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There are so many wonderful plant choices for annual and perennial beds along with great trees and shrubs for specimen plantings. Take a look at the list below for a handful of plants that are just coming into their prime in the fall.
A wonderful cut flower, asters make any garden explode with color at the end of the growing season. From miniature alpine plants to giants up to 6 feet tall, there are over 250 asters, with plenty of colors to choose from. Asters are a great way to brighten up the fall landscape in your backyard.
One of the most common landscape plants in North America, this shrub is prized for its hardy constitution and brilliant fall foliage. It’s one of the first shrubs to change color in autumn, when its dark-green leaves become blazing red. After the leaves drop, burning bush offers another season of interest. The stems have twisted and corky ridges that are especially pretty when covered with snow.
Burning bush has a dense growth habit and is easily pruned for use as a hedge. It thrives almost anywhere, tolerating a wide range of soil types and light conditions.
Mum’s the word for many gardeners in autumn, and with good reason. There are about 20 species of chrysanthemums, which are prized for infusing the landscape with vibrant color long after other flowers fade. Their frost tolerance ensures a long and lovely show well into fall.
These shrubby tender perennials are often called “hardy mums,” but are generally grown as annuals. Mums are long-lasting, both in the garden and in bouquets, and bloom generously, sometimes producing over 100 flowers on a single plant.
It’s no wonder dahlias are the darlings of many gardens. With thousands of cultivars to choose from, there’s a color, flower shape and plant size for everyone.
These showy flowers quickly gained popularity after Spanish explorers discovered them in Central American gardens. The kings of Spain named them in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, who created many hybrids.
The unique form, delicate and often colorful leaves and smooth gray bark give Japanese maples year-round appeal. These graceful trees work in traditional landscapes as well as theme gardens. There are more than 300 cultivars. With so many options, it’s easy to picture one of these serene beauties in your landscape.
This late-season favorite is aptly named. Its blooms shine when gardens need color the most, becoming brighter as summer fades into autumn. Broccoli-shaped flower heads emerge light green in midsummer, but slowly deepen from light pink to burgundy.
Like most sedum, this cultivar is succulent. It’s hardy in all but the coldest climates, tolerates less-than-perfect soil and stands up well to arid conditions.
Vegetables generally aren’t grown for their beauty. Ornamental cabbage is definitely an exception. With vivid colors and showy rosettes of fall foliage, you wouldn’t dare planting ornamental cabbage among its more edible counterparts. Instead, use as a colorful border or groundcover.
Nandina’s canelike stems resemble bamboo, but its fine-textured foliage is different. Nandina leaves are made up of multiple lance-shaped leaflets, giving the foliage a lacy look. It takes on a red-to-purple cast in winter, and new growth is often red or purple, as well. The plant bears cone-shaped clusters of tiny white blooms in early summer, followed by red berries in fall that persist into winter.
Ornamental grasses are available in a wide array of colors, shapes, textures and sizes. The flowers and subsequent seed heads are equally diverse, ranging from “ho-hum” to truly spectacular. Each grass species has it’s own unique form. They may form low compact mounds, tall screens, or densely spreading mats. The foliage colors include various shades of green, blue and red, as well as variegated varieties having red, white or yellow foliage banded with ivory or yellow stripes. In the fall, the spring and summer colors change to hues of red, beige, or brown, providing a great winter garden accent.
Ornamental grasses can be used as fillers or specimens, border plants or background plantings, as ground covers or screens, or they can be grown as container plants. Their adaptability and subtle beauty make them perfect companions to flowering plants and other woody ornamentals.