Shrubs & Hedges
5 Low-Maintenance Plants for Fall
You don’t have to head to the hills or look upwards at tall trees to spot gorgeous fall color and texture in your landscape. These five fall stunners are spectacular as the weather cools, and all require little maintenance, which is a welcome feature as the season winds down.
1. Drift Roses
Drift Roses are a re-blooming cross between typical groundcover roses and miniature varieties. They've been developed to flower from late spring through fall. They’re also bred to resist diseases such as black spot and 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, and they'll deliver color for seasons to come.
These groundcover roses provide bursts of white, coral, peach, pink or red to line beds or pathways. They even can provide colorful coverage 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, this ornamental grass adds a little action to your landscape as you sit back and enjoy the sway of 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 can 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.
This 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 following 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 these 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 Rose
If your wish for this fall is the perfect rose - at least one with vibrant blooms all season and little maintenance - your wish can be granted with the Double Knock Out Rose!
This rose was developed to re-bloom from spring through fall, with no pruning or deadheading required. And boy, does it bloom! Each rose boasts 18 to 25 petals for intense flower power.
Double Knock Out Roses are also resistant to diseases and pests as an added bonus, and they're hardy to zones 5-10, making them a reliable option for most climates.
There's no doubt about it - the huge, double blooms of the Double Knock Out Rose should be at the heart of any fall garden plan!
5. Admiration Barberry
The Admiration Barberry has seriously unique foliage, showing off tones of neon yellow to vivid reds and greens for a noteworthy color display.
This compact, upright shrub is both drought and deer tolerant, so it's a hardy and versatile landscape option.
It's also low-maintenance and easy to care for, so you can plant it up and let it do its thing. It will grow to be about 1 to 2 feet in height and width, making it perfect for planting in borders or tight corners. It can also withstand the cold, thriving in zones 4-9.
Plant this Barberry up, and you'll definitely be admiring its extended beauty from spring to fall!