7 of the Best Autumn Landscaping Plants

Just because the temperatures are starting to drop, it doesn’t mean that your landscaping needs to be dreary. Many people associate fall and winter with withering plants. However, there are plenty of different plants you can add to your landscape that provide a pop of color in the fall. Check out the 10 best autumn landscaping plants below!

1. Blueberry Bushes

Not only do blueberry bushes provide a delicious snack, they also provide a gorgeous bush for your autumn landscape. During the fall, most blueberry bushes turn a bright maroon, or a vibrant orange. They’re hardy and productive, and some varieties even reach 4 feet in height!

2. Fragrant Sumac

If you want another pop of orange, fragrant sumac can give you quite a bit of it as the temperatures start to cool down. This plant requires partial shade to thrive. When it’s happy, it also provides a wonderful smell in addition to its bright colors.

3. Smoke Bush

This shrub is a brilliant maroon during the summer. However, as the temperature begins to drop, its foliage turns into a deep purple. This change can be seen as early as the first cool nights in autumn. The smoke bush can reach heights of 10 to 15 feet, and have smoke-like tufts of flowers at the top of them, hence the name.

4. Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea gives you a wonderful bronze foliage to break up the oranges, yellows and reds that you’ll come across during the autumn months. In addition to bronze, these plants can have some purple hues, as well. They reach heights of 3 to 6 feet, depending on how they’re cared for. They need moist, well-drained soil to be happiest, too.

5. Summersweet

Every summer garden needs pollinators, that’s something that most people know. Summersweet can provide that for you, as it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. However, this plant is also gorgeous in the fall. The foliage turns a crisp, golden yellow. It gets to be about 8 feet tall, and can handle most growing conditions since it’s highly adaptable.

6. Fringe Tree

This plant’s name is deceiving, as it is far more like a shrub than a tree. It’s native to the Midwest, making it an ideal plant for the areas we serve. During the fall, the leaves of the fringe tree turn a bright yellow. It needs full sun, and well-drained soil. It’ll grow about 10 feet tall, given the opportunity.

7. Little Bluestem

Little bluestem is a classic sight on the prairies of the Midwest. This grass ranges from red to purple in the fall, making it very versatile. These plants stand about 3 feet tall, and they stay tufted without much maintenance. Since it’s a prairie grass, it needs full sun and good drainage.


Autumn is often described as being a dull or dying time of the year. However, there’s no reason that your landscaping needs to be dull! If you want an array of plans that provide striking colors as the months cool down, be sure to give us a call at Bluegrass Landscape. We can help you turn your landscaping project into something gorgeous. Contact us today!