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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
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Fall is here.....Time to plant shrubs


Fall is Here...Time to Plant Shrubs

"Planting shrubs starting now through mid-October offers many benefits that may outweigh spring planting," states University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. The temperatures are cool and easier on the plants, so there is less chance for the shrub to be stressed by extreme heat. The warm temperatures of the soil and cool temperatures of the air create ideal conditions for root growth, making the planting much stronger. Keeping the shrub consistently watered can be an easier task with lower transpiration and fall rains.

Buying from a nursery or greenhouse now allows you to pick out the best fall colors. Plant the following shrubs for the best fall displays:

  • Chokeberryis named for the astringent taste of the berries, which must be turned into jams and jellies to become edible for humans. This shrub that does best in full sun and will produce white clustered flowers in May that turn into black berries in late summer and early fall. This native shrub has an average height and spread of four feet and has fiery orange-red fall color.
  • Korean Spice Viburnumis a standout in the garden throughout the entire growing season. Fragrant flowers emerge pink from red buds and then turn white, resembling a small snowball. Blue-black berries appear in late summer, followed by a stunning fall display of reds and purples.
  • Blackhaw Viburnumis a larger native shrub that is tolerant to drought. In June, the white flowers are spread out and can resemble the delicacy of Queen Anne's Lace. The dark blue berries stand out in front of dark, glossy foliage of vibrant reds and purples.
  • Fothergillais a small compact shrub that grows around two feet high with a two-foot spread and can be grown in full sun or part shade. Fothergilla is an ideal shrub to add to a shade garden in need of fall color. In April or early May, small doll-sized, bottle brush-looking, aromatic flowers are followed by brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange in the fall.
  • Callicarpadoesn't have outstanding leaf color during the fall, but the berry display gives color like few plants can. Starting in late autumn, effervescent purple berries line the stems of a four-foot shrub. Clusters of white flowers form on the stems in June. The berries persist after leaves fall off and attract birds.


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