The beautiful warm colors of fall are something to look forward to when the weather gets cooler. Below are five beautiful and colorful shrubs you can have in your own northern Illinois yard. 

1. Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’ (Virginia Sweetspire)

The tiny, fragrant white blossoms of the sweetspire bloom in the spring. Its beautiful fall foliage persists for weeks when grown in full sunlight. It reaches a height of 3–4 feet and thrives in moist to wet environments. Sweetspire works best when planted in large groups.

2. Physocarpus opulifolius (Ninebark)

Native ninebark is your best choice for bright red, orange, or yellow leaves in the fall. In the winter, peeling bark adds a decorative touch. The red fruit of ninebark stays on the tree all winter unless birds eat it. There are several cultivars of ninebark that are more compact and purple-leaved, providing color throughout the entire year, such as Diablo® and Summer Wine®.

3. Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood Viburnum)

You’ll get bright colors if you plant these native viburnums. In the fall, arrowwood leaves turn yellow, red, or purple. The bluish-black berries attract many bird species, including flycatchers and blue jays. The arrowwood berries make them an important food source for birds that stay in one place all winter or those that migrate. Many species of butterflies and moths live on native viburnums. There are numerous cultivars that have compact growth forms and improved fruit production, such as Blue Muffin®, Chicago Lustre ®, and Autumn Jazz®.

4. Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) 

Oakleaf hydrangea is a shrub that isn’t used as much as it could be in home landscaping. That’s too bad because it’s interesting all year long. In the middle of summer, its white flowers turn purple-pink. It has beautiful fall colors, and the cinnamon-brown bark peeling off in the winter is gorgeous. You can plant it as a single plant in the light shade next to other shrubs.

5. Fothergilla x intermedia ‘Mount Airy’ (dwarf Fothergilla)

In early spring, this bush has a lot of white flowers that smell like honey. The shrub’s bright fall leaves, yellow, orange, and red in color, make it a seasoned star by October. Plant it in a spot with well-drained soil that gets full sun to part shade. It can be grown as a single plant or in groups to make a hedge or line a fence or foundation. The common name for this plant is dwarf fothergilla. It grows between 3 and 5 feet tall.

Get in touch with us right away if you’re interested in discussing the potential benefits of adding these colorful shrubs to your yard this fall.

About The NL Group

The NL Group is a premier landscaping and design firm in Barrington, Illinois dedicated to providing excellence in landscape management for homeowners throughout the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Let us turn your outdoor kitchen dream into reality.  Contact us today!