The 8 Most Colorful Fall-Blooming Flowers in Massachusetts

Written by Alanna Davis
Updated: November 13, 2023
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Some people might say that spring and summer are the best times of year to garden in New England, but did you know that an abundance of vibrant flowers blossom during fall? Massachusetts can get chilly as temperatures begin to drop, but these hardy flowers thrive in the cooler weather. Today we’ll explore the eight most colorful fall blooming flowers that you can add to your garden. 

8 Most Colorful Fall-Blooming Flowers in  Massachusetts
These colorful flowers make autumn gardens beautiful.

1. New England Asters

new england aster

Insects love New England asters because they provide a wealth of late-season pollen.

©Caumasee / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

This beautiful purple flower begins blooming in early fall. Perhaps best known for their ability to attract butterflies and birds to a garden, they also offer a pop of color and are easy to care for. New England asters grow well in either sunlight or shade and can grow at a quick pace. This means that even if you’re late to start planting, they’ll likely still reach their full potential by the end of the season.

2. Daylilies 

Daylily

There are roughly 80,000 varieties of daylilies available to choose from.

©iStock.com/onepony

While we’re on the subject of low-maintenance flowers, daylilies are some of the simplest to care for of all. This flower thrives in a variety of conditions, able to endure both low moisture and high heat. It comes in an array of colors, such as white, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. Some species of daylilies bloom multiple times a year, first during spring and again at the beginning of autumn, enabling you to enjoy their beauty over and over again.  

3. Virginian Witch Hazel

Yellow and burgundy inflorescences of Witch hazel. Hamamelis in full bloom.

Witch hazel is a popular component in treatment for skin conditions.

©Anna Gratys/Shutterstock.com

This unassuming flower may look delicate, but it is hardy enough to bloom well into late fall. Virginian witch hazel is a flower native to the Northeast, often found growing in Massachusetts. When it first blooms, the petals have a green tone to them, which slowly fades into a bright yellow as the season progresses. This flower has many medicinal purposes, making it functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. However, Japanese beetles are known to feed on this plant, so you’ll want to be on the lookout if you decide to add this to your garden. 

4. Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan is a popular perennial due to its hardiness and beauty.

©iStock.com/Dopeyden

Another robust and low-maintenance flower to add to your garden is the black-eyed Susan. This flower is able to grow in a variety of conditions and withstand harsh weather. As long as there is a sufficient amount of sunlight, the black-eyed Susan will thrive. However, they can be successful in low-sunlight areas as well, just growing to shorter heights. Much like the New England asters, they have a reputation for attracting butterflies. This is a great choice if you’re seeking to make your garden more lively. 

5. Autumn Crocus 

Autumn Crocus, Garden, Autumn, Beauty, Blossom

These flowers often grow directly from the soil without leaves.

©Kristine Radkovska/ via Getty Images

Although this flower is called a crocus, it’s actually not a crocus at all. Belonging to the genus Colchicum, its name only comes from the visual similarities it shares. With broad purple petals and a white throat, it’s easy to see where the confusion came from. This flower is poisonous, making it a good choice if your garden is being picked over by unwanted visitors. Rabbits, deer, and other small rodents avoid this flower, ensuring you’ll be able to enjoy its beauty long into the fall. However, due to its toxicity, it is recommended to keep pets away and wash your hands after handling this flower. 

6. Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Gentiana ‘True Blue’ blue perennial blooms in fall

The true blue variety of

Gentiana

flowers will add a beautiful blue hue to your garden.

©MorganCJ/Shutterstock.com

When fall comes around, many flowers die off and leave gardens looking a bit duller. If you’re concerned about having gaps in your flowers’ bloom times, the addition of true blue gentians might be the solution. This vibrant blue flower introduces a pop of color that will help transition your garden from late summer to early fall. Like most of the other flowers we’ve listed, true blue gentians are low maintenance and easy to grow. This flower is best grown in Zone 4 to Zone 7, which Massachusetts is a part of. 

7. Sneezeweed

Orange helenium sneezeweed 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' in flower

The genus name,

Helenium

, was inspired by the famous Helen of Troy.

©Alex Manders/Shutterstock.com

Blooming in late summer and early fall, this beautiful flower is commonly known as sneezeweed. This nickname comes from its use during ancient times. The leaves of this plant were plucked, dried, and ground into a powder which was then inhaled to induce sneezing. Unlike many of the flowers we’ve covered so far, sneezeweed may be a bit more labor-intensive to grow. It prefers lots of sunlight, water, and space to grow. Take care not to accidentally overcrowd this flower, as it can stunt its growth.

8. Coneflowers

Coneflower, Echinacea, Agricultural Field, Flower, Pink Color

Coneflowers are one of the most popular types of wildflowers in North America.

©iStock.com/Jasmina81

Echinacea, more commonly known as “coneflowers,” is a part of the daisy family. These flowers are beloved by both animals and humans alike. They are known for attracting bugs, butterflies, and birds but they also have beneficial medicinal properties as well. This flower is used as a remedy for a variety of ailments, such as the common cold and coughs. These flowers are most commonly bright pink but also come in shades of purple, orange, yellow, and red. 

Fall can be a tricky time of year to garden due to the unpredictable temperature fluctuations. Luckily, these fall-blooming flowers are relatively easy to grow and maintain, making them a great choice for novice and expert gardeners alike. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to attract more butterflies and birds or extend the beauty of your garden until the first frost. There is a wealth of flowers capable of growing well into the autumn in Massachusetts. 

Summary of the 8 Most Colorful Fall-Blooming Flowers in Massachusetts

FlowerBloom Time
1New England AstersEarly Fall
2Daylilies Spring and Fall
3Virginian Witch HazelFall
4Black-Eyed SusanEarly Summer to Fall
5Autumn Crocus Fall
6Gentiana ‘True Blue’Late Summer to Early Fall
7SneezeweedLate Summer to Early Fall
8ConeflowersFall

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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