10 Unique Shrubs for Fall Color (Zone: 3 - 7)

10 Unique Shrubs for Fall Color (Zone: 3 - 7)

And suddenly, it’s fall!

Though days are shorter, nights are cooler and most of the flowering shrubs are done, the rewards that come from a bonfire of fiery fall foliage makes it a season to get out enjoy those last days in the garden.

There are many shrubs that provide fall color. We wanted to share a few favorites, each with something special to offer. Now, as you’re wrapping up fall planting, is the time to slip in a few shrubs which look great in spring and summer, but provide a really special autumn moment.

(As zones often overlap, check out this companion post for even more options.)

Grace Smoke Tree

You loved it dressed in rich purple all summer, but when cooler fall nights come on…wow! Look at that fiery color. Performs even in rocky, infertile soils! Partial to full sun. Up to 15 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 4 – 8


Gro-Low Fragrant Sumac
Zone: 4 – 9

Spectacular and hardy with red, fragrant fall foliage. Use to front a border or as a durable groundcover. Partial to full sun. Up to 3 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide.


Goldflame Spirea
Zone: 4 – 9

Chartreuse foliage turns to a brilliant coppery orange in the fall (not to mention rosy red summer flowers!) Partial to full sun. Up to 4 ft. tall and wide.


Brilliant Red Chokeberry
Zone: 4 – 9

Improved, compact selection with white spring flowers followed by abundant glossy red fruit and brilliant red fall foliage. Partial shade to full sun. 8 ft. tall and wide.


Northland Midseason Blueberry
Zone: 3 – 7

Anyone want a tall, dense, flowering and fruiting hedge that bursts into flaming hues in fall? Plant in mass for three seasons of thrills. Full sun. Up to 6 ft. tall and wide.


Candy Apple™ Hydrangea
Zone: 4 – 8

After dazzling all summer, celebrates fall with foliage turning purple-red and blooms that dry to warm, soft pink. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 5 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide.


Henry’s Garnet Sweetspire
Zone: 5 – 9

Eastern native that turns up the volume with brilliant red-purple fall foliage color that lasts into winter. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 6 ft. tall and wide.


Korean Spice Viburnum
Zone: 4 – 8

Plant where you can enjoy both the fragrant spring flowers and rich burgundy fall foliage. Birds love the black berries. Partial to full sun. Up to 6 ft. tall and wide.


Fine Line® Fern Leaf Buckthorn
Zone: 2 – 7

Narrow, columnar habit is fantastic for adding shape to the garden. Foliage turns yellow in fall. Non-invasive cultivar. Partial to full sun. Up to 7 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide.


Dwarf Fothergilla
Zone: 5 – 9

Lovely in 3 seasons, plant this native in woodland or shade gardens or in shrub borders that need a color boost in fall. Partial to full sun. Up to 4 ft. tall and wide.