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Garden Shrubs and Vines for Fall Color

Using Shrubs and Vines for Fall Foliage, Fruits and Flowers

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Fall Blooming Caryopteris in Full Bloom

Fall Blooming Caryopteris in Full Bloom

Marie Iannotti
Every garden needs shrubs for structure and good bones. Fall foliage is often thought of with regards to trees, but shrubs can offer just as much interest. The shrubs listed here come into their full glory in the fall. Some of these shrubs offer colorful, bold foliage, others have interesting fruits and berries that may hang on into the winter months. Some even flower in the fall.

Vines add height and depth to a garden. While flowering vines are often favored, vines with spectacular fall color can draw the eye to a garden structure or up and through a garden like nothing else.

Please note, some of the plants listed here can become invasive in certain areas, especially those with seeds spread by birds. Check with your local Department of Conservation for a list of invasive species in your area.

Fall Blooming Shrubs


Shrubs with Great Fall Foliage

  • Barberry Berberis - Foliage Red & Gold & Berries - Zones 4 - 8 [Caution - this plant is becoming invasive in some areas.]
  • Clethra Clethra - Foliage Yellow/Orange - Zones 3 - 8
  • Enkianthus Enkianthus species - Foliage Red - Zones 5 - 8
  • Fothergilla Fothergilla species - Foliage Gold, Orange& Scarlet - Zone 5 - 8
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea Hydrangea quercifolia - Foliage Burgundy - Zones 5 - 9
  • Virginia Sweetspire Itea virginica - Foliage Red - Zones 6 - 9
  • Winged Euonymus Euonymus - Foliage Red - Zones 3 - 8 [Caution - this plant is becoming invasive in some areas.]


Shrubs with Colorful Fruits

  • American Cranberry Bush Viburnum trilobum - Zones 3 - 7
  • David Viburnum Viburnum davidii - Zones 7 - 9
  • Firethorn Pyracantha cultivars - Zones 5 - 10
  • Heavenly bamboo Nandina domestica - Zones 7 - 9
  • Linden viburnum Viburnum dilatatum - Zones 5 - 8
  • Red Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliant' - Zones 4 - 8


Vines for Fall Color

  • Bittersweet, American Celastrus scandens - Yellow Foliage/Orange/Red Seeds - Zones 4 - 8
  • Ornamental Grape Vitis - Burgundy Foliage - Zones 5 - 9
  • Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus - Red Foliage - Zones 4 - 8

For more color in your fall garden, consider fall blooming perennials and the fall foliage and plumes of ornamental grasses.

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