June 16, 2024

15 Perennials, Trees and Shrubs to Plant for Great Fall Colors

Who doesn’t love fall color? There are many trees and shrubs to plant, from vibrant rose hips to show-stopping maples to make sure your garden is glowing during the fall season.

The first thing to decide is where you want your different pops of color in your garden.

If you only have a small area, you won’t be planting a big tree, and, conversely, you won’t be producing an oakleaf hydrangea where you need the spread of big hickory.

Once you know the space you need to fill, it’s time to start looking at a few options. We’ve included a list of our favorites in three categories: perennials, shrubs, and trees.

Shrubs to Plant for Great Fall Colors

Add Perennials for Fall Color

These perennials are sure to stun in any season, but they add that extra special touch come fall.

#1. Blanket Flower

While there are plenty of colorful options for this show-stopping bloomer, they all work for fall color.

Blanket flower, also known as Gaillardia, grows in a mound that is usually 12-15 inches high with a similar spread (though they can get up to three feet tall and wide), and it blooms all summer and fall.

#2. Coneflowers

Like the blanket flower, coneflowers come in various colors, and they love to take over their spot in the garden with their vibrant blooms.

They can grow between three to four feet tall, making them a fantastic backdrop for other smaller plants. They also work great in front of tall, show-stopping flowering shrubs.

#3. Hardy Mums

Grocery stores are filled with the annual variety of mum, but you can get perennial mums that will come back with their stunning colors year over year.

From maroon to pink to orange, these plants create dense mounds that are great for containers and border plantings.

#4. Ornamental Grasses

These perennial grasses make unique centerpieces in perennial beds or backdrops in a garden.

Many varieties produce feathery plumes of colors ranging from cream to deep burgundy, and when the wind hits them, they sway beautifully in the breeze.

Ornamental grasses are often overlooked but add to the fall vibe of your garden.

#5. Sedum

Sedum leaves can range anywhere from simple green to red, and the clusters of their flowers can be pale cream to deep burgundy shades.

Sedum loves to spread in their garden area, making it easy to use them to fill up space without having to worry about them being invasive.

Plant Flowering Shrubs for Fall Color

Plant Flowering Shrubs for Fall Color

Sometimes, to really wow yourself and any visitors to your garden, you have to add big shrubs that pack a colorful punch in the fall season.

#1. Hydrangeas

There are so many varieties of hydrangeas to choose from, but the hydrangeas with classic white blossoms or vibrant red blossoms can make the perfect foundation planting for your yard.

There is also a type of hydrangea called the oakleaf hydrangea. This hydrangea is named for its oak tree-like leaves that change colors in the fall (plus its beautiful flower).

While the oakleaf prefers warmer climates, other hydrangeas can grow in just about any zone.

#2. Dogwood

The flowers and leaves of dogwood deserve their credit, but the real magic comes in late fall and early winter when they drop their leaves, and you can see the stunning stems.

Dogwood twigs can come in yellow, green, red, and some turn from orange to yellow. Dogwoods bring a unique color to a fall garden that lasts through winter.

#3. Viburnum

If one shrub thrives during the fall season, it’s the viburnum. They tend to be subdued during most times of the year, and when fall hits, their color comes with it.

Depending on the type of viburnum you choose, they can be anywhere from deep, stunning reds to sultry purples and even bright copper shades.

They come in various sizes, too, so you can pick the right shade and type for your area of the garden.

#4. Crape Myrtle

Most southern gardeners know the value of having crape myrtle in their yard, but if you’re new to gardening and you live in a warmer climate, this could be the perfect addition.

While they have gorgeous plumes of flowers during the summer reminiscent of lilacs, crape myrtle also puts on a beautiful show in fall with bright yellow, orange, and red leaves.

While they like it warm, that’s about their only requirement. They can grow pretty much anywhere.

#5. Highbush Blueberries

These are for our northern gardeners. Not only do you get the benefit of delicious blueberries, but you also get to watch them turn bright shades of copper and red during the fall season.

If you’re interested in growing highbush blueberries, make sure your soil is acidic (4.5-5.2) and well-drained. Then, please give them a spot in full sun and let them do the rest.

Plant a Tree for Fall Color

Plant a Tree for Fall Color

If you have the space, the right tree can add unstoppable fall color to your yard you can look forward to all year long.

#1. Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba is a popular supplement, but the trees themselves are stunning. Certain varieties of ginkgo can be vibrant gold and provide an incredible shape and color for any garden.

The best part about ginkgo is that while they can be slow-growing, they require very little maintenance whatsoever.

#2. Beech

If you’re looking to add a big tree (20-80 feet tall, depending on the type), a beech tree can give you stunning color and subdued winter interest.

Their leaves turn a bar of bright gold in fall, and they tend not to drop as fast as other trees, giving you more time to enjoy them.

#3. Japanese Maple

These trees can grow anywhere between 10 to 25 feet in height (unless you get a dwarf variety), and their colors are absolutely the best part about them.

They can range from lime green to deep maroon, and then many of them transition to yellow, red, or copper in the fall.

They do well in most zones (northern gardeners may need a more protected spot in their garden), and they like anywhere from full sun to dappled shade.

#4. Tupelo or Black Gum

Growing anywhere from 30 to 50 feet tall, you can’t miss the black gum’s vibrant red color during the fall season.

Plus, birds love them for their tasty berries, so it’s a win for you and your garden wildlife. These trees do great in most zones, and they can handle the wettest of soil, including standing water.

#5. Serviceberry

These trees are smaller than others on this list, growing anywhere between 10 and 25 feet tall.

While they have pretty white flowers in the spring and berries both you and the birds might love, it’s their fall color that steals the show.

Their foliage can be anywhere from yellow to scarlet — and like the beech tree, they have a soft, grey bark for winter interest.

A complete list of trees and flowering shrubs with beautiful fall colors would be a mile long, but these perennials, bushes, and trees can get you started in your garden.

All you have to do is pick a size and color and go from there.

For More Latest Home Decoration Updates and Information about Trees and Shrubs to Plant for Great Fall Colors, Visit Solobis NEWS Magazine.

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