FALLing for shrubs

Mon. Oct. 23, 2017

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My husband and I recently headed north to catch the colors and found ourselves with them just past peak, however, THAT was still fantastic.  Check out my Garden Bite facebook page for more photos.

Our collective love for the changing colors is quite evident as I enjoy the pictures of others landscapes, including my own.  I have a couple of lovely maples and a scorching burning bush in my yard.  I also have a french lilac which turns purple and yellow barberry that turns red.

French lilac 2017
up close
Yellow barberry fall colors

While those are spectacular, there are other notable shrubs to Fall for!  A zone 5 Viburnum that’s worth a look see is called ‘Brandywine’ from Proven Winners.  The green berries turn vivid shades of pink and blue while the glossy leaves leaves become a dark maroon-red.  It grows to 6 feet tall and prefers full sun.

Viburnum ‘Brandywine’ fall foliage
Viburnum ‘Brandywine’ berries

If you’re adventurous enough to try another zone 5 plant and have a moist site, then consider the Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’.  This shrub is normally rather large but ‘Little Henry’ grows to only 3 feet tall, has abundant lightly scented unusual white flowers that remind me of sparklers in the summer and foliage that turns firey in the Fall.

Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’ spring
Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’ fall

Another Fall beauty is either loved or hated.  Virginia Creeper – maligned or marveled over – it’s foliage is definitely a statement.  The vine is a, shall we say, vigorous grower.  It’s a fast grower, hardy to zone 3 and salt tolerant.

Don’t let the unnamed native cultivar grow on your specimen trees.  It will climb them, casting shade on their leaves, depriving them of needed sunlight.  However, this is stunning growing on old homes and arbors!

Virginia creeper

Go for the cultivar ‘Red Wall’.  It also tolerates shade.

First season Virginia Creeper ‘Red Wall’ – the Japanese beetles liked it too…

It also can be mistaken for poison ivy!  The difference is that Virginia Creeper has 5 leaflets while poison ivy has 3 and IT gives you a rash, the creeper won’t.