Mums have long been regarded as the best flowers for fall colour, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing! Don’t get us wrong””we love mums””but it’s nice to have some variety to make your landscape memorable and interesting. We’ve put together a list of our 14 favourite plants for fall colour””from flowers, to creeping vines, shrubs and trees.
Autumn is a particularly good time for planting permanent landscape plants because the soil is warm, but the sun isn’t blazing hot, so conditions are just mild enough for a smooth transition into the ground. Grab some of these favourite fall plants for Alberta gardeners from Salisbury this week so that you can increase the contrast, vibrance and saturation of your yard without the use of Instagram filters!
What are the Best Fall Flowers For Alberta Gardeners?
After your spring bulbs have long since faded and your summer annuals start packing it in, these perennials will come back every year, filling your autumn garden with sensational colour and texture.
Clematis: For high-impact colour, plus all the beauty and drama of a lush creeping vine, look no further than clematis! The star-shaped blooms are sure to get some oohs and ahhs from passing admirers, as their deep indigo petals are the perfect cool jewel tone for autumn, adding the ideal contrast to the many gold-toned trees and plants that dominate the landscape.
Violas: While their close cousin, the pansy, seems to get all the love, we think violas deserve some credit too! While their blossoms aren’t quite as large as the pansy, they produce far more at a time, creating a lush blanket of cartoonishly cute blooms. They’re edible too, so feel free to pop off a few and use them to garnish cakes, cocktails and salads.
Helenium: These cheerful blossoms come from the sunflower family, and you can find them in a stunning assortment of fiery shades. Helenium brings a lovely warm glow to the landscape that complements the changing autumn leaves perfectly. We particularly love the varieties with rich, red-orange centres and lemon yellow petal tips.
Sedum: The distinctive foliage of this low-maintenance succulent brings plenty of visual interest on its own, but once it begins to bloom in autumn, it really puts on a spectacular show. There are many varieties available””some are taller, while others form low-growing, dense mats of groundcover. They’re quite drought tolerant but still do best with consistent watering. Just make sure the soil is nice and loose so that moisture won’t collect and stagnate at the roots.
Echinacea: Also known as coneflower, these bright beauties are a favourite among butterflies and bees because their raised, plump centre is easy to access, so our friendly neighbourhood pollinators can rest on the petals and snack away to their heart’s content. Echinacea is also an edible plant and is used for many home remedies and teas to help soothe sore throats.
Foliage Plants and Vines for Fall Colour
These magnificent autumn plants don’t need big, showy blossoms to grab people’s attention””their ultra-bright foliage is on a whole other level of awesome.
Virginia Creeper: If you want your home to look straight off the pages of a fairytale storybook, plant some Virginia creeper along your home’s facade, so it can climb up and create a lush, living wall of five-pointed leaves. They’re pretty beautiful in the summer, but once they start to transition from green to ruby red, their display nothing short of spectacular.
Boston Ivy: This creeping vine has smaller leaves densely packed together, completely enveloping walls and fences with emerald foliage that shifts in colour as the season progresses. It can reach up to 30 feet tall and is much gentler on masonry than many other ivy cultivars, so you won’t have to worry about it damaging your home’s structure.
Flowering Kale: Who knew kale was so dang beautiful? This swirling, ruffled cruciferous vegetable isn’t an edible variety, but it remains to be one of the most popular autumn garden and container plants because its cool blue-green leaves and bright magenta centre are so stunningly gorgeous.
Purple Fountaingrass: Ornamental grasses are a great way to add colour, height, texture, and movement to the landscape. Fountaingrass is commonly used as the central focal point of mixed container arrangements, but it also makes an excellent border plant along fences. You’ll love the way the sleek, purple blades dance in the wind!
Trees and Shrubs for Fall Colour
Want something a little more substantial to bring some life and energy into the landscape? Grab some of these shrubs and trees to create an absolutely stellar landscape design that impresses all year round.
Brandywine Viburnum: While most varieties of viburnum are pretty incredible, the Brandywine variety is a total knockout in autumn, when its leaves become a luxe shade of burgundy, and clusters of berries appear in shades of red and navy blue.
Butterfly Bush: If you can’t tell by the name, this flowering shrub is a total butterfly magnet, with purple, pink, and white panicles that bloom in autumn. It grows quite quickly, so be sure to prune it well every year to keep it under control!
Hydrangea Paniculata: This is one of the more cold-hardy hydrangea varieties, so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting this beauty to thrive in Alberta. At the end of summer, its blossoms grow in panicles, similar to lilacs. We especially love the lime green varieties, bringing an electric pop of colour late in the year.
Fragrant Sumac: Not to be confused with poison sumac, the non-poisonous sumac tree is an absolute must-have, with bright green fronds that transition to fire-engine red as the temperature cools. Plus, we can’t get enough of the delicious lemon scent””crush the leaves between your fingers for an instant natural perfume!
Japanese Maple: Not gonna lie; we kinda saved the best for last on this list. This maple tree turns such a blazing shade of red, it literally looks like it’s on fire. Even the bark of Japanese maples comes in beautiful, intense colours that are rarely seen on trees. You can’t help but stop and stare at this magnificent specimen””its beauty is otherworldly!
Salisbury Greenhouse has a colossal assortment of fall plants, all ready to get in the ground! Visit us in-store to see the whole collection, or browse through our Growstore and arrange for curbside pickup or home delivery!