What to Plant Now for Fall Color

Can it really be summer already? It seems just yesterday I was gazing out of the window at my ice-encrusted garden, wondering if I would ever see my plants stand tall and wear green again.

During those dimly lit winter days it felt as though time was moving as slow as cold molasses. With the arrival of spring the clock seemed to speed up, and now, on the summer solstice, time is racing by like a runaway horse with me in hot pursuit yelling, “Wait! Not so fast!”

The summer solstice is my cue to make sure my garden is ready for the next season with plants that are autumn showstoppers. Here are 10 of my favorites.

Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)

Zones 8-11; 36-48 inches tall, 24-36 inches wide; flowers late summer into fall; pineapple-scented leaves are edible.

‘Prince’ Fountain Grass (Pennisetum)

Zones 8-11; 60-72 inches tall, 24-36 inches wide; excellent for fall arrangements.

Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Lantana

Annual except in zones 9-11; 24-36 inches tall, 20-30 inches wide; blooms spring through fall; attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

The Knock Out® Family of Roses

Zones 5-11; 3-4 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide; blooms spring through fall; Sunny Knock Out® produces hips too.

Blueberries (Vaccinium sp.)

Zone hardiness and size depend on type and variety; blooms in spring with berries following; outstanding fall color on a low-maintenance shrub.

Japanese Anemone (Anemone x hybrida)

Zones 4-8; 24-36 inches tall; 18-24 inches wide; blooms late summer into fall; will grow in partial shade.

ColorBlaze® Dipt in Wine Coleus

Annual except in zones 10-11; 20-36 inches tall; 12-14 inches wide; great color combination for autumn.

Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)

Zones 4-9; 4-12 inches tall, 4 inches wide; blooms in fall; leaves appear after flowers fade.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana)

Zones 6-10; 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide; blooms in summer; yellow fall foliage paired with bright purple berries.

19 Responses to What to Plant Now for Fall Color

  1. Jo Ann T. WI says:

    I enjoy all of the above ideas for fall color. One thing I do every year is to plant lots of flowering kale, in several varieties, sometimes in the ground and this year in multiple pots. As the fall temps get cooler the kale turns more and more purple. Add some bushel basket mums, pumpkins, and gourds and it is a festive fall look!! Enjoy! Jo Ann

  2. Pam says:

    Good Summer to you Allen, Loved the show that was on June 27th, goats and chickens my two favorite farm critters, My dream of having a small farm was reignited thanks to you:) You and your show inspirational love it… yes you do need a hour, your fans would love that:)

  3. Mimi B says:

    Beautyberry Jelly’s On A Roll
    1 ½ qts. of Beautyberries, washed and clean of green stems and leaves.
    Cover with 2 qts. water
    Boil 20 minutes and strain to make infusion
    Use 3 cups of the infusion, bring to boil, add 1 envelope Sure-Jell and 4 ½ cups sugar. Bring to second boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until foam forms. Skim off foam, pour into sterilized jars, cap.

  4. Susan says:

    What plants should I plant for fall color in southern Louisiana?

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