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What’s in Bloom? October at RBG

September 26, 2023

What Blooms in October?

Note: this is a general guide of what typically blooms this month at RBG. Bloom periods may vary by up to 2 weeks. For the best view of what’s blooming right now at RBG, see the current photos on RBG’s Instagram, or find the “Bloom Watch” section on the What’s in Bloom page.

Cooler temperatures return to RBG, bringing rich fall colours in foliage and blooms. While parts of Northern Ontario have moved well into the peak of their fall colours, RBG’s location allows for an extended season to enjoy. From fresh blooms to early autumn hues, the Gardens are bursting with natural wonders to explore!

Over at the Rock Garden, fall colours are slowly trickling in, with the Japanese Maple and Katsura Tree as fiery standouts. More eye-catching flowers are also flourishing at the Rock, including Sweet Amber, Nieuwland’s Blazing Star, White Wood Aster, and Monkshood, all complimented by the collection of richly green coniferous trees.

  • soft yellow needles of a larch tree
  • burnt yellow mums in bloom
  • Korean Maple tree with soft yellow and orange leaves
  • white aster
  • Arched footbridge over empty river water feature. A bright orange Korean maple tree stands in the background

Pictured, left to right: Golden larch tree, Chrysanthemum, Aster, Korean Maple

In Hendrie Park, the Helen M. Kippax Garden bursts with pollinator-friendly native plants and their cultivars, including Aster and Goldenrod. Flowering herbs complement fruiting plants of all kinds in Veggie Village as gardeners complete the fall harvest. While the Rose Garden is past the peak of their second flush, delightful bursts of red, pink, white, and yellow roses as well as lovely companion plants still decorate the garden.

An impressive display of the Cucurbita family is featured in the Breezeway at RBG Centre. Vibrant mums, grasses, and ornamental kale are planted amongst a marvelous range of pumpkins, squash, and gourds.

In the Mediterranean Garden, the one-of-a-kind Bird of Paradise looks stunning as ever, and a rainbow of lantanas shine brightly among the deep greens of palm trees and aloes. Enjoy a range of varieties and textures among the Cacti and Succulent Collection, including some sky-high cacti and the critically endangered Golden Barrel Cactus!

  • fall colours in the leaves at Hendrie Park
  • mums, ornamental kale, and coleus display
  • display of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, sizes, colours, and textures
  • Monarch Butterfly on goldenrod

Pictured, left to right: Rose, Rose Garden, Chrysanthemums and ornamental kale, Pumpkins, squash, and gourds, Goldenrod

At the Arboretum, full trees offer shade for those exploring the wide-open garden — keep an eye out for the changing colours of the Maple, Oak, Tuliptree and Linden trees as we move further into fall. And keep an eye out in the Synoptic Shrub Collection for Beautyberry, a fantastic seasonal shrub with richly coloured purple fruit.

Venture through RBG’s nature sanctuaries for amazing birding opportunities during migration season. Over 250 bird species can be seen over the course of migration season, and in the fall every trail hosts something special. The first burst of fall colours have begun along the trails, led by goldenrods and over 30 species of asters, with flowers concentrated around Princess Point, the Arboretum and Rock Chapel.

  • purple jewel tone clusters of berries along a thin tree branch
  • Grey Doe Trail With Yellowed Leaves In Fall
  • Lookout from Escarpment trail to view of trees full of autumn colours
  • Cootes Paradise Marsh with tall grass and fall colours in the surrounding trees at sunset
  • wooden staircase leading down into the Hendrie Valley Marsh area. The surrounding trees are bright orange and gold.

Pictured, left to right: Beautyberry, Grey Doe Trail, Escarpment Lookout, Cootes Paradise, Hendrie Valley 

October Favourites

hikers walking down hendrie valley Boardwalk in fall

Fall Colours

When the weather cools, our gardens and trails come to life with warm autumn hues. As a nature sanctuary between climate zones with incredible plant biodiversity, RBG is the perfect location to watch the seasons change.

Floribunda Rose In Fall


The rose collection features multiple flushes mid June through fall, alongside companion plants that bloom throughout the season. 

The Rose Garden is located in Hendrie Park.

Plants that typically flower / Plants of Interest in October at RBG

  • Annuals
  • Aster
  • Autumn crocus
  • Blazing star
  • Cardinal flower
  • Cosmos
  • Goldenrod
  • Monkshood
  • Mountain Fleeceflower
  • Russian sage
  • Sedum
  • Snowberry
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet-Amber
  • Tickseed
  • Verbena

Blooms by Season

Plants of interest are ever-changing in RBG’s five cultivated garden areas and nature sanctuaries. Learn what’s blooming now or see the blooms calendar for a rough estimation of what to expect each season.