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Come-Agains

These plants bloom beautifully in spring, then repeat in fall.

Some things bear repeating, and these plants certainly do: They bloom beautifully in the spring, but thanks to genetics, they come back around to add color to the fall garden too.

Encore azaleas

Although most rhododendrons and azaleas sometimes rebloom in response to vagaries in the weather, this line of azaleas is programmed to do just that. The number and length of reblooms depend on the cultivar. 'Bravo' produces a mass of orange-red flowers in mid-spring and from late summer through fall. The second bloom of 'Rouge' lasts from midsummer through fall. 'Monarch' (salmon) blooms three times — spring, midsummer and early fall. The newest entry in the series is 'Autumn Belle', which covers itself with semi-double, light pink flowers with dark pink freckles in spring, in late summer and again in the fall. USDA Zones 7 to 10.

Reblooming irises

Ranking high in the top-delight-of-the-garden category is sinking my nose into the falls of a bearded iris any time, but especially when the growing season is coming to an end. Plant breeders have continued to improve on the looks while not losing the fragrance. Depending on where you live, you can expect at least one more rebloom in a season, and sometimes up to three or even four. Performance improves greatly with feeding. Unlike regular irises, which thrive on neglect, reblooming irises need to be fed. Find out more.

Lantanaphyllum viburnum (Viburnum x rhytidophylloides)
Some cultivars of this hybrid of V. lantana and V. rhytidophyllum) rebloom in the fall. One of the best is 'Willowwood', because its lustrous, deep green, nearly evergreen foliage is a beautiful backdrop for the cream-white flower clusters.

Lots more plants occasionally offer fall rebloom. Here are just a few:

  • Salvia x superba 'Mainacht' (May Night). This 1997 winner of the Perennial Plant of the Year award blooms in late spring and early summer. Cut the spent flowers, though, and it will rebloom in the summer and again in the fall. A 2- to 2-1/2-foot plant. USDA Zones 4 to 8.

  • Daphne burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'. Small, pale pink flowers have a wonderful fragrance, so even a few fall blossoms are welcome. Leaves have a yellow border in spring, aging to white.

  • Fruity germander (Teucrium gussonei)

  • Snowdrop anemone (Anemone sylvestris)

  • 'Blue Waterfall' campanula. The dark blue, bell-shaped flowers appear in summer and sometimes again in fall.

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