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Outdoor Plants

Fall is for Planting Trees, Shrubs & Perennials

September 6, 2019 3 min read

Think spring is the best time to add new hardy plants to your outdoor space? Think again!

The cooler temperatures in fall make it an ideal time for planting. Extreme heat stresses out trees, making it difficult for them to establish. Cooler temperatures with shorter days create a perfect growing environment for newly planted plants.

Trees will begin establishing their root systems immediately after planting and will continue until frost, which results in a stronger, more developed root system.

Defoliating insects are more common in spring and summer. Fewer pests and diseases mean less stress on new trees and shrubs!

As summer begins to wind down, take a look at your garden and note areas of improvement. Pick your plants, dig in, add some fresh soil, and water well to help your fall plantings establish strong roots.

These are our favourite plants that make an impression in autumn.

Staghorn Sumac

This large shrub is one of our favourite native plants to plant for autumn colour. The deep green foliage turns into a brilliant display of golden yellow and deep orange that changes into a deep red. They also produce clusters of fuzzy red berries which wildlife enjoy.

Tiger Eyes Staghorn Sumac
‘Tiger Eyes’ Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn sumac is quite hardy and grows well in full sun. Tolerant of many soil types, including dry areas.

Burning Bush

One of the most cherished shrubs for spectacular fall colour. Dark green summer foliage will transform into ablaze of fiery red in late autumn. If you have a smaller area, take a look at the dwarf burning bush.


From late summer into autumn, asters are notorious for their showy star-shaped white, pastel purple, violet, or yellow blooms in open fields and mass plantings in gardens. This wildflower is native to our region, and pollinators love them. Plant in an area that receives full to partial sun and has well-draining soil.

Growing a native plant garden

Ornamental Grasses

Hardy ornamental grasses are another excellent plant for adding late summer and fall colour. As the weather transitions into winter, the long plumes add movement and texture to an otherwise drab landscape. Most ornamental grasses thrive in partial to full sun areas and need well-drained soil.

Red Maple

This tree is a lovely addition in any season, but if you ask us no plant quite says autumn, like the red maple. Perfect for creating a focal point in a backyard or adding curb appeal. They thrive in full to partial sunlight and are quite adaptable to all soil types. It’s native to the Eastern American deciduous forest.


The deep foliage colours on heuchera make a beautiful addition to gardens and containers. As temperatures cool, heuchera foliage colour will brighten or deepen. These perennials are hardy from zone 5-9 and perform well in full shade or partial sun.

Photo © of TERRA NOVA® Nurseries
Heuchera Grande™ Amethyst