Planting for Fall Color

As fall sets in, and deciduous trees begin their annual display of bright fall colors, adding color on a smaller scale can provide a great show of color without the expense and maintenance of large trees. Annual flowers such as pansies and chrysanthemums can fill in areas around lawn and garden shrubs, and provide a bright welcome when placed in pots on your front porch.

Burning Bushes and Sumacs: The Good, the Bad, But Never Ugly

Burning bushes (euonymus alatus) and a variety of sumac shrubs can provide brilliant shades of gold, orange, and red. Unfortunately, although the burning bush can produce intensely brilliant fall foliage, it is now considered an invasive species, and should not be cultivated near wooded areas where it has become a nuisance. One reason burning bushes have become invasive is that they can tolerate most climate conditions, but if they don't receive enough water, they won't produce the vivid orange and red coloration suggested by their common name.  

Your lawn and garden can gain great color from sumac bushes, but they are sometimes avoided due to their association with poison sumac. Don't worry. Poison sumac grows in swampy wetland areas, and is not sold at nursery and garden centers. A wide variety of sumac shrubs provide shades of yellow to deep maroon during fall.

Fall Flowers Fill in Color

If your flower garden suffered from summer heat, it may be possible to revive it with watering and fertilizing. Flowers such as zinnias, snapdragons, cosmos, and marigolds may revive for a final show of color before the first frost. Cold hardy flowers such as chrysanthemums and pansies can serve as fillers around shrubs, and are also useful for containers. Home and garden shows and nurseries can provide ideas for getting the most out of your lawn and garden this fall.

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