7 Shrubs that Amaze in Autumn

Plants can really help us tune in and enjoy the changing seasons. They encourage us to watch month by month, week by week as they put out new growth, form flower buds, burst into bloom, change colors, etc.

The best season for observing change is autumn, but for many of us, fall is really fleeting. We need plants that make the most of these precious weeks! So, I visited our trial and display garden and found these seven gorgeous shrubs for long-lasting fall color to share with you. Maybe one of these beauties is just what your garden needs for a more stunning fall show in 2023. Not convinced? Check out this view, it includes one of the featured plants.

What’s your favorite plant to see in the fall? Reply to this email and let me know!

Gatsby Pink® Oakleaf Hydrangea

This plant exceeds our expectations season after season, year after year. While it offers year-round appeal, we’re obsessed with it in the fall. Its large leaves turn a dramatic red-tinted burgundy color, which perfectly highlights its lacey flowers as they change from dark pink to light tan. 

  • full sun (6+ hours) to part sun (4-6)
    * but will still perform well in less sunlight
  • 6-8 ft. tall and wide
  • USDA zones 5-9 (-20°F/-28.9°C)
One of my shrubs looks really sad in comparison to my other plants this fall. Is it sick? What do I do?

Some shrubs don’t get fall color displays, they lose their leaves quickly and go dormant. For example, rose of Sharon and weigela (like below) are summer stunners, but head to bed early for the winter. There’s nothing to do to help, just wait ’til spring!

Bright yellow fall color with Aphrodite sweetshrub and bright pink berries on Proud Berry coralberry.

Stroll through our colorful fall gardens while listening to some lovely music. 

Red foliage and blue berries on Brandywine viburnum in the fall.

Hang out with the Gardening Simplified show hosts as they discuss cannas, garlic, and native viburnum. 

Written by
Kristina Howley

Kristina Howley

I am all in when it comes to gardening. Almost every part of the experience delights me – new leaves emerging in spring, pollinators buzzing in summer, birds devouring berries in fall, and the somber beauty of seed heads in winter. Thanks to a background in horticulture and gardening my own clay-filled, flowery USDA zone 5b plot, I’ve learned plenty of practical things as well. I like sharing these joys and lessons with my fellow gardeners and soon-to-be gardeners any way I can.

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Past Newsletters

Fall Planting FAQ

September 7th, 2022 Gardening is multitasking! One walk through the garden allows us to both enjoy our successes and decide what needs some tweaking. So,

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