Gardening Answers

Best shrubs for fall color

Chloe_Moderator | Posted in Northeast Gardening on

What shrubs are shining pretty colors in your garden right now? My favorites in my yard are Virginia sweetspire, enkianthus, oakleaf hydrangea, viburnum ‘winterthur’, and staghorn sumac, which is growing wild, as is northern spicebush, providing a crisp clear yellow that looks so nice against the reds of fall.


  1. michymoo | | #1

    Oh, the oakleaf is lovely!

    It's been a fairly drab autumn in my corner of Westchester so far; the yellow shrubs aren't really feeling it, which is disappointing as the clethras usually put on a good show, and aside from a young shrub, none of the older spicebushes have changed yet.

    The red and purple shrubs are good though! The oakleaf is a gorgeous plum, the red osiers are starting to turn, and, as well, I've recently installed two "Mt. Airy" fothergillas, and several eastern wahoos, and they're all just starting to show some really wonderful colors! I'm excited to see them all grow!

    1. User avater Moderator
      Chloe_Moderator | | #3

      Fothergilla is definitely tops for fall color and wahoo with those pink fruits! All our sugar maples got a leaf fungus over the summer and had no fall color, so I'm particularly grateful for shrubs this year.

      1. michymoo | | #8

        Yes! The fothergillas are turning extremely slowly, but from what I see so far, they're well worth the wait - they're all the colors! In the last couple of weeks, I've added witch hazels, and combined with the rest of the spicebushes finally turning, it's nice to see some good yellows.

        It's a shame about the sugar maples - ours seem OK, just not a great year for foliage, I suppose. The red maples have been decent, though. Hopefully next year!

  2. User avater Moderator
    mdwyer | | #2

    The fragrant abelia (Abelia mosanensis), aside from amazingly fragrant spring flowers, develops a consistently awesome orange fall color too! This is an arching shrub that needs some "elbow room" but effectively addresses both spring fragrance and fall color!

    1. User avater Moderator
      Chloe_Moderator | | #4

      Thank you for the recommendation! Do you know the zone?

      1. Carol_Collins | | #7

        I'm seeing Zones 4-8 on this one

  3. User avater
    Brock_Ingham | | #5

    Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) in my neck of the woods is a seasonal favorite. ( Zone 5b) It's hard to match the fiery red foliage of this one when fall begins.

    1. User avater Moderator
      Chloe_Moderator | | #6

      It is beautiful with its extraordinary pinks, but can be quite a pest in my woods!

    2. user-7856522 | | #9

      Check your state’s invasive plant list before adding burning bush to your yard.

      1. User avater Moderator
        Chloe_Moderator | | #11

        Yes, thank you.

  4. User avater Moderator
    LSweeney_moderator | | #10

    Not a shrub, but I love Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) in the fall. The bright red leaves and blue berries are such a beautiful combination.

    1. User avater Moderator
      Chloe_Moderator | | #12

      So beautiful. It's prolific enough in my garden that I have to rip it out occasionally and I always cringe when I do.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Gardening Questions

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |