October is About Fall Color

October is about fall color 

Do you have to look across the street to see the bright and earthy colors that say it’s fall? 
If your yard is missing fall color, take note of what you like in the neighbor’s yard or in the office park and add fall-coloring plants to your shopping list for next spring.  And consider selections like the ones below from Colorado’s own Plant Select®.  These plants have been developed to thrive in whatever the Colorado climate might throw at them – and they flourish with little to no water once they’re established.  

Remember, 2013 began with serious drought in the forecast and that threat will always loom over us.  Every time we add a new plant, we can make a smart and sustainable choice to buy plants that add color and beauty while saving water.  

Here are four options from Plant Select® that can add great fall interest to any yard.

Giant sacaton  (Sporobolus wrightii)

Size: 5-7′ tall by 3-5′ wide

Conditions: Dry to xeric (little to no additional water once established); full sun

Care: cut back in late spring/early summer once leaves have started to emerge

Why grow it: Large, ornamental western native grass that thrives in hot, sunny spots. Much more adaptable than exotic grasses that tend to be invasive and which require more water.  Holds shape and offers texture late in season.

Altitude limit: to 7000 ft.

Coral Canyon® twinspur  (Diascia integerrima)

Size: 12-15″ tall by 12-15″ wide

Conditions: Moderate to dry conditions in well-drained soils; rock mulch is best.

Care: Cut back to ground in late spring.

Why grow it:  Unusual bubble-gum pink flowers bloom heaviest in spring and fall. Beautiful when contrasted with silver- and purple-foliaged plants such as Sea Foam and Platinum® sage,  Herrenhausen or Rotkugel ornamental oregano, and Royal Purple smokebush. Blooms late into October in many locations!

Altitude limit: to 7000 ft.

Pawnee Buttes® sand cherry (Prunus besseyi selection)

Size: 15-18″ tall by 4-6′ wide

Conditions: Moderate to dry conditions in full sun. Not fussy about soils, but give it plenty of room to spread.

Care: needs little care once established and a good groundcover shrub for difficult growing areas.

Why grow it: Stems are covered with small white blossoms in spring, summer foliage is glossy green even in very dry conditions, and fall color is a brilliant coppery-orange.

Altitude limit: to 9,000 ft.

Wild Thing sage (Salvia greggii)

Size:  16-20″ tall x 18-24″ wide

Conditions:  Dry to xeric conditions (little to no water needed once established) with good drainage in full sun

Care: Cut back in late spring once leaves are emerging.

Why grow it: Hot pink/magenta flowers bloom from mid-summer to frost in warmer areas. Excellent for attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds looking for that fall burst of energy before heading south. Cooler temperatures in autumn promote intense flowering.

Altitude limit: to 6,000 ft. – plant on south sides or in protected areas near rocks or buildings

This entry was posted in Gardens, Design, Designscapes News