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10 Landscape Shrubs with Amazing Fall Color

Looking to add some fall color to your landscape? Here are 10 shrubs that sizzle in the fall!


Fall Color. Everyone wants those bright reds, vibrant yellows and neon oranges which typically bring to mind Sugar Maples, Autumn Blaze Maples and other towering shade trees. But designing a landscape that bursts with fall color isn't just about the trees. Smaller shrubs can add a HUGE amount of color to your landscape, in a palette of colors that changes throughout the season. By combining centerpiece trees with shrubs and perennial grasses it is easy to achieve a gorgeous fall scene in your own backyard. Below we have compiled a list of some of our favorite shrubs with big fall color. Enjoy!


Blackhaw Viburnum: This viburnum begins the year with creamy white flowers in May. This is followed by deep, dark green foliage with small, edible fruit in the summer months. It is in the fall, however, that these viburnum show their true colors : Their green leaves change to a lovely and arresting shade of burgundy. Blackhaw Viburums adapt to most soils and are tolerant of sun or shade. They can reach 12-15' tall with a spread of 8'-12'. The Blackhaw Viburnum would make a beautiful addition to any yard and is a great option for privacy screening.


Henry Garnet Sweetspire: This fragrant and flowery shrub provides beauty and interest from spring to fall. It blooms sweetly scented flowers in early summer and its normally bright green foliage turns a brilliant shade of purple-red in the fall, reminiscent of the stone with which it shares it's name. Reaching 4'-5' tall, this fall charmer can spread even wider. It enjoys partial to full sun, and prefers a moist environment in which to grow.


Burning Bush: As its name implies, this bush is noted for the turn of its leaves in the fall from green to a bright, flashy crimson. The Burning Bush shows well in borders, beds, and even as a specimen in a container. They will grow in almost any type of soil and prefer partial to full sunlight. They can reach 15' tall, although there are dwarf varieties available as well for those who want that brilliant color, but on a smaller scale. You may not hear God speaking to you through this shrub, but you can bet your yard will be a more heavenly place with the addition of a Burning Bush.


Forsythia: The Forsythia is a quick growing, hardy shrub. It is one of the first plants in the spring to burst forth with new growth and its signature bright yellow flowers. It maintains landscape interest throughout the year due to its transition from the bright yellow of its all encompassing flowers in the spring, to the green of summer leaves to shades of bronze, crimson, burgundy or gold (depending on the variety) in the fall.  Large varieties top out at 8-10' tall and 10-12' wide and dwarf varieties are available. These tough guys prefer partial to full sunlight and well drained soil.


Common Witch Hazel: Common Witch Hazel is anything but a common shrub. Reaching 15-20' tall, this deciduous shrub is notable for its fall blooming habit. Stem-hugging clusters of fragrant bright yellow flowers, each with four crinkly, ribbon-shaped petals, appear along the branches from October to December, usually after leaf drop but sometimes at the time of fall color. Common Witch Hazel would make a bewitching and uncommon addition to any garden or yard.



Autumn Jazz Viburnum: The Autumn Jazz Viburnum is well known for its riot of varied colored fall foliage. Ranging from burgundy, to bronze and gold, these Viburnum are real rock stars in the landscape. White, flat topped flowers from May eventually will form into the into ornamental, blue black fruit in the fall. A very fast grower, the Autumn Jazz Viburnum will reach a height of 8'-10' with a spread of 6'-8' in ten years.


Crimson Pygmy Barberry: The Crimson Pygmy is a dwarf variety of barberry characterized by its deep burgundy foliage that is present spring through fall. Perfect for borders and hedges, this little guy prefers full sun and well drained soil and grows at a moderate rate to 2' tall and 3' wide. The Crimson Pygmy might be small, but as a wise man once said “Good things come in small packages.” 


Gro Lo Sumac: The Gro Lo Sumac will only reach 1'-2' in height, but it more than makes up for it with a spreading habit of 6'-8'. It's divided leaves are slightly fragrant when brushed against or crushed and these same leaves will turn enchanting shades of red and orange in the fall, accompanied by small clusters of hairy red berries which may persist until the winter. Tolerant of poorer soils, the Gro Lo is great as a ground cover or for use in stabilizing embankments.


Dwarf Fothergilla: This low, compact and incredibly bushy shrub looks great from spring to fall. Spring's splashy flowers give way to bright green leaves in the summer which eventually change to hues of luminous orange, yellow and red in the fall. Rounded and slow growing, the Dwarf Fothergilla will eventually reach 3-4' tall and will spread even wider.


Tor Spirea: The Tor is a birch leafed variety of spirea that is easy to grow and produces tiny white flowers in small, flat clusters in late spring. In the fall, its foliage changes to a kaleidoscope of colors ranging from yellow and orange to red and purple. This lovely shrub stays compact with a max height of 2'-3' and a max width of the same. It's spring flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Visit our Garden Center in Cary, IL this fall to shop all these shrubs or let our Landscape Design Team create a beautiful fall design for you. Our Landscape Design team is on site to help you design and choose the right plants for your landscaping.

Need some help designing a cohesive landscape plan that you can enjoy throughout the year? Click below to be contacted by one of our Landscape Designers.

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