5 Fall Plants to Delight the Senses

You can create your own sensory garden and fall bounty next year by including these autumn standouts in your landscape now.

Eye-catching and exuberant, San Antonio’s gardens are on full display this fall after September’s historic rains. Take some time out of your busy schedule to wind down on a neighborhood walk and enjoy the (extra) sensory show.

Better yet, add some plants to your own garden — this is one of the best months for planting in San Antonio!

Ready to charm the neighbors and your senses? Here are five of my fall favorites.

Fall Aster

This Texas native stole my heart the first fall it exploded into bloom in my garden and became honeybee central for several weeks. But over the last few years, I’ve noticed fewer bees of any kind visiting its purple blossoms. Choose this attractive perennial to plant for pollinators!


The classic autumn color of these natives brightens gardens and offers bees an abundant source of nectar and pollen late in the season. Their buzzing makes a soothing background symphony as you lounge on the deck or patio. Keep an eye out for butterflies, beetles, birds and other visitors to this plant! You may even discover a goldenrod ball gall or crab spider.

Mexican Mint Marigold

Get your own taste of fall with this aromatic herb. Often called Mexican tarragon, this garden favorite has sunny yellow blooms and licorice-scented leaves. Toss the leaves into salads and chicken dishes or make your own tea. It’s a low-maintenance fall bloomer that thrives in our climate.

Gulf Muhly

It’s hard to resist running your fingers through the soft, airy flower plumes of this native bunchgrass. If you have room, plant it in masses to enjoy the full effect — like a sunset of rosy clouds floating above the grasses. A little breeze creates waves and magical movement to your garden.

White Mistflower

Fragrant white blossoms cover this native shrub in the fall, drawing butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. After the fall show, cut it back each winter to encourage a lavish display of blooms next autumn.

Picture of Sasha Kodet
Sasha Kodet
Sasha Kodet is a conservation planner whose large garden attracts a myriad of wildlife and curious neighbors with minimal water. At SAWS, Kodet develops outdoor programs to help people create their own beautiful, water-saving landscapes. She draws on her two decades of experience as a naturalist, botanical garden educator and event planner. Kodet enjoys (really) long walks in the woods and has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail.
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