While the calendar inches ever closer to winter, the Midwest is still generally experiencing mild temperatures – and a gorgeous array of seasonal colors. We’ve selected a few of our favorite plants that put on an autumnal show. Make a note to add these to your landscape in spring for fall blooms next year.
Quick Fire Fab® Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
Quick Fire Fab® Panicle Hydrangea
Quick Fire Fab® Panicle Hydrangea lives up to its name! Providing multi-season interest, color “grows” from the base of the panicle to the tip. Blooms start white, then turn light pink, bright pink and deep red in the fall. Florets on lush, mophead blooms are in the shape of a cross, enhancing their color and visual texture.
Stems are strong and sturdy with green foliage, providing support that keeps blooms upright. At maturity, Quick Fire Fab® Panicle Hydrangea reaches a height in the garden of 6 to 8 feet. Mature spread is 5 to 6 feet. Easy to care for, this hydrangea tolerates a variety of soils and blooms on new wood. Prune the main branches back by one-third in late winter or early spring. Plant in part sun to sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.
Coral Bells ‘Palace Purple’ (Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’)
Coral Bells ‘Palace Purple’ Heuchera
Coral Bells ‘Palace Purple’ provides four-season interest in the Midwest landscape. With muted colors, this compact plant starts deep green, then turns light blush to purple as the seasons progress. Turn a leaf over for an unusual shade of shiny purple. Bell-shaped flowers bloom on dark red slender stems in late spring through mid-summer. Cut flowers back when spent to encourage rebloom. Coral Bells ‘Palace Purple’ has multiple uses in the landscape, including in perennial borders and containers, as groundcover and as accent plants.
Coral Bells ‘Palace Purple’ tolerates deer and road salt and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Mature height is about 1 foot with a 2-foot spread. This heuchera requires very little care but prefers moist, well-drained loamy or sandy soil. Plant in groupings for added color wow and divide this heuchera every few years. Mulch to prevent root heaving once the ground freezes in winter. Versatile, Coral Bells ‘Palace Purple’ does well in shade, part shade and full sun. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ – Autumn Stonecrop
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ – Autumn Stonecrop
Reliable from spring through the first snowfall, Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ starts out pink in early fall and turns red as the season progresses. Sage green foliage is slightly cupped, adding a whimsical appearance. Stems are strong so flower heads stand tall. Once the color fades, leave flowers on the stems for winter interest. This stonecrop also makes an excellent cut flower.
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ attracts butterflies and other pollinators. It tolerates hot, dry conditions and is rabbit resistant. This hardy perennial doesn’t mind average to poor well-drained soil and is virtually carefree. However, it can be cut back or divided in the spring. At maturity, Autumn Stonecrop is about 2 feet tall and has a spread of about 1 1/4 feet. Plant in a spot that is mostly sunny. This plant grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
Zagreb Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata Zagreb)
Zagreb Coreopsis has pretty yellow petals that open wide on slender green stems. Long-blooming, eight-petaled flowers with button centers deliver color impact from early spring into mid-fall. This coreopsis naturalizes slowly and is perfect when color-matched with a variety of coneflowers. It is deer resistant and tolerant of drought, road salt and dry heat.
Very easy to care for, encourage repeat blooms by cutting the plant slightly back at the top after it flowers. Zagreb Coreopsis is only 1 1/2 feet tall and 1 foot wide at maturity, making it a good choice for bare areas in a perennial bed or as front-of-the border groundcover. Plant in containers for a welcoming accent and place in an area that is mostly sunny or gets full sun. Ideal for USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
Arctic Fire® Red – Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)
Arctic Fire® Red Dogwood
This little dogwood produces small, white powder-puff-like flowers on green stems in late spring before it begins its color transition towards its star season: winter. Foliage transitions from deep green to rust-red before dropping in late fall. With vibrant stems, white berries and an upright compact habit, Arctic Fire® Red Dogwood will surely be a delight in your winter garden – and is especially eye-catching in a shady spot. Among ornamental shrubs, this dogwood is one of the most shade tolerant.
Arctic Fire® Red Dogwood has a maximum mature height and spread of about 5 feet. It requires some maintenance to retain its color, which appears best on stems that are one to two years old. Prune this shrub back to short stubs every other year in early spring. Plant en mass for a real color wow against white snow. Bright red stems are a favorite in indoor holiday decorations and in outdoor containers. Performs best in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 7.
Learn More About Landscape Plants from Loma Vista Nursery
Loma Vista Nursery’s staff members are experts in the field. We love helping people learn and understand more about healthy plants that perform well in Midwest landscapes. For more information about trees, shrubs and plants that are ideal for fall landscapes, visit our plant catalog. Feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at (785) 229-7200 to get answers to your plant-related questions.
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