Now that fall is in full swing, our garden center is bustling with new plants and products to make your garden gorgeous for the season. Shrubs, however, can give your garden year-round interest and it’s a great time to plant so the roots can develop before the chill of winter sets in. In this blog, we've handpicked five amazing shrubs that will not only make your garden look fantastic but will also keep it thriving for many years to come.
Osmanthus is the ultimate fall shrub. As the days get shorter, this plant bursts into fragrant blooms, making your garden smell incredible. They also have intricate, waxy foliage, much like holly, that create an intriguing texture, even when the shrub isn’t blooming. Here are some tips when planting osmanthus:
- Plant in well-drained soil with good organic matter. We recommend our McDonald Garden Center compost & topsoil.
- Water deeply once a week to keep the soil consistently moist while the plant is getting established.
- Prune lightly after flowering to maintain its shape and encourage new growth.
Loropetalum, also known as the Chinese fringe flower, adds a touch of elegance to your landscape. It has stunning dark green and burgundy leaves as a backdrop to its unique pink or white flowers. These delicate blooms stick around for most of the fall, giving your landscape that little something extra. Follow these suggestions to get your loropetalum off to the right start:
- Provide well-drained soil and water regularly during dry spells.
- Apply a slow-release plant food in early spring to encourage strong growth throughout the warmer months.
- Prune after flowering to shape and control its size, but avoid heavy pruning.
Camellias are all about bringing sophistication to your garden in the cooler months of the year. These evergreen shrubs produce stunning rose-like flowers in all sorts of colors, from pure white to deep, velvety red. The glossy dark green leaves make the flowers really stand out and give your garden that elegant touch. Give your new camellias the very best with the following tips:
- Plant in slightly acidic soil with good drainage, you can amend drainage with perlite or vermiculite.
- Water regularly, especially while blooming, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
- Apply a layer of mulch to help conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature through the winter.
If you want your garden to burst with color all throughout fall, encore azaleas are your best bet. These shrubs come alive with clusters of blooms in shades like pink, red, purple, and white and will even bloom repeatedly throughout the year, not just in fall. They're like the real stars of the fall season, painting your garden with a vibrant rainbow of blooms.
- Plant in well-draining, acidic soil and water consistently to keep the soil moist.
- Prune right after flowering to encourage new growth and shape the plant.
- Feed your azaleas in early spring with a balanced, slow-release plant food such as holly tone from Espoma.
Boxwoods may not be famous for their fall blooms, but they're the solid, evergreen plants that keep your garden looking great all year. While other plants lose their leaves or go to sleep in the fall, boxwoods stay strong, adding a touch of green and stability to your garden's fall look.
- Plant in well-drained soil and water consistently to establish strong roots.
- Lightly trim throughout the growing season to maintain its shape.
- Mulch around the base to conserve moisture and protect the roots during winter.
Any or all of these five shrubs are a great foundation for your landscape and garden. To learn more about what’s growing on at the garden center, check out Mike, the Garden Guru, and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice. To keep inspired and grow with us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!