Great Plants for Dazzling Fall Color

You don’t have to travel to New England for a view of fiery fall color; with a little planning you can enjoy an autumnal display of botanical fireworks in your own front yard. To refresh your fall landscape start by clearing out spent summer annuals and trimming back leggy and faded perennials. Once your yard is well groomed you can make a clear plan about the size and quantity of plants needed to give your landscape a color infusion.

Color Now
Planting annuals is the quickest way to add a pop of color to the garden. Mass-planting annuals creates a blanket of color and provides more visual impact than scattering them around the yard. Choose a high impact area like the home’s entry way to display some of these fall blooms:

Chrysanthemums – Perhaps the most popular fall flower, mums are treated like annuals in cold weather climates and are perennial in warmer zones. A huge variety of shapes, sizes and colors can make it difficult to choose a plant. Get the biggest bang for your buck by sticking with one color tone and vary the size and shape to add texture and movement to your garden display.

Ornamental Kale -- If you’re a no-fuss gardener ornamental kale is the perfect fall annual. It thrives in cool weather and provides consistent color the entire season. In fact, the color in ornamental kale actually brightens after the first few frosts. Plant ornamental kale in late August or early September so it has time to establish a strong root system before cold nights hit.

Pansies – The pansies’ love of cool weather makes it as suitable for the fall garden as it is for spring, but it’s too often overlooked as a fall annual. Bronze, gold and rust varieties blend in beautifully with the autumnal palette or choose contrasting hues like purple or yellow to highlight other plantings. In warm climates fall pansies can thrive until early spring.

Color Later
Planting perennials and shrubs takes a little more foresight than planting annuals, but the extra planning is worth the effort for years of color to come.

Goldenrod – Grow tall goldenrod in the back of the perennial garden and their yellow spires will provide a backdrop for other fall plantings.

Sedum – They don’t do well in a vase and there’s no delicate flowery fragrance, but for dependable clumps of fall color sedum can’t be beat. Choose varieties in deep-pink to burgundy and border them with lime-green ornamental kale for a stunning fall display.

Judd viburnum – This shrub displays deep burgundy foliage in the fall that looks even more amazing when under planted with deep green flowers like the Green Satin chrysanthemum.

Northern Lights azalea – A reliable performer, this azalea variety stays compact, rarely needs pruning and looks like a bronze-orange glowing light in the fall landscape.

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