Fall Annuals

Fall and Winter Annuals

While perennials come back each season, annuals complete their life cycles in a single growing season. Compared to perennials, annuals are fast growing, which means you won’t have to wait long to see some color in your fall and winter gardens. Fall is a great time to plant annuals as many of them, like the ones listed below, have fall blooms and enjoy cool seasons. If you find that you’re not able to commit to any perennials just yet, then annuals are the answer!

Here are a few of our favorite fall and winter annuals:


Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana) are a popular fall annual because they are easy to grow and offer a wide range of colors. This plant comes in shades of red, purple, pink, blue yellow, and many more. Pansies enjoy full sun, moist soil, and cooler climates, which means fall is a great time to incorporate them into your garden.


Though similar in shape and coloring, violas are smaller and have more blooms than pansies. While both do well in colder temperatures, violas are known to last longer throughout the winter season and even maintain their blooms. When caring for your violas, be sure to water regularly and place them in an area that receives full fun.


Sun-loving celosia’s vibrant and feathery blooms add a whimsical touch to any garden. This plant does best when placed in full light and given just enough, but not too much, water. As a taller plant, celosia has a tendency to grow a bit more haphazardly than other plants, so keep this in mind if you’re going for a more polished look.


Dianthus’ spicy clove-like fragrance makes it especially great for fall and winter gardens. This plant comes in colors ranging from its standard pink, to yellow, to purple, and red. Some varieties are self-sowing, meaning that even though they’re annuals, they will spread seeds when mature.

Ornamental Kale & Cabbage

Ornamental kale and cabbage offer a unique look and texture unlike any other. While other plants lose their color in the fall, these plants shows off their vibrant purple and white centers when the weather gets cool and lasts throughout the winter season. Ornamental kale and cabbage can survive in partial shade, but prefer moist, well drained soil.


If your goal is color, chrysanthemums are the flower for you! Coming in a wide range of rich colors, chrysanthemums, or mums for short, are the perfect fall annual. Their bright blooms and mounded shape are a great way to add fun texture to a garden landscape. When caring for mums, be sure to water regularly and keep in mind that sunlight means better blooms!

Visit Patuxent Nursery today to see our current selection of fall annuals!

For more information on fall annuals, check out our blog:

Mixing Annuals and Perennials for Fall Color

How to Prepare Your Garden for Fall