You don’t have to head to the hills or look up to tall trees to spot gorgeous fall color and texture in your landscape. These five fall stunners look great as the weather cools and all require little maintenance, a welcome feature as the season winds down.
1. Drift Roses
These rebloomers are a cross between typical groundcover roses and miniature varieties. Drift Roses have been developed to bloom from late spring through fall. They’re also bred to resist diseases such as black spot or powdery mildew that can affect other rose species as cool, damp afternoons and evenings approach.
In fact, fall is the perfect time to plant drift roses. Just give them plenty of organic matter and good drainage.
The groundcover roses provide bursts of white, coral, peach, pink or red to line beds or pathways.
They even can provide colorful groundcover for sunny areas of your lawn. Drift roses are hardy in zones 4 through 11.
2. Pink Muhly Grass
Add pink color and a bit of texture to your fall garden with Pink Muhly Grass.
Best of all they add a little action to your landscape as you sit back and enjoy the sway of the reddish-pink blooms in the cool autumn breeze.
Pink Muhly grass begins blooming in late summer in full sun and holds its color through fall, then the blooms turn into sand-colored seedheads that still look great all winter.
Pink Muhly reaches heights of nearly 4 feet, and planting a group of the clump grass about 3 to 4 feet apart gives you a wall of fall color for privacy or walkways.
The unique native of the Southeast grows in zones 6 through 9 and requires little maintenance. Just cut back your grass in early spring to make sure you have the same gorgeous blooms the next fall.
3. Fragrant Tea Olive
Fall bloom color is reason enough to choose a plant, but a pleasant scent drifting in through open windows is an autumn bonus.
The Fragrant Tea Olive is one of the most aromatic plants for Southern gardeners to enjoy in the fall.
Small white blooms appear amid the evergreen, holly-like leaves. The blooms produce a fragrant, citrus-like scent that sweetens the cool autumn air.
The scent from a hedge of the 10-foot high plants can drift up to 100 feet and the plants provide an evergreen privacy screen.
The Fragrant Tea Olive is a low-maintenance, slow-growing plant. Expect to purchase it in larger sizes than some shrubs or small trees, but get the most from its established size as a specimen or hedge plant. The tree grows well in zones 7 through 9.
4. Double Knock Out Roses
If your wish for this fall were the perfect rose, at least one with vibrant blooms all season and little maintenance, your wish would be granted by the Double Knock Out Rose.
This rose variety was developed to rebloom from spring through fall with no pruning or deadheading required. And does it ever bloom!
Each rose boasts 18 to 25 petals, making it a beauty in your garden and as an aromatic cut flower in your home.
Double Knock Out roses also are resistant to diseases and pests.
The huge double blooms of the Double Knock Out rose should be at the heart of any fall garden plan. The roses are hardy in zones 5 through 10.
5. Variegated Liriope
It’s a grass, a big summer and fall bloomer, and one of the easiest ornamental plants for containers, groupings or unique spots in your garden. The Variegated Liriope, also called a lilyturf, is much tougher than it appears.
Although the plant with delicate-looking purple flower spikes and variegated yellow and green leaves does best in partial sun, it can take many soil and location conditions. The favorite border plant is an easy-care choice.
Just clip off faded leaves at the end of fall or during winter to revitalize your liriope for next year. If the clumping plant gets too crowded, you can dig it up and divide it, spacing the plants at least a foot apart. Expect Variegated Liriope to reach heights of about 12 inches in zones 5 through 10.