Fiery Red Foliage for Fall

Viburnum shown in rear

It’s that time of year again.  Trees and shrubs are putting on their yearly show with changing leaves, some more spectacular than others.  There are great plants to add to your landscaping that will enhance the fall interest of your garden.  Many of our favorites are ones that provide brilliant red autumn color.  These plants will make fantastic additions to your yard year round as well as add to your fall color pallet.

Viburnum Bloom in Spring
photo courtesy of wlcutler via flickr

Viburnum plicatum tomentosum (Doublefile Viburnum) is a showy and spectacular deciduous shrub that has interest from spring through fall.  It features beautiful, hydrangea-like, white lace cap blooms in spring.  In mid summer comes beautiful red berries.  The leaves turn to a  vibrant burning red in fall and hang on for lasting seasonal color.  This shrub is versatile and adaptable being tolerant of a range of conditions. It’s best suited though planted in sun to part shade.  It will grow up to 8 feet tall by 10 feet wide.


One of our favorite maple trees is the brandywine cultivar.  Acer rubrum ‘Brandywine’ features brilliant red fall color.  It’s pest and disease resistant and adaptable to a variety of soil conditions.  This male cultivar doesn’t produce seeds and therefore won’t create annoying and undesirable weeds in the yard.  Plant in full sun. Grows up to 25 feet tall by 12 feet wide.  A great tree for any yard.

Another fantastic plant with red fall foliage is the fothergilla ‘Blue Shadow.’  Before leaves emerge in early spring this shrub starts the season with fragrant bottle brush white blooms.  Foliage is a lovely powder blue color in spring and summer which changes to a brilliant array of fiery yellows, oranges and reds in autumn.  This plant is moist loving and will thrive in the damp spot in your yard.  Plant in sun to part shade.

Itea virginica (sweetspire) is a hardy semi-evergreen shrub which butterflies adore.  It produces four inch spires of white, star shaped, flowers that cascade from arching branches mid-spring.  In fall it features long lasting bright red to purple foliage that hangs on into winter when stems turn reddish-purple. For most impact, plant several together. This plant loves moist soil and will tolerate wet conditions. Plant in sun to part shade.  We carry several cultivars that grow to various heights from 2 ½ to five feet tall.