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Landscape Maintenance vs. Lawn Care: What’s The Difference?

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When it comes to having a beautiful and well-rounded landscape, it’s important to think about all of the seasons. It’s easy to get caught up on planting colorful spring blooms but when fall rolls around, you don’t want a barren landscape.

Fall can actually be one of the most spectacular times of the year for plant color—if you choose the right plants for your landscape. The best fall color plants include those that are late-blooming, hardy in cold weather, and/or have color-changing foliage.

In order to help get you started brainstorming on which fall color plants might make a nice addition to your property, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorites.

Here is a list of the best fall color plants for Virginia, including fall flowers, fall color shrubs, and fall color trees.

Flowers for Fall Color

Flowers can go a really long way in adding vibrant color to your landscape during a time when many plants begin to go into dormancy. Here are our 3 favorite choices for fall color flowers that are sure to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property.

1. Mums

Mums (which are short for “chrysanthemums”)  just may be one of the most quintessential fall flowers out there, so of course, they make our list. 

Yellow and white chrysanthemum

These late-flowering plants require little care and will continue to look great well into the autumn months, thanks to a relatively high frost-tolerance. The most common colors of mums are red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, and white, all of which can add a beautiful burst of color to your landscape.

2. Pansies

Available in just about any shade of the rainbow, pansies make a colorful addition to your fall landscape. 

Purple and yellow pansy

Though they perform best in 40 to 60 degree weather, pansies are hardy and will often hang on, particularly during a mild fall. If the winter isn’t too harsh, fall-planted pansies may even return to bloom in the spring.

3. Ornamental Kale

Ornamental kale is another great choice in fall plants, which will brighten your autumn landscape. 

ornamental kale

But instead of flowers, this plant will offer colorful foliage. The leaves are produced in a tight rosette that resembles a flower in shades of red, pink, purple, green, and yellow.

Fall Color Shrubs

Shrubs can also go a long way in enhancing your fall landscape. Like the changing leaves on many trees, there are some shrubs that will also give you great fall color. The following are our favorite picks of shrubs for fall color in Virginia.

4. Burning Bush

A Burning Bush shrub has absolutely spectacular fall foliage. That’s because this shrub changes from green to fiery red, hence its name. 

Burning Bush shrub in fall

These shrubs are also hardy. Burning Bushes is tolerant of a wide range of soil pH types, as well as shade, though it performs best in full sun.

5. Smoke Bush

This deciduous shrub, also commonly referred to as royal purple smoke bush, is popular amongst fall plants thanks to its purple-pink smokey plumes and purple leaves. 

Smoke Bush in fall

It is highly drought tolerant and doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance. 

6. Oakleaf Hydrangea

This deciduous shrub has white flowers and distinctive leaves shaped like those of an oak tree. 

Oakleaf Hydrangea

It is valued for its long-lasting flowers, that hold on even as temperatures drop, as well as its beautiful fall foliage colors. Its leather-like leaves are large and turn beautiful shades of orange, red, bronze, and even purple. 

Trees for Fall Color

Contrary to popular belief, not all fall color trees are large (such as the famous Maple or Oak trees, both known for their fall foliage. 

There are many specimen trees that can also make a lovely addition to your property and put on quite a “show” come autumn, without taking up tons of space or needing years and years to grow. Here are 3 of our favorite choices for fall color trees.

7. Dogwood

Although the Dogwood is typically associated with spring because of its beautiful flowers, this tree also makes a great choice for a fall color tree. 

Dogwood Autumn

In fall, the Dogwood’s scarlet-colored leaves create a vibrant display. The Dogwood also features red berries that not only add color but also attract colorful birds such as Cardinals and Blue Jays.

8. Serviceberry

This is another colorful tree in the autumn months that you should consider if you’re looking for choices that will give you fall color. 

serviceberry in fall

The Serviceberry will glow a fiery orange-red in autumn, helping to light up your landscape. 

9. Japanese Maple

Already admired for the unique shape of their leaves and their varied forms (many varieties of this tree exist), the Japanese Maple also has colorful foliage. 

Japanese Maple

Colors range from buttery golds to sharp yellows to many shades of red and orange. It will absolutely be a showpiece on your property.

Incorporating Fall Color into Your Landscape Design

Giving homeowners the most rewarding landscape that provides the best use of your investment really does come down to paying attention to year-round appeal. 

Unfortunately, even some “pros” fail to ensure that their clients have a well-rounded landscape with plants in bloom or providing color year-round. It takes a strong knowledge of plant material and an eye for design to create a truly special landscape—not something that every company can offer.

Whether you’re looking for a simple fall plant installation project, or something larger, Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape will pay attention to all of the details that matter when it comes to giving you the complete space that you desire. 

When you’re investing in professional landscape design, you deserve professional results and we believe that means a lot more than just throwing a few plant choices in the ground. We put a tremendous amount of thought and skill into every landscape design that we complete, giving you a finished product that you can enjoy to the fullest.

Are you ready for spectacular fall color at your Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA home? If so, request your consultation, get your customized plan, and relax as you get the royal treatment.

Request a Landscape Consultation

Image sources: chrysanthemum, pansy, ornamental kale, burning bush , smoke bush, oakleaf hydrangea, dogwood tree, serviceberry, japanese maple  

Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 24 successful years and a thriving company with over 85 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.