Fall Landscape Ideas for Colorful Plants

My favorite fall landscape color is when I see trees with red foliage, such as this Japanese Maple.

Fall color with Japanese Maples.

Japanese Red Maple

A mix of colors is wonderful, but I have to admit that I am parcial to reds. And berries...I love berries! Be sure to get the female plants which produce the berries and include one male which is needed for the berry production.

A river scene in the fall showing trees with foliage color.

Here are some plants that will provide fall spectacular color:


  • Red Maple 'October Glory' or 'Red Sunset' - you will be amazed at the fire engine red colors
  • Chanticlear Pear - this is a tree with late fall color......purples and golds
  • American Holly - great red berries and evergreen
  • Purple Leaf Plum - purple leaves all season
  • Zelkova
  • Flowering Dogwood - red Fall color and berries too!
  • Japanese Maple

Shade Trees in the Fall


  • Winterberry Holly - an abundance of red berries
  • Meservae Hollies - red berries and evergreen
  • Burning Bush - wow...fabulous red leaves in the Fall
  • Nandina
  • Red Barberry - red leaves all season

Planting Design For the Fall Landscape

Imagine this. You are walking or driving along, and you spot a really pretty shrub with bright red leaves. It stands out among some evergreen plants nearby. Now imagine this. It's the same scene, but instead of one of these shrubs, you see five...or seven...or nine. Now that red color is all the more striking because there is so much of it!

My point is, that when planting for the Fall landscape, try to use a mass of a particular shrub. (This is true in all of landscape design.) It is less important with trees because of their large sizes and mass of foliage. The colorful leaves of a single tree will stand out anyway, but if you would like to use a group of three trees...go ahead.

Here is an example of a planting design for a specific area that will burst with Fall color.

You can create a bed in your front lawn to break up the large amount of grass. Create a curvilinear bed. It might be kidney shaped or something similar. The next part depends on the size of your property, but lets say the bed is 25' long by 7' wide.

Place a Red Maple 'October Glory' or a Flowering Dogwood at one end. If you are standing at your house looking out, place seven Meservae Hollies along the back of the bed, and stagger them. In front of the Hollies, place five to seven Nandina 'Moon Bay'. You could also use Red Barberry instead. By the way, the texture of either the Nandinas or the Red Barberry against the Hollies looks great.

On the end opposite the Red Maple, but towards the front a bit, place three Burning Bush. In the Fall, you might purchase nine Mums, and place them in front of the Nandina...perhaps in the gold colors.

You might have noticed that I suggested placing the Nandina or Red Barberry on the house side of the Hollies, rather than the street side. The reason for this, is that when I have a choice of the design being oriented for a view from the street, or from the house, I opt for the house!

Grab my FREE ebook on Trees

Go To Landscaping Ideas

Return From Fall Landscape to Landscape Design Advice

If you enjoyed this page, please share it!

Ebooks by Susan