden. Caryopteris slowly blossoms in August with dazzling blue flower clusters. Just try and keep the butterflies and bees away. Caryopteris is cut back in early spring, like a Buddleia, and the gray-green foliage is attractive all season.

Best wishes with your garden!

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