Tips on Bringing Fall Color to Your Yard

The best trees, shrubs and flowers for fall color.

The rich colors of fall foliage and autumn flowers can make your yard a showpiece, even as winter looms. To get the most out of fall colors in your yard, plan to plant an array of trees, shrubs, and flowers that add autumn color to your yard. These tips will get you started. 

Top Trees for Fall Foliage

Add these stellar trees to your yard to enjoy rich shades of red, orange, and yellow.

Sugar maple - This native North American tree delivers a fiery fall show, and is hardy in zones 4 through 8. Sugar maples can grow up to 70 feet tall, so plan accordingly when choosing a site. 

Dogwood - Dogwood trees impress in summer with their pink or white blooms, so you may not think of them for fall color. Their leaves turn a rich ruby hue, adding contrast to the vibrant tones of other trees.

Sweet gum - Hardy from zones 6 to 9, sweet gum produces marbled leaves with hues of green, red, purple, and orange. Towering up to 80 feet high, these require ample space. 


Best Shrubs for Fall Foliage

Viburnum - This shrub offers three-season interest, with spring flowers, red fruits, and red leaves come autumn. Native to zones 2-7, viburnum can reach a height of 15 feet or kept smaller through regular pruning. 

Virginia Sweetspire - This North American native grows in zones 5-9, reaches heights of 10 feet if not pruned, and delivers purplish-red leaves in fall and white flowers in spring. 

Oakleaf hydrangea - A must for shade gardens, oakleaf hydrangea has beautiful white flowers in the summer and rusty purple foliage in fall. This hydrangea reaches a maximum height of 6 feet and grows in zones 5 to 9. 

Witch hazel - A delightful duo of yellow fall flowers and yellow leaves make witch hazel an autumn favorite in zones 3 to 8. This shrub can reach up to 12 feet in height.


Best Flowers for Fall

Sunflowers - If you have a sunny yard, sunflowers can add late summer and early fall color and impressive height. 

Zinnias - Zinnias are another long-lasting fall foliage pick. If you prune and water zinnias, these will make it through summer and into early fall. 

Autumn sedum - Autumn sedum produces clusters of pinkish blooms in fall, adding a splash of color to your flower beds. 

Chrysanthemums - For reliable fall flowers, nothing beats the humble chrysanthemum. Pot these in containers or grow them in your garden beds for long-lasting color. 

Mix and match from these categories to infuse your yard with fall color. For more home and garden design tips please visit

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