Five Plants for Show-Stopping Fall Color

The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of color in your home landscape.

Yes, spring and summer bring every color of the rainbow to the forefront. But perennials and annuals with stunning fall colors can breathe new life your garden come autumn. In fact, fall offers one of the best opportunities for jaw-dropping contrast and showy foliage.

There are a ton of plant choices out there, and you might be wondering what annuals or perennials to choose and which ones would add the most impact to your landscape. A professional landscape designer has the insight and know-how to help you pick fall displays that can make your home stand out from the crowd with creative curb appeal.

Want to give your landscape that extra edge as the seasons shift? These five fall plants will showcase your impeccable taste for outdoor fall fashion.


1. Mums

Tried and true, mums are still a fan favorite as soon as October hits. Colorful chrysanthemums create bountiful blossoms in fall’s most festive shades of burgundy, purple, red, orange, yellow, and white. You could call them the season’s stars.

Mums love the sun, as well as soil that drains well. You don’t have to just pop them in a container like everyone else. Instead, be bold. Plant them in thick rows of a single color for a powerful impact or mix them with other shades for a bountiful fall pattern.

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2. Kales & Ornamental Cabbages

For a blazing burst of color and texture in your home landscape, add some flowering kale and ornamental cabbage. While some forms of these plants are edible, the ornamental versions bring an interesting contrast to your outdoor spaces.

Planting these jewels in early fall will give you deep purple-pink and cream leaves throughout the season. An additional perk: The colors of these plants get brighter during the first few frosts. You can repel winter with their rich, royal shades -- whether it’s in containers or as border plantings.

While these plants are both members of the same family, and they have foliage that is similar in size, color, and appearance, cabbage leaves are smoother, while kale leaves are a bit more frilly and jagged. You can streamline by choosing one plant type or mix the textures of these for a bit more drama.


3. Pansies

Pretty pansies provide cool-season color in nearly every shade of the rainbow. They bloom almost endlessly with delicate flowers that look like little faces, making them a super versatile addition to your fall display.

Think these dainty flowers can’t take the cold? Think again. Pansies are actually one of the more frost-resistant and cold-tolerant annuals around, enduring temperatures down to 15°F. Blue, white, and yellow varieties are usually the hardiest of the bunch, followed by orange and red.

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4. Ornamental Peppers

Add a little sizzle to your fall home landscape with the hot color and bold texture that ornamental peppers bring.

From tangerine to ruby to lemon and even eggplant, these peppers bloom abundantly on each plant and bring with them smooth shapes and shiny color. As a result, they’ve been growing in popularity, although they’re still uncommon enough to make your landscape stand out.

Mix these into your home landscape or containers, and you’ll definitely have something the neighbors will admire. In later fall, when other plants are fading, these keep going.

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5. Purple Fountain Grass

Sure, purple fountain grass may not be a flower, but it provides a brilliant backdrop on its own with its burgundy-purple foliage that is tipped with off-white plumes.

Since each plant can reach four feet tall and just as wide, together they can create a dramatic screen that will move with the wind for some extra visual impact, as well as give mums, pansies, and ornamental peppers an even more dramatic pop as a partner plant.

Don’t let this season go by without embracing a little more color. There are so many fall planting options that can make your home the envy of your neighbors. As you dream of the autumn color possibilities, don’t hesitate to contact the design experts at Rossen Landscape. We can discuss all of your options and create a custom plan for your space.