Top 5 Texas Fall Flowers to Grow

Often times when we head to the nursery in the spring we are drawn to plants that are already blooming. We want instant gratification in our garden! However these five native Texas fall flowers are definitely worth the wait!

A key of great garden design is incorporating plants that bloom throughout the year. These fall blooms will start to shine while other perennials are fading by the end of summer.

Here in San Antonio where I live, we don’t get the typical beauty of fall with colorful fall leaves, and we’re lucky if we get cooler weather. However, we can bring in the bold colors of autumn in our garden with these fall-blooming perennials:

Texas fall flowers that thrive in cooler temperatures.
These native plants shine in the fall!

These five native Texas fall flowers not only look good, they DO good in your garden beds! They serve as host plants for butterflies and moths and provide a critical nectar source for Monarch butterflies which migrate through the state at this time of year. In fact, several of these native species are considered keystone species – some of the best pollinator plants around!

5 Texas Fall Flowers to Grow

Skip the most popular fall flowers like expensive mums, ornamental cabbage, and wax begonias at garden centers and plant these instead. Each of these are easy to grow as long as they have well-draining soil. They are not picky about soil type. 

Many of these plants will continue blooming until our first hard frost. At that point they will go dormant for the winter.

1) Shrubby Boneset (Ageratina havanensis)

Also known as White Mistflower, this plant is a pollinator magnet when in bloom from late summer to late fall. Its clusters of white flowers will attract all sorts of cool butterflies, moths, and bees.

Shrubby Boneset fall flower
Monarchs and other pollinators flock to the gorgeous blooms of Shrubby Boneset in the fall.

Shrubby Boneset is a great native shrub because it can handle full sun to part shade and can grow in the ground or in a pot with well-drained soil. I have had success growing it in both!

White Mistflower fall flower
Shrubby Boneset grows well in a pot with well-drained soil.

It has attractive green foliage even when not in bloom during the spring and summer. Pair this plant with Gregg’s Mistflower, another pollinator magnet that blooms spring to fall. 

​2) Frostweed (Verbesina virginica)

Frostweed is under-appreciated and can be hard to find at the nursery. Seek out a nursery that specializes in Texas native plants. This shade-loving plant is covered in clusters of white flowers starting in August through November. 

Fall Texas flowers Frostweed
The clusters of white blooms on Frostweed are a magnet for pollinators!

Despite including the name “weed” in its name, it is one of the best fall flowers for your garden! Monarchs rely on this plant for nectar during their early fall migration south to Mexico. Frostweed can also be grown in container gardens in a shady area.

Frostweed and Turks Cap
Frostweed is an excellent shade plant and pairs beautifully with Turk’s Cap.

Frostweed is a great addition under a tree or in a wildscape setting. I have mine growing along with other shade-loving plants like Turk’s Cap and Inland Sea Oats.

Frostweed native fall flower
Frostweed provides critical food for Monarchs on their migration. Look for its ice ribbons after a freeze!

Be sure to check these out the morning after the first frost. You may see their stems open to reveal ice ribbons!

3) Fall Aster (Symphyotrichum species)

These gorgeous flowers add a major WOW factor when in bloom. There won’t be an inch of the plant not covered in small purple flowers. The bloom period is short-lived, but worth it!

I have Fall Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) in my Central Texas garden. There are numerous aster species native to different parts of the United States. Find an aster species native to your local area.

Native Texas fall flowers
Fall Aster in full bloom is stunning!

Incorporate Fall Aster among your spring and summer blooming perennials in the garden bed. It is a nice low-growing shrub with great curb appeal when in bloom!

Fall Asters are excellent pollinator plants and are considered a keystone species. Our native bees and butterflies rely on them.

4) Goldenrod (Solidago species)

Goldenrod not only brings a gorgeous burst of bright yellow to your garden, it brings ALL the pollinators during the fall season. Like Asters, Goldenrod is considered a keystone species due to all the pollinators it supports. Find a Goldenrod species native to your local area.

Goldenrod Fall Flower Texas

Goldenrod is the perfect choice to pair with Fall Aster. In fact, in nature you’ll often see these two complementary species growing together.

You can replicate that look in an area of your garden where you don’t mind it spreading and want to create a more natural-looking garden.

Goldenrod and Asters
Goldenrod and Asters growing together in the wild. They make the perfect combo for your garden!

Some species of Goldenrod can spread aggressively, so plant it an area where you want it to spread. It can also fall over if the stalks get too tall. Pruning it back by half in early summer will give you the best results by preventing overly tall plants.

5) Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)

Another showstopper fall flower for your garden! Maximilian Sunflower can get BIG! To keep it in check, don’t give it much supplemental water. Sunflowers are yet another keystone species! Maximilian Sunflower is native to the midwestern United States.

Check out this massive Maximillian Sunflower in Kathleen’s New Braunfels garden. Talk about a statement plant!

Maximilian Sunflower

Unlike other sunflower species, Maximilian Sunflower only blooms in the fall months. These add a bright pop of yellow to your garden in the fall. These are a great choice for a wildflower bed or at the back of your flower garden.

Make a Texas Fall Flower Bouquet

Part of the fun of having a flower garden is bringing some of the gorgeous blooms inside to enjoy! You can make a beautiful fall arrangement with these flowers.

Here is a bouquet I made last fall using a variety of fall flowering plants:

Fall flower bouquet

Other Great Texas Native Plants for Fall

These Texas native plants are also at their best in the fall, however their standout features are something other than blooms.

From bright red chilies to magenta purple berries, they offer various shades of color to your fall garden. Clockwise from top left are:

Native Texas fall plants for cooler months

What Flowers to Plant in the Fall in Texas?

Did you know fall is a great time to plant native perennials in Texas? Once we have consistent cooler temperatures (and hopefully some rain) starting in mid to late September through November is a great time to add new plants to an existing bed.

Planting in the fall allows perennials to get a head start developing their root system over the winter so they will be more hardy and established by the time summer comes around.

Want to transition part of your lawn to a new flower bed? Fall is the best time to do that too! Check out my cardboard and mulch method that works like a charm!

Texas Fall Flowers


  1. I live in Elm Creek neighborhood where the deer eat the blooms off the lantanas & Turk’s caps. Do any of these fall blooming plants taste bad to deer? : )

  2. Texas aster is wonderful. I plant more of it every year. It did very well during this hot, dry summer.

    I love the look of woodland oats, but those seeds must have a germination rate of 100%… and they blow all over the place. I’ve been cutting the seed heads off when they turn brown to keep from having to pull so many little sprouts, but plan to dig all mine up this fall. It’s just too aggressive, and without the pretty seed stalks what’s the point….

    I’ve tried to grow pink Muhly grass several times, but it keeps dying. Have two pot of it right now that need to be planted out.

  3. Another great article. I grow a lot of native mistflower and it does great here in Galveston. Starting it from seed was a bit of a chore, but now I get a lot of extra plants every year, and it pops up in random locations, which I do not mind. I’m also growing Smooth Blue Aster, and they do well here. I just fall seeded a TON of spring flowers, some from Botanical Interests, and also mountain mint and Seaside goldenrod. Hoping they germinate well!

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