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4 Fall-Friendly Florals to Brighten Up Your Landscape

Brighten up your dreary, post-summer yard by planting splashes of color throughout your flower beds and containers with these recommendations by Shane Cook of Treeland Nurseries in Mesa (

By Lori A. Johnson

SuperCal Petchoa  

(Petunia Calibrachoa hybrid) 

• Perennial • Showy blooms; multiple colors • 12″-16″H by 18″-24″W • Well-drained potting soil • Zones 10-11 • Full to partial sun • Medium water; medium maintenance • Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

This fast-growing cross hybrid is available in many colors to brighten your garden with large, 2-inch flowers that never need deadheading. Biweekly fertilization will keep flowers at peak bloom from spring through fall. Prune as needed to maintain mounding shape.
Why we like it: “The SuperCal Petchoa is a cross between a petunia and a calibrachoa, combining the best characteristics of both,” Cook tells us. “They are a great option for pots and hanging baskets, spreading 18 inches to 24 inches wide. SuperCal Petchoa also perform well in our climate as they are heat- and cold-tolerant.”

Limbo Petunia  

(Petunia x hybrida) 

• Annual • Showy blooms; multiple colors • 5″-10″H by 10”-12″W • Well-drained potting soil • Zones 10-11 • Full sun • Medium water; low maintenance • Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

Available in multiple colors with a pleasant aroma, Limbo petunias are known for their huge, 4-inch-or-larger blooms. They are virtually maintenance free, although they perform best with regular fertilization.
Why we like it: “The Limbo series of petunias produces the same large blooms of regular petunias, but the plant itself stays smaller and denser. Limbo’s naturally compact growth habit prevents them from stretching out and looking leggy as regular petunias commonly do. If you are layering your flower bed, they make a great mid-layer growing 10 inches tall and wide,” Cook says.

Dynamo Zonal Geranium  

(Pelargonium x hortorum ‘Dynamo’) 

• Perennial • Showy blooms; multiple colors • 12″-14″H by 12″-14″W • Well-drained potting soil • Zones 9-12 • Full to partial sun • Medium water; medium maintenance • Attracts hummingbirds

Zonal geraniums flower best in full sun, though in temperatures over 90 degrees, they do best in partial shade. Biweekly fertilization and regular deadheading of spent blooms keeps them looking their best when grown in containers. Let dry thoroughly between waterings.
Why we like it: “The Dynamo series of geraniums produces a longer continuous bloom with large, bright flower heads throughout the season compared to other geraniums,” Cook says. “Growing to 12 inches to 14 inches tall and wide, they provide a great burst of color as the centerpiece in your flower beds and containers.”

Sweet Alyssum ‘Snow Crystals’  

(Lobularia maritima ‘Snow Crystals’) 

• Annual • Profuse blooms; white • 6″-10″H by 12″-14″W • Well-drained loamy soil • Zones 9-11 • Full to partial sun • Medium water; low maintenance • Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

A petite plant with a pleasant, honeylike scent, ‘Snow Crystals’ blooms profusely with dense clusters of white flowers. It performs best when fertilized regularly and the flowers should be deadheaded throughout the blooming season.
Why we like it: “‘Snow Crystals’ Alyssum have been a staple in flower beds for decades,” Cook says. “Their fragrant, pure-white blooms cover the entire plant, providing color throughout the entire season. They tolerate our warm days in early fall and late spring. Snow Crystals stay low and create the perfect border along the edge of flower beds.”


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