We are often asked, of the plants we grow, which do we think have the best fall color? Well first of all, a good growing season with plentiful rain and reasonable temperatures will allow plants that are genetically able to “color up” to reach their full fall foliage color potential. Likewise, proper nutrition is important. This is true for trees, shrubs, and perennials. As temperatures cool and hours of daylight shorten, green chlorophyll in plant leaves starts to decrease and other cell pigments become unmasked or visible. So the chlorophyll laden green leaves of Spicebush, Sugar Maple, or Bluestar, for instance, gradually change to reveal carotenoid-full yellow or orange leaves. Or in the case of blueberries, Virginia Sweetspire, and Chokeberry, chlorophyll fades as the pigment anthocyanin is produced resulting in brilliant reds and purples. That’s it, in a nutshell.
Here is our list of the 10 best fall foliage plants: