What’s New at the Nursery

Fall Annuals

As we transition into fall, many of our favorite summer flowers have wilted, withered and left behind a tired and shabby landscape.  Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you have to settle for a drab colorless garden.  There are many cool-season annual varieties you can plant now to provide your garden with a brilliant color palette throughout autumn. Fall annuals look great in your garden beds and patio pots and many are hardy enough to survive temperatures of 20 degrees or less.  Before you throw in the trowel and give up on the season, try adding the following fall annuals into your landscape:


While pansies are perhaps best known for their multi-colored petals and scrunchy little faces, they are also one of the most popular cool weather annuals. They grow best when night temperatures are below 65 F, which makes them ideal for this time of year. Pansies will survive a frost and even if the blooms wilt in a hard freeze, the plants often endure. Pansies are a great way to add color to your garden beds and patio containers throughout the fall season and pair well with many other fall annuals and perennials.


Flowering Cabbage & Kale

Flowering cabbage and flowering kale are leafy annuals used as ornamental plants. They hold up well to frosty temperatures and offer dramatic color and texture in the garden.  Flowering cabbage and kale pair well with just about every fall flower and look great in garden borders and containers. While otherwise similar in color, appearance, and size, flowering cabbage has smooth edged leaves and flowering kale has serrated or frilly edged leaves. Both plants are technically edible but the taste is less than desirable as they were bred for their ornamental appearance and not for taste.


Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller is grown for its soft silvery-gray, fern-like foliage that offers a stunning contrast to the bright blooms and green leaves of other cool weather annuals. It’s the perfect filler plant for mixed containers and makes a terrific border or edging plant as well. Dusty Miller is deer-resistant, drought-resistant, and disease-resistant.



Snapdragons are an excellent option for fall blooming annuals.  They have bright, cheery colors and are one of the few flowers that come in almost every color.  They are best known for their blooms that open and close like a dragon’s mouth when squeezed, making them a fan favorite of young gardeners everywhere.  Snapdragons work great in pots, planters, garden beds, as well as cut flower arrangements.  Their mix of color and height makes them a great candidate for placement towards the back of the garden bed.



Dianthus are another cool-season stunner with beautiful flowers and aromatic fragrances. While they might not look so tough, dianthus can keep on blooming even after a light frost. You’ll find dianthus in a range of colors, including shades of pink, white, red and purple. With so many color choices there’s an ideal variety for almost any color pallet.  Dianthus have bluish-gray, grass-like foliage that contrasts nicely with the warm color tones typically found in the autumn landscape. The mounded shape and long bloom time make dianthus perfect for containers or placed towards the front of garden beds and borders. Either way, be sure to plant them somewhere close to you so you can enjoy their pleasing fragrance.

Originally published on September 1, 2018.  

New Gifts & Decor

Often overshadowed by our unrivaled selection of plants, Fort Collins Nursery has a wonderful assortment of gifts and décor that is certainly worth some extra attention. Each summer, our gift shop buyer Troy visits the Las Vegas Gift Show to scour the show floors in search of fun new items to bring into the store. Keep an eye out for lots of new and unique gifts in the coming months, including these great items already in stock:

Vintage Posters

Make your own vintage poster with the vintage poster kit from Cavallini & Co. This do-it yourself kit has everything you need to turn your favorite Cavallini poster into a vintage-inspired wall hanging chart. This poster set offers an easy alternative to framing and brightens any office or living space. At Fort Collins Nursery, you’ll find poster kits plus a great selection of individually sold vintage posters featuring various subjects like maps, fruits, flowers, insects, bikes, and vegetables.

World’s Softest® Socks

Also new to the Fort Collins Nursery gift shop this month is the aptly named World’s Softest® Sock collection.  World’s Softest® Socks have been manufactured with care in Niota, Tennessee since 1991 and were born from one single thought…Softness.  While the label says they are made of 98% polyester and 2% spandex, we suspect they are actually spun from fluffy clouds and marshmallows. These socks are the ultimate in comfort and are available in many patterns and colors just in time for fall!

Good Paper Gift Cards

Good Paper Gift Cards are a wonderfully playful new line of greeting cards from Fair Trade Winds.  Each card is handcrafted and beautifully designed from recycled office scraps.  The collection features a variety of humorous and delightfully cheeky cards designed to commemorate life’s special occasions or simply lift the spirits of someone close to you.  Good Paper cards are also cards with a cause. Good Paper works with women who have escaped sex trafficking and exploitation to create their Sanctuary Springs greeting cards. Through their work crafting handmade greeting cards, the women establish a new life full of hope. Good Paper also works with young adults orphaned by HIV and Aids in Rwanda. Each card is hand-signed by its maker, connecting you to the life your purchase helps transform. 


Originally published on September 1, 2018.  

Fall Nursery Stock

When fall comes around, many nurseries are wrapping up the season and ready to shut the doors for the winter. You can typically expect to find the same tired looking stock that has been out on the shelves all season, the leftovers of what has not sold.  Not at Fort Collins Nursery!  Each fall we release loads of fresh, new plants into our inventory throughout the month of September.  We have freshly stocked perennials including all of your fall favorites like mums and asters plus dozens of new shrubs and trees that were grown right here at the nursery by our wonderful production team.  We also receive truck-loads of great new tree stock from several of our trusted wholesalers. Our fall selection is hands down the best you’ll find, and fall is a great time to plant – warm soils encourage rapid root establishment, while the coming cold weather means the plants aren’t spending energy growing foliage and blooming, leaving all that energy for root growth.

Originally published on September 1, 2018.  



Gardening, like many things in life, is all about planning ahead. The bulbs you plant this fall will lie dormant through the winter months before producing those delicate pretty flowers that push through the melting snow and usher in spring. We have received our first batch of bulbs for the season and they are ready for you to take home. Choose from a variety of quality bulbs and roots including Crocus, Narcissus, Allium, Iris, and Tulips.  We’ll have many more fall bulb arrivals throughout the month so please call or come by to check inventory on your favorite varieties.

Originally published on September 5, 2018.  Updated on September 1, 2018.



Did you know that garlic is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods and contains many medicinal properties that aid in combating colds, improving cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure? This close relative of the onion also tastes great and kick up any soup or sauce recipe. Fall is the best time to plant garlic for a bigger harvest next summer, so check out our great selection and make garlic a must-have addition to your fall planting list.

Originally published on September 1, 2016.  Updated on September 1, 2018.


Fall Pansies

Summer may be gone but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on having colorful flowers in your garden! Pansies are hardy in cool weather and are a great way to add color to your garden beds and patio containers throughout the fall season. They grow best when night temperatures are below 65 F, making them ideal for this time of year. We’ll have a great selection of colorful pansies throughout the season for all your planting projects. Their scrunchy little faces are smiling and longing for you to take them home with you!


Originally published on September 5, 2017.  Updated on September 1, 2018.


After the completion of our end of season Yard Sale, our greenhouse is looking a little thin. Fear not, we’re bringing in two new trucks of houseplants from California and Florida in the coming weeks to fill our empty benches. You can expect new philodendrons, dracaena, crotons, fiddle leaf figs, citrus plants, Chinese evergreen and more.  We’re also expecting some fun new arrivals like large 5 gallon indoor cactus and agave as well as fresh shipments of ferns and blooming houseplants.  Take a stroll through our greenhouse and check back periodically to see what other great delights you’ll find! Don’t forget to check out our great pottery selection to give your new plant a fashionable and functional space to live.

Originally published on September 4, 2018.  

Mums & Asters

Looking for a blast of color this autumn? Add colorful chrysanthemums and brilliant asters to your flower bed or fall container garden!  Choose from a huge range of varieties of these prolific, hardy and beautifully bushy perennials grown here at Fort Collins Nursery.

Mums come in a wide variety of colors including yellow, pink, magenta, red, lavender, and more.  Blooms on mums typically last for weeks providing a late-summer boost when other flowers have given out.  Tip: to delay blooming until fall for your mums next season, pinch them back in early july. More info on pinching mums here

Fort Collins Nursery also offers a great selection of colorful asters, another hardy late-summer and autumn bloomer.  Small, abundant, star-shaped flowers tower on 2-3 foot plants, providing a nice backdrop in perennial beds, and available in shades of purple, blue, and red.

Both mums and asters appreciate full sun, and a good dose of compost when planted. They also prefer to be watered at their base, as overhead watering encourages powdery mildew.

Originally published on August 4, 2015.  Updated on August 1, 2018.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grasses are beautiful plants that add texture, softness, color, movement and even rustling sound to any garden.  Grasses provide great accents and contrast to flowers and shrubs in the spring and summer months and also provide interest to the fall and winter landscape when other plants have lost their leaves.  Most grasses are sold as container-grown plants in #1 and #5 sizes and are easy to grow and maintain.  At Fort Collins Nursery we have dozens of wonderful varieties to choose from including the following:


ShenandoahSwitchGrass_NLShenandoah Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’

Description: Shenandoah Switch Grass is prized for its unmatched foliage color. In the spring, fast growing green leaves emerge with red tips. The leaves darken through the summer and produce airy, reddish-pink plumes before turning burgundy in fall. Shenandoah Switch Grass is perfect for mass background plantings or in containers.

  • Light: Partial to full sun.
  • Water: Once established, needs only occasional watering.
  • Size: Fast growing 4 ft. tall in bloom, and 2 to 3 ft. wide.
  • Zones: 4-9



Morning Light Miscanthus

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’

Description: Morning Light Miscanthus forms dense clumps of slender, green blades with creamy white margins and mid-veins that create a shimmering silvery appearance. Its reddish seed plumes persist through winter and provide an interesting accent to the bare winterscape. Morning Light Miscanthus adds visual excitement wherever it is used and provides wonderful texture for beds and borders.

  • Light: Partial to full sun.
  • Water: Best with regular watering – weekly or more often in extreme heat.
  • Size: Forms clumps 5 ft. tall, 3 to 4 ft. wide; plumes reach 6 ft. tall.
  • Zones: 5-9



Avalanche Feather Reed Grass

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Avalanche’

Description: Avalanche Feather Reed Grass creates stunning vertical effects with feathery stalks that emerge reddish-brown in spring before turning gold in fall. Stiff, variegated foliage with white centers and green margins forms a dense, narrow clump. Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is excellent for use as a landscape accent or a very dramatic mass planting. Its plumes make an attractive addition to cut flower arrangements as well.

  • Light: Full sun.
  • Water: Water regularly- weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
  • Size: Fast growing, 3 to 4 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide; flower stalks to 6 ft.
  • Zones: 4-9


Originally published on July 31, 2017.  Updated on August 1, 2018.

Fall Crop Seeds

As we reach the midpoint of summer, it’s time to start planning ahead and planting seeds for fall vegetable crops like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots and brussels sprouts.  With lower levels of light, more consistent moisture, and the occasional light frost, cool weather crops can excel during the waning days of summer.  With some careful planning, you can keep your garden productive well into fall and even winter.   At Fort Collins Nursery we have a number of great seed varieties from companies like Botanical InterestsBaker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.Seed Savers Exchange and Territorial Seed Co.  Before you get started, it is important to know the following information:

Average First Frost

In Fort Collins, the average first frost date is October 2nd.  For those of you in other surrounding areas you can look up your average first frost date through the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Days to Maturity

To find out the best dates to plant your seeds, you will need to calculate when to plant your vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by frost and cold.  To find the optimal date, simply subtract the days to maturity from the average first frost date in your region.  For example, for a vegetable like beets that take 60 days to reach maturity, you would need to plant your seeds around August 3rd based on our October 2nd average first frost.  Most seed packs will list information on how many days until the crop reaches maturity.  A quick Google search will also yield several examples of vegetable planting guides like this one from CSU Extension. Worried you missed your chance to plant? You can easily extend the growing time by providing frost protection with frost cloths or cold frames.

Cold Hardiness

Certain varieties like broccoli, beans and winter squash are more susceptible to frost while kale and cabbage are more tolerant.   If you’re worried about losing your crops to early frost, you may want to choose from the more cold tolerant crops.

Originally published on July 31, 2017.  Updated on August 1, 2018.