Perennial Sunflowers in Autumn

Want height, color, and pollinators in your late-season perennial bed? Add perennial sunflowers and their relatives, as well as false sunflowers.

Helianthus species and Heliopsis species are irresistible to butterflies. Elecampane (Inula helenium Рupper right) is a summer bloomer that attracts a wide variety of pollinators, including bees and hover flies. Often growing 6 to 8 feet tall and needing several feet of space, many of these look wonderful in the back of a perennial garden.

perennial sunflowers

perennial sunflowers

Some, such as Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), not pictured here, benefits from support. Mine easily reaches 8 or 9 feet tall and falls over every summer after a heavy rain. Many self-seed happily, and birds enjoy the seedheads in fall. We usually propagate some varieties and offer them at the NSVMGA plant sale each June!

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

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