It’s true that in warmer zones fall is more of a state of mind than a celebration of fiery foliage. That said, you can have that cozy autumn feeling by planting a few shrubs that offer up a colorful autumn display.
We wanted to share a few favorites, each with something special to offer. All of these look great in spring and summer but with the bonus of that third fabulous season. Slip in a few of these now then for a big show next fall. Then get out and enjoy those last days in the garden before the rains come or the garden fades into a softer, more wintery palette.
(As zones often overlap, check out this companion post for even more great options.)
You grew them for the famous late summer floral clusters, but check out the burgundy-red fall foliage and peeling reddish-brown bark that show up in fall. Partial sun. Up to 4 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide. Zone: 5 – 9
Zone: 5 – 8
This shade-loving smaller shrub turns reddish-bronze in fall. Lovely with azaleas, ferns, azaleas, or rhodies. Partial shade to filtered sun. Up to 2 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide.
Bountiful Blue® Blueberry
Zone: 6 – 10
Blueberries just keeps on giving-spring flowers, summer berries, and deep red fall foliage. This one’s low chill for warmer zones. Full sun. Up to 4 ft. tall and wide.
Emerald Sea Heavenly Bamboo
Zone: 6 – 11
We love this Nandina’s emerald-green foliage that takes on a mysterious purple cast in fall. Works in dry shade. Partial to full sun. Up to 5 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide.
Dwarf Nikko Deutzia
Zone: 5 – 8
A stronger performer in a range of zones, this low grower blooms in spring, then displays a deep burgundy fall color. Partial to full sun. Up to 2 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide.
Zone: 7 – 9
Versatile, heat tolerant, okay in moist soils. Chartreuse foliage turns to maroon highlights in fall, with berries to boot! Full sun. Up to 4 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide.