Everyone knows that spring is a great time to install plant material, but fall is equally good. In fact, fall-installed plants undergo less stress and can be less work on their owner. Although a deciduous plant’s leaves drop off or a perennial plant’s top dies back, its roots are still active. The ground usually does not freeze in the Chicago area until well into December; this allows plants’ roots to continue to work to repair themselves from the transplant. They are actively growing any time the soil temperature is 40 degrees or above so that in spring, when the temperatures warm, they are more ready to support the above-ground portions of the plant.

So if you are thinking of installing a new garden or just a few new plants in your yard, now’s the time for planting!

Here are some of our favorite landscape plants with great fall color.


Burning Bush

Dwarf Fothergilla

Kousa Dogwood

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Porcelainberry Vine



Virginia Sweetspire