Fall’s Fruiting Shrubs

If autumn leaf-peeping doesn’t already enthrall you with fall, the season’s brilliant berries can surely do the trick.

Here are some of our favorite fruiting shrubs (or shrub-like trees and perennials) that can add another layer of beauty and joy in your autumn garden.

Plant them to add color and interest in the late season garden. Plus, you’ll offer incredible edibles for migrating and wintering birds. In some cases, those berries are edible for us, too.

Brilliant Red Chokeberry 
Zone 4 – 9

Improved, compact version of the ornamental North American native plant with spring flowers and abundant glossy fall fruit and brilliant foliage. Up to 8′ tall and wide. Partial shade to full sun.

Use: Ideal for wet, boggy soils. Fruits are good for preserves.

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Photo credits: Doreen Wynja

Grow Beautiful Fall Fruiting Shrubs

Gotemba Golden Japanese Spikenard
Zone 4 10

Tall herbaceous branches burst with fall fireworks full of shiny purplish berries. Dies to the ground and comes back tree-like in spring. Up to 8′ tall and wide annually. Partial shade to partial sun.

Use: In a woodland or semi-shade. Berries are best left to birds.

Bright Fantasy™ Snowberry
Zone 3 7

North American native sets out branches of fall berries that often hold into winter. Excellent for adding interest and wildlife to cold zone gardens. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.

Use: Cut branches for floral arrangements. Berries are best left to the birds.

Black Tower Elderberry
Zone 4 8

Upright form creates a garden spire festooned with dark foliage, and bright-pink flowers followed by abundant blackish-red berries. Up to 8′ tall, 4′ wide. Full to partial sun.

Use: Add height to borders. Berries are edible and provide forage for wildlife.

FloralBerry™ Pinot St. John’s Wort
Zone 5 9

Clusters of bright red berries on well-branched, rust-resistant plants with handsome dark green foliage. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Partial shade to full sun.

Use: Mass at the foundation or at the front of deep borders. Berries for wildlife and crafts.

David Viburnum
Zone 7 – 9

Showy, low-growing, compact, evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub. Glossy dark green leaves and metallic turquoise blue fruit. Up to 3′ tall, 4′ wide. wide. Partial to full sun.

Use: Elegant as foundation plants. Fall berries attract wildlife.

Flower Carpet® Amber Groundcover Rose
Zone 4 10

Easy care landscape rose produces a huge crop of fragrant rosebuds and blossoms that age into bright red hips on longer stems. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Full sun.

Use: En masse. Edible hips can be used in cooking and crafts.

Charity Mahonia
Zone 7 9

Statuesque, carefree shrub develops clusters of black ornamental berries by late summer and fall. A strong focal point in the landscape. Up to 15′ tall and wide. Full shade to partial sun.

Use: Evergreen structure. Berries are for the birds.

Victory Pyracantha
Zone 7 9

Dark foliage and bright red berries make a fine addition to the mixed border or wildlife garden. Plant several as a  screen or security barrier. Up to 8′ tall and wide. Full sun.

Use: Espalier or leave it free-standing. Fruits are seedy, but good for jellies.

Marina Strawberry Tree
Zone 7 9

Delightful small garden tree with handsome cinnamon-hued bark. Very ornamental red and yellow strawberry-like fruit in fall and winter. Up to 30′ tall and wide. Full sun.

Use: Edible fruits used in preserves, wines, and liqueurs. Birds flock to them.

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