To celebrate shrub planting season, the cooler weather and the gorgeous fall blooms that come along with it, we’ve decided to highlight a few of our favorite fall-blooming native perennials and shrubs. If you’ve never considered choosing native plants for your landscape, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to visit our blog, “Native plants to Ease the Workload of Landscaping”, to see some of our reasons that native plants are successful landscape options.
Fragrant Mist Flower (Eupatorium havanese)
This small, shrubby, native plant puts on a gorgeous fall display with masses of profuse white blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Deciduous in nature, fragrant mist flower will keep foliage until spring. We love that its biggest bloom period happens later in the year after many other plants blooms have faded out. This native plant thrives in full sun to partial shade in well-draining soil, grows 2-6 feet, tolerates heat and is cold hardy to 10°- 20° F.
Apache Plume (Fallugia paradox)
While Apache Plume produces pretty, fragrant, snow-white flowers continually from May through October, it’s wow factor comes from the pink, feathery, seed tassels that practically cover the shrub from fall to winter. Apache Plume has a nice rounded shape, grows 2-8 ft., needs well-draining soil and thrives in full sun to partial shade. This native plant flowers on new spring growth, so is should be pruned in winter. Although the semi-evergreen Apache Plume is drought tolerant; an occasional deep soak throughout summer will encourage continuous blooms.
Flame Anisacnathus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii)
Also called the Hummingbird Bush, the Flame Anisacanthus, is true to its name; hummingbirds are drawn to this native plant in droves. Vibrant, orange-red tubular flowers are present spring through fall. Cutting back your plant in August ensures a mass of blooms in fall that rival any spring bloomer. Full sun to partial shade is preferred and well-draining soil is a must. Drought and heat tolerant, Flame Anisacanthus is deciduous and cold hardy to 10° F and root hardy to 0° F. This native plant reseeds itself easily.
Rock Rose Pavonia (Pavonia lasiopletala)
Pretty in pink is the best way to describe this spring through fall, profusely blooming, native plant. A deciduous perennial that grows 2-4 ft, in full sun to part shade, Pavonia Rock Rose is heat tolerant and cold hardy to 10-20°F. Even if it freezes to the ground it will return from roots in spring. Showy, true-pink, hibiscus-like flowers will be produced until the first freeze. Well-draining soil is a must, but other than that, it is not picky about soil type. Cutting Pavonia Rock Rose down each year will keep this native plant looking its best.
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbicualtus)
If you haven’t heard of Coralberry, you are in for a treat today. This native plant is not heralded for showy blooms but rather for its clusters of profuse red berries that adorn the low-growing plant in fall. We love the arching branches of Coralberry and the way it spreads quickly and thickly, making it a great option for an erosion control specimen. We also appreciate that Coralberry is one of our native plants that prefers partial to full shade. Coralberry is drought tolerant and cold hardy to -20°F. berries feed native birds throughout the winter.
Of course these are just a few of the numerous native shrubs and perennials you can choose. We also love our fall-blooming, butterfly-attracting Sennas, hummingbird magnets Turk’s Cap, bird-feeding American Beautyberry and much, much more. We haven’t even started talking about the gorgeous fall color of native trees like Texas, Chisos, and Shumard Oaks, or the brilliant fall foliage of Flameleaf Sumac and Rusty Blackhaw. We will make sure to continue to bring you information on more intriguing native plants in the months to come. Please give native plants a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy