Here are some good choices for your Autumn Planting:
1.AsterA wonderful cut flower, asters make any garden explode with color at the end of the growing season. From miniature alpine plants to giants up to 6 feet tall, there are over 250 asters, with plenty of colors to choose from. Asters are a great way to brighten up the fall landscape in your backyard.
- Common Names: Aster, Michaelmas daisy.
- Botanical Name: Aster.
- Hardiness: Zones 3 to 8.
- Bloom Time: Late summer through fall.
- Size: 3 to 6 feet high (dwarf varieties are shorter).
- Flowers: Purple, white, pink, blue, and red daisy-like flowers.
- Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade.
- Growing Advice: Can be planted any time during growing season, preferably early in northern states, so cultivars can get established before winter. Plant at least 2 feet apart with the crown even with the soil surface.
- Prize Picks: For the ultimate in low-maintenance gardening, choose Purple Dome asters, which form a small, tight mass of blooms that require no pinching or staking. Alma Potschke can reach heights of 4 feet and usually need staking; its flowers are vivid pink.
2.Burning bushOne of the most common landscape plants in North America, this shrub is prized for its hardy constitution and brilliant fall foliage. It's one of the first shrubs to change color in autumn, when its dark-green leaves become blazing red. After the leaves drop, burning bush offers another season of interest. The stems have twisted and corky ridges that are especially pretty when covered with snow.
Burning bush has a dense growth habit and is easily pruned for use as a hedge. It thrives almost anywhere, tolerating a wide range of soil types and light conditions.
- Common Name: Burning bush, winged euonymus, winged spindle tree.
- Botanical Name: Euonymus alatus.
- Hardiness: Zones 4 to 8 or 9.
- Bloom Time: Inconspicuous, late spring.
- Foliage: Toothed leaves are dark-green in spring and summer, and turn bright red in autumn.
- Light needs: Full sun to light shade.
- Growing Advice: Plant in a hole that's as deep as, but wider than, the root ball. For shrub borders, space plants 4 to 6 feet apart. Remove any twine or burlap after plants are in place.
- Prize Picks: Compactus is more dense and compact than its full-sized relative.
3.DahliaThese showy flowers quickly gained popularity after Spanish explorers discovered them in Central American gardens. The kings of Spain named them in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, who created many hybrids.
- Common Names: Dahlia.
- Botanical Name: Dahlia.
- Hardiness: Zones 8 to 11.
- Bloom Time: Midsummer to first frost.
- Size: 2 to 8 feet high, 1 to 3 feet wide.
- Flowers: Every color but blue and green; shape varies from pompon to daisy-like shapes.
- Light needs: Full sun.
- Growing Advice: Plant tuberous roots in spring after last frost, placing them 4 inches deep with "eye" pointing up. Stake taller varieties.
- Prize Picks: 'Show 'N' Tell's' twisted red petals give this semi-cactus cultivar a tousled look. Ball dahlias - like the small white-tipped crimson bloom 'Kenora's Fireball' - offer a full pompom of inwardly-curved florets.
4.Japanese mapleThe unique form, delicate and often colorful leaves and smooth gray bark give Japanese maples year-round appeal. These graceful trees work in traditional landscapes as well as theme gardens. There are more than 300 cultivars. With so many options, it's easy to picture one of these serene beauties in your landscape.
- Common Names: Japanese maple.
- Botanical Name: Acer palmatum.
- Hardiness: Zones 5 or 6 to 8, depending on cultivar.
- Bloom Time: May or June.
- Size: 15 to 25 feet high, 15 to 25 feet wide.
- Flower/Foliage: Small red to purple flower clusters; deeply lobed leaves with five to 11 "fingers." Summer colors range from green to red and purples, with autumn hues of various reds and golds.
- Light Needs: Prefers dappled shade, but will tolerate full sun.
- Growing Advice: Plant balled-and-burlapped or container-grown trees in late winter or early spring. This gives the trees a chance to establish themselves before the stress of summer's heat or winter's cold.
- Prize Picks: Waterfall is considered the best of the green cutleaf forms and tolerates the heat found in Zone 8. If you're looking for season-long color, try the deep reddish-purple leaves of Bloodgood.
5.SmoketreeHave a burning desire for an easy-care plant that provides a lot of drama? A smoketree might be just the ticket. These deciduous trees and shrubs guarantee a stunning display in summer, when clouds of downy plume-shaped panicles seem to envelop the foliage in a smoky haze. As the weather cools and the panicles disappear, the leaves become bold shades of orange, red or yellow. Best of all, this unusual show will unfold with virtually no effort on your part.
- Common Names: Smoketree, smokebush, Venetian sumac, chittamwood.
- Botanical Name: Cotinus coggygria.
- Hardiness: Zones 5 to 8.
- Bloom Time: Insignificant flowers appear in June and July, followed by showy panicles through September.
- Size: Most are 14 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide.
- Foliage: Oval green or purple leaves that become yellow, orange, scarlet, or purplish-red in fall.
- Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade. Purple-leafed varieties produce the best color in full sun.
- Growing Advice: Plant container-grown trees anytime during the growing season.
- Prize Picks: One of the showiest varieties is Daydream smokebush, which produces heavy drifts of fluffy brownish-pink panicles and has a dense growth habit.
6.Indian grassIndian grass will add stunning greens, golden bronzes and warm blues to your garden throughout the year with little work on your part in return. Its natural look lends itself as a transition from more formal spaces, though it looks great among wildflower gardens as well.
- Common Names: Indian grass.
- Botanical Name: Sorghastrum.
- Hardiness: Zones 3 to 8.
- Size: Up to 8 feet high and 2 feet wide.
- Foliage: Blue-green leaves which turn purplish-blue in fall.
- Flowers: Golden- or red-brown flowerheads.
- Light Needs: Full sun.
- Growing Advice: Avoid wet soil in winter. Divide in mid-spring or early summer.
- Prize Picks: Sioux Blue has bright blue foliage and attains 4 to 6 feet.
7.Ornamental cabbageVegetables generally aren't grown for their beauty. Ornamental cabbage is definitely an exception. With vivid colors and showy rosettes of fall foliage, you wouldn't dare planting ornamental cabbage among its more edible counterparts. Instead, use as a colorful border or groundcover.
- Common Names: Ornamental cabbage.
- Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea var. capitata.
- Hardiness: Annual.
- Bloom Time: Grown for foliage.
- Size: 10 to 18 inches high, 12 to 18 inches wide.
- Foliage: Colorful green, lavender-blue, purple, red, pink, or white foliage intensifies in fall and early winter.
- Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade.
- Growing Advice: Seed directly in garden or small indoor containers 6 to 8 weeks before first predicted frost.
- Prize Picks: For big drama, seek out Flamingo Plumes, which is purple with hot pink interior. Rose Bouquet and Frizzy White are superb examples of those colors.
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