The dog days of summer are now long behind us. Days are shorter and temperatures much more comfortable. It’s this time of year, the fall, that is the most ideal for introductions into your landscape. Plants are beginning to prepare for winter and going into a stage of dorm ancy to conserve energy for the long, harsh winter. This reduced growth activity is exactly what allows their installation/trans- plant with little or no stress to the plant itself. Also take advantage of the array of vibrant colors the fall has to offer in making your selections. The following are my three fall favorites that capture both bold leaf and berry colors:
GRO-LOW FRAGRANT SUMAC: Rhus aromatic ‘Gro -Low’ is underutilized in the landscape primarily due to its name. Sumac is not at all poisonous, and the actual species that is, has no relation. This is a fast-growing, low shrub which gets about 2 to 3 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. They have a great scarlet fall colo r and when planted in large sweeping masses create a stunning effect. Gro-Low, like most sumacs, will tolerate poor soil conditions and pr efer full sun to part shade. The leaves, when brushed against, emit a lemon-like fragrance. It is also a great choice for attracting birds and wildlife and requires minimal maintenance.
SPICEBUSH: Lindera Benzoin g rows 5 to 8 feet in the landscape and prefers a location that of fers part shade and moist soils. As fall sets in, the leaves turn buttery yellow accompanied with crimson red berries. The yellow then t urns to a papery tan toward the end of fall and persists on the branches throughout the winter. The berries attract wildlife and are quic kly eaten due to having a high fat content in preparation for the upcoming winter. The spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae feed on the leaves and use them for protection prior to their chrysalis stage.
COMMON WITCH HAZEL: Hamamalisvirginiana is another North American na tive which can be found in wood- lands throughout the Northeast. A fall blooming deciduous shrub with twisted, ribbon- like yellow petals emerging along the entire length of branches, the leaves also display a vibrant golden hue which really will brighten up an understory plant ing. Witch hazel is a large growing shrub sometimes getting 15 to 20 feet tall. It prefers full sun to part shade and moist, acidic soil s that are high in organic matter. It’s most notably known for its medicinal properties as a natural anti-inflammatory and antiviral a stringent.
Fall is an encore performance of color display and the final bow for a great year in the growth cycle of many plants. Introducing them at this perfect time of year ensures their survivability to thrive and flourish for many more years to come. Visit a local garden center nursery on a brisk weekend morning and stroll the rows to see what colors pique your interest!
8 Pineview Ave | Berlin | (856) 753-1944
MPasquarello@EliteLandscaping.com | EliteLandscaping.com
Photographs courtesy of Elite Landscaping
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 8 (October 2018).
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