Spring and summer aren’t the only seasons that get all the bloom and color time. Fall can be just as spectacular if you know what to plant. Check out these colorful and fall blooming shrubs for gorgeous ideas and see if one is right for your landscape.
Colorful fall blooming shrubs can be just as stunning as those in spring and summer. Some shrubs with amazing color or bloom in fall include Fragrant Tea Olives, Fothergilla, Camellia sasanqua, Limelight hydrangeas, and Viburnum to name a few.
Shrubs are beneficial to your landscaping in so many ways. For starters, once you plant them, you generally get to enjoy their beauty for years to come with a bit of maintenance. I love annual flowers, but it’s also nice to have some perennial show stoppers in your yard that return year after year.
And just a reminder: Perennial returns year after year, annual means you replant each year. Evergreen stays green year-round and Deciduous loses it foliage annually
So let’s just get right to it!
Colorful Fall Blooming Shrubs
Fragrant Tea Olives
Fragrant Tea Olives are a stunning addition to your yard. In the fall, they bloom with dainty white flowers and the most heavenly smell you can imagine.
When not in bloom, they remain evergreen with a glossy dark leaf that vaguely resembles a Holly.
We have Tea Olives planted in two locations in our yard. One is closer to septic lines and they grow at an astonishing rate and we keep them trimmed as a privacy hedge between us and our neighbors.
The second group we planted in partial shade and they’ve grown much slower but are still gorgeous.
- Scientific name: Osmanthus
- Zones 8-10
- Drought Tolerant
- Moderate growing
- Can tolerate full sun or partial shade. Tends to grow faster in full sun
- Tea olives can be grown as a hedge, tree, or shrub
- Fragrant white blooms
- Can reach heights between 6 and 30 feet
Arguably one of the most beautiful fall-blooming shrubs is the Camellia sasanqua. With their deep evergreen foliage and absolutely gorgeous blooms, they are a must if your zone can grow them.
You’ll need to have a bit of patience as these aren’t the fastest growing fall blooming shrubs on the block, but it’s worth the wait.
Camellia sasanqua is a bit pickier when it comes to their growing conditions as well. They require acidic soil and generous watering until fully established.
- Belongs to the species Camellia
- Zones 7-9
- Some varieties bloom in the spring, but sasanqua blooms in fall
- Prune in early spring or you risk cutting off your fall blooms
- Requires generous watering
- Does not like direct sunlight or cold winds. Prefers filtered sunlight or even partial shade
- Available in a variety of colors like pink, red, white, and purple
- Grows to a mature height and width of between 6 and 10 feet
While not technically “fall blooming”, Fothergilla is too gorgeous to leave off the list. Fall is a spectacular time for this plant to shine. While the white spring blooms are beautiful, it’s the stunning red, orange, or yellow fall foliage that will make your landscape glow.
Fothergilla is one of those multi-purpose plants that give you blooms and stunning foliage making it a double winner for your perennial landscaping.
- Fothergilla is in the witch hazel family
- Zones 4-9
- Deciduous shrub (it loses it’s leaves in the winter)
- Prefers sun
- Blooms with white wispy flowers in the spring
- Grows to heights and widths of 6-10 feet tall
- Needs organically rich and acidic soil
- Deer Resistant
If you live in a warmer climate, there is no doubt you’ve seen these showstoppers. Hydrangeas come in so many varieties, shapes, colors, etc. But these definitely stand out.
With blooms that can pass 10 inches, you just can’t beat this one. And as a bonus, these Hydrangeas bloom just a bit later than others, starting in midsummer and going through fall.
- Limelights are a variety of panicle hydrangea
- Zones 3-9
- Prefers more shade if it’s a particularly hot climate, but in cooler areas can tolerate more sun
- Grows 6-8 feet tall
- Easy to grow and easy to care for
- Soil pH does not affect the color of the blooms
- Stunning chartreuse colored blooms that will get a tinge of pink on them as fall nears
- Looks similar to Vanilla strawberry Hydrangeas
- Plant at least 8 feet apart
- Give them ample watering until established
Caryopteris Sunshine Blue
This is one that is new to me but quickly becoming a favorite. It has stunning almost chartreuse foliage and produces the most beautiful blue flowers in late summer into fall.
Blue flowering plants are not as common as our typical pinks, reds, and whites. The combo of the green-hued leaves mixed with the blue flowers gives it the perfect interesting appeal for your landscaping. It’s an unexpected but gorgeous combination.
- Deer Resistant
- Attracts pollinators
- Zones 6-9
- Drought tolerant
- Grows between 2 and 3 feet high and wide
- Prefers full sun and well drained soil
- Optimal for smaller areas of your beds
- Produces tiers of flowers on each stem
Viburnum is a shrub that gives you double the features. In the spring, it has delicate white fragrant flowers, but fall is the more interesting time.
It produces dark pink, blue, purple, or even black-hued berries on deep reddish-colored leaves when fall arrives.
- Zones 5-9
- Grows about 6 feet tall and wide
- Can tolerate full sun or partial shade
- Easy to grow
- Prefers ample water
A Butterfly bush can be quite the showstopper. Not only can they grow to massive heights and widths, but they also attract butterflies as the name implies.
Be mindful though that in some areas, they are considered invasive. It can be helpful to check with your local county extension office before planting.
Butterfly bushes are also easy to grow and don’t require a ton of maintenance.
- Zones 5-9
- Produces flower blooms from July through October
- Evergreen unless in areas with very low temperatures
- Super fast-growing
- Large cone shaped purple flowers
- Deer Resistant
- Full sun
- Can grow between 8-12 feet tall and 6-15 feet wide depending on the variety
- Low maintenance once established
Just because the showy blooms of spring and summer are gone, doesn’t mean your landscaping can’t shine when fall arrives. There are so many options to give your yard beautiful texture, color, and foliage.
Add a few of these colorful and fall blooming shrubs to brighten up your yard as the cooler temps start coming in.