Whether the local thermometers agree or not, fall is underway here in Pennsylvania. Summer 2016 was another scorcher, and while York, Lancaster and Adams counties aren’t currently in a declared drought, many of our neighboring counties are.
It may not be obvious yet, but the dry weather is wreaking havoc on our landscapes. For example, most trees will begin going dormant early and without much color, as the leaves will simply turn brown and begin to drop. We expect 75 to 80% of the leaves to be off trees before Thanksgiving arrives, which is 3 to 4 weeks earlier than recent years.
Despite the lack of rain, we can still count on colorful fall shrubs and perennials. Here’s a list of some of our favorites to add around your home. We’ve broken them down by size for easy reference.
Low Growers (under 3 feet)
Autumn Joy Sedum – Bright pink flowers on large heads
- Black-Eyed Susan – Orange, red or yellow flowers with a “black eye” center
- Blue Fescue Grass – Wiry, blue, evergreen grass
- Blue Salvia (Sage) – Blue or violet, spike shaped flowers
- Caryopteris – Small, showy blue flowers
- Chinese Lantern – Orange or red paper-like seed pods that resemble small tomatoes
- Garden Mums – Available in a variety of colors
- Goldenrod – Widely spaced, yellow clusters of flowers
- Liriope (Lily Turf) – Small spike flowers that are bluish-purple or white
- Pansies – Available in a wide range of colors to suit any taste
- Swamp Sunflower – Small, yellow flowers with a dark center
Medium Growers (3-8 feet)
- Beautyberry – Brightly colored, tiny clustered purple berries
- Fountain Grass – Foxtail-looking tan, pink or purple flowers on large stems
- Gateway Joe-Pye Weed – Large, bright mauve-pink flower clusters on red stems
- Karl Foerster Reed Grass – Loose, feathery flowers that are initially pink on large stems
- Miscanthus Grass (Maiden Grass) – Tiny reddish-copper flowers that resemble tassels above the foliage
- Morning Light Grass – Tiny reddish-copper flowers that resemble tassels above the foliage
- Oak Leaf Hydrangea – Available in single or double-blossom that turn from white to pink to rusty brown as they age
- Phlomis – Available in a wide range of colors, including yellow, pink, purple and white
- Red Hot Poker – Available in a wide range of colors, including red, orange, coral, cream and yellow
- Russian Sage – Small, airy spires of bluish-purple flowers
These are just some of the shrubs and perennials that offer fantastic fall colors here in Pennsylvania. To explore these and other fall color options, reach out to our expert landscape design team. They’ll be delighted to help you plan a more colorful fall landscape.