Last post I talked about adding fall color to your garden. Today, I will give you a list of some good common and less common plants for fall color. In fact, I have too many, so I will break this post into two and post the second half tomorrow.
GREAT COMMON PLANTS FOR FALL COLOR
When talking about plants for fall color, where better to start than the maples.
Red maple Acer rubrum – Large tree – Brilliant red, yellow or orange fall color. Named cultivars usually have consistent color such as ‘Autumn Flame’ with its great early and long lasting red color. Armstrong red, Acer rubrum ‘Bowhall’, is a narrow growing variety that may fit in spaces others don’t . It matures at around 10-15’ wide and 40-50’ tall. Its fall color is yellow-red to orange- red.
Sugar maple Acer saccharum – Large Tree – Red to golden orange or yellow. This tree is the king of fall color in the forest in my mind. Most are big trees though and urban conditions can be tough on them. Goldspire sugar maple, Acer saccharum ‘Goldspire’, is a narrow growing form of the sugar maple. It matures at about 15’ wide and 50’ tall.
Bloodgood Japanese maple Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ – Small to medium tree – Brilliant red late season fall color. Yes, I am calling it common. When a plant is one of the most sold at the big boxes stores it is no longer a rarity. Still a great plant though. Most Japanese maples do have great fall color.
Korean spice viburnum – Viburnum carlessi – Medium shrub – This bush has a nice red fall color. Most viburnums actually have some degree of attractive fall color in a variety of hues, often toward the muted red and purple tones. They are usually all good plants for fall color. It’s usually not in your face like the burning bush, but more of a subtle color.
SOME LESSER KNOWN PLANTS FOR FALL COLOR
Whitespire Birch – Betula populifolia ‘Whitespire‘ – Medium tree – Yellow to gold fall color on leaves that flutter in the wind. Usually it is planted for its white bark for the winter. I like the effect of its leaves fluttering in the wind myself.
Dancing Peacock full moon maple – Acer japonicum ‘Acontifolium’ – Small tree – In a good year I have not seen any small tree or shrub that can surpass this one. Brilliant and I mean BRILLIANT red. The leaves are translucent, so place the tree where it can be backlit, like to the west of a view where the setting sun can shine through it. This one matches and in some cases can put burning bushes to shame.
Green cascade full moon maple – Acer japonicum ‘Green cascade’ – Weeping form of shrub that gets 4 to 6’ high and a bit wider at maturity. It is a lot like the purple lace leaf weeping Japanese maples but has green leaves in the summer and what I consider an even better orange-red fall color.
Last but not least, the three flower maple and paper bark maple are two fabulous small to medium trees that add a lot of fall color. See a previous post about these trees.
This post has already ran long, but I could go on and on about other plants for fall color. In fact I will tomorrow, when I post Part 2. Hopefully, this list can get you started thinking about a plant or two you could add to your fall garden.