The garden doesn’t have to die off in Autumn in Ireland, and you can add a splash of colour to your border with some Autumn perennial and annual plants. Let me share some plants that will be happy in your Irish garden.
Whether you have a garden border or want to create some colourful pots, you can create an Autumn display that adds colour from September until the first frost. Keeping the garden colourful until them dark Irish nights creep in.
It is important to prepare your autumn beds before planting any autumn perennials. Remove all weeds, including perennial weeds, and add some peat-free compost or organic matter to the soil to condition it.
When planting in containers this time of year, pots can become waterlogged. Make sure there is plenty of drainage in your containers and soil.
Autumn plants that grow best in Ireland
Chrysanthemums ( or Mums as some call them) are Annual plants, and they bloom from September to the first frost.
Chrysanthemums grow to 40cm tall and are easy to grow. Grow them in a bright well-drained border or container.
Chrysanthemums will tolerate some shade, but they need plenty of sunshine if you want to enjoy the flowers. Plant Chrysanthemums in Autumn, directly into a well-drained soil mix. When planting in a border, space the plants 15cm apart in rows 20cm apart.
These plants look great in pots but remember to add drainage to them. You can pick established Chrysanthemums up in garden centres from early August. Remember, as Chrysanthemums are annuals, they will die when the temperature drops and the frost arrives.
Dahlias are perfect autumn plants because they stand out against autumn foliage. The colours will be even more eye-catching as the evenings get darker, giving you an extra burst of autumn colour.
Dahlias are tender annuals. However, you can overwinter them in a frost-free glasshouse or shed.
You can grow Dahlias from seed, but it is much easier to buy plants that are already started.
The Dahlia seeds I sowed this year are not as good as the Dahlias I purchased from the garden centre. I had 14 dahlia plants from seed, and only about half of them flowered.
Dahlias can be grown in pots or borders, but choose well-drained beds and in full sun, as these will get you the most blooms.
Regular deadheading will encourage more growth and feed once a week while they are flowering.
While Cyclamen will flower throughout Winter, you can purchase them now from garden centres. The Autumn Cyclamen plants in garden centres will already have been started, and they can be placed outside now without fear of frost.
Cyclamen enjoy a sunny spot, and they don’t like to be too soggy. From experience, when mine have gotten too much water, they started to wilt. Cyclamen are best grown in well-drained pots and look perfect mixed with other plants in an Autumn container.
Winter pansies are one of my favourites, as they can bloom throughout Autumn and Winter. The pansy petals are small and delicate, but bright enough to give a pop of colour to containers and borders.
To keep your Winter pansies flowering longer, cut off dead blooms as needed. You can purchase these in trays from garden centres, or you can try and grow them from seed.
Heuchera known as Coral Bells
Heuchera or coral bells are a semi-evergreen perennial that adds colour to your border with its beautiful foliage.
I planted two Heuchera’s back in 2020, and I was impressed by how hardy they were. I removed them from pots and added them to the woodland corner I created back in May.
Heuchera’s don’t mind a bit of shade, and they are performing well in the shady spot under my tree.
Heucheras come in many varieties and can be grown in containers or garden beds. I bought a few more varieties, and one of them has a lovely orange Autumnal foliage, perfect for brightening up my woodland corner.
Ornamental cabbage and kale
If you have room in your autumn garden, try planting ornamental cabbage or kale. Kale and cabbages can grow quite large, but they look fun in Autumn displays.
Cabbages and kale do well in autumn containers because they can stand up to frost.
Cabbage plants have pretty foliage. When they fade away just before Christmas, you’ll be left with a perfect container for Christmas decorations!
You might notice some ornamental cabbages appearing in floral displays, ( very Instgrammable). However, bear in mind that these can become stinky, so I prefer to use them in the garden and not indoors.
When I think of Autumn, I think of pretty orange foliage, and everything turns golden. Autumn is the season for the trees to show off with their colourful foliage.
An Acer will add colour to your Autumn garden through its foliage. They can be grown in large pots or within a border. Most of the purple and green leaf varieties will tolerate full sun.
Brighten up a dull patio with some Begonias! Perfect for use in hanging baskets or add to an Autumn display container.
You can also get dark leaf Begonias that will give you that Autumn hue in your hanging basket. Pick up a tray of these down at the garden centre or your local nurseries. You can also shop online in Ireland for your Autumn plants.
Have fun planting in your garden this Autumn
While I think Autumn is the time for the trees to show off their golden colour, I believe we can complement them with flowering plants to add a pop of colour.
At the moment, I am creating some raised beds for next year, but I might have a shot at growing some Winter veg.
I will keep you posted on my YouTube and keep an eye on my blog for my DIY raised beds.
The Autumn plants above that I have mentioned are quite common in Ireland, but I would love to know if there is a plant that you love at this time of year in your garden’s. Please comment below in the comments section to share with others.
Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine.