Plants for Fall Color In Southern Landscapes

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This article provides a list of plants and trees that add fall color in southern landscapes
by Brett · All Zones · Landscape Gardens · 0 Comments · September 16, 2011 · 24,898 views

Plants for Fall Color In the South

You live with your landscape 365 days a year. Fall can be full of color just like Spring!

You can extend the color show in your garden all the way through the fall season and even through winter by planting fall blooming plants such as the Sasanqua Camellia pictured to right. But Camellias aren't the only plant that provides abundant fall color.

Below are several types of plants and trees that you can use to color up your landscape during the Fall.

Sasanqua Camellias

Basically, there are two types (groups) of Camellia: 'Sasanqua' and 'Japonica'. Within each group there are 100's of varieties (cultivars). There are several differences between the two different species (groups) of Camellia but bloom time is the most notable. Sasanqua varieties bloom in fall and Japonica varieties bloom in late winter through early spring.

Sasanqua Camellias, like Southern Magnolias and Azaleas, are synonymous with the South. Mature specimens are frequently found in older neighborhoods but not so much in younger neighborhoods. This is both a shame and a mystery. Why is such a long-lived and hardy plant, which blooms when there isn't much else blooming, not more popular than it is? That's a great question. But there's no better time than now to get one or more of these fall-blooming beauties planted in your landscape. Plant one in the fall and it will be well-rooted and off to a great start when spring rolls around. Wherever you place them, they are sure to make a hit!

Sasanqua varieties come in a range of flower colors from white to shades of pink, red, fuchsia and even bicolors that have unique striped or blotched petals. Some have single flowers (1 row of petals) while others have double flowers (multiple rows of petals). The beautiful flowers are produced in abundance during the fall.

Sasanqua Camellias are broadleaf evergreen shrubs with medium to dark green shiny leaves that average 2 to 3 inches in length. They are coveted for their flowers but even if they never bloomed Sasanquas would be an asset just for their foliage. Depending on variety, mature size varies from as low as 4 feet, such as the Shi Shi Gashira (pictured above) to as high as 15 feet.

Sasanquas can tolerate a wide range of soil types but prefer well-drained, rich, moist and acidic soil that will crumble in your hand when squeezed. Camellias will grow well in amended clay soils. When planting in poor or heavy clay soils, it's a good idea to dig a wide planting hole (3 times the width of the container/ root ball) and amend the soil removed from the planting hole at a 50/50 ratio with organic matter such as composted manure, mushroom compost, or your own homemade compost. To insure good drainage, do not plant them too deep. The top edge of the root ball should be level or slightly above ground level to allow for settling. Never put soil on top of the root ball. Instead, mulch after planting with a 1 to 2 inch layer of shredded wood mulch or pine straw. Keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk of the shrub. Filtered light or morning sun with afternoon shade is preferred however, if you can keep them watered during summer droughts, they will tolerate full sun.

Encore© Azaleas

People who adore spring blooming azaleas can now enjoy an explosion of Encore® Azalea color season after season. Encore Azaleas are the only patented brand of azaleas to bloom in spring,summer and fall. Each of the 28 Encore varieties begins their performance with the spring flowering season. Once this “first act” of blooming concludes, new shoots begin to grow and set buds. The Encore Azalea's "second act" opens when these buds begin blooming into full flower mid- to late-summer. This unique bloom season continues through the fall, the curtain dropping with the onset of cold weather in winter. But, the show goes on. As an "encore," these exceptional azaleas flower again with traditional spring azaleas and the process starts all over again!

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