Dragon’s Breath Celosia

Q: What brightly colored flowers can I grow for fall and winter?

A: The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of a bright, tropical-looking garden. When the weather finally cools down, adding bright colors to your garden can keep the summer fun going long into the fall and winter months. Annual color plants with interesting shapes and textures contribute to a tropical feel and often feature brightly colored blooms.

If you are a fan of fantasy TV shows or movies, a great plant to try is Dragon’s Breath Celosia. The flowers look like blazing-red tongues of flame and the deep red-green foliage is equally showy. Although its name may not be as flashy, the wallflower also will ignite your garden with fragrant yellow, orange and purple flowers.

A full-sun plant that works well in pots is Nemesia or cape jewels. The “Sunsatia” series has a dainty look with bright yellow, red or orange flowers. For a trailing border plant with big flowers, look to the “Wave” petunia to fill in with lots of bright colors like magenta, purple and yellow. If you want to keep your garden simple, add Calendula or marigolds with bright yellow and orange daisies.

Check with your local nursery to source these eye-catching fall garden additions.

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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