Garden Talk: Plants For Fall Color

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
close up of aster with bee
Cam Miller (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There will soon be a hint of fall in the air. Our gardening expert has suggestions for plants that can bring color into your fall garden. We also talk about autumnal garden clean-up and plant care.

Featured in this Show

  • A Horticulturalist's Favorite Plants, Trees To Look For Come Fall

    Fall is a time to hop in your car and take a drive on one of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads to soak in the colors of the leaves.

    It’s also the perfect time to take a walk with a friend around a lake, chat and snap a picture or two of the crisp fall colors and clear sky being reflected in the lake.

    Laura Jull, an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shares some of her favorite plants that show their best colors in the fall. Beyond the hearty cabbage, kale and chrysanthemums, Jull’s favorite fall plants include some asters and native Wisconsin trees.

    Sugar Maple

    The sugar maple is Wisconsin’s state tree.

    To see this tree and its beautiful fall color, you’ll have to venture outside downtown Milwaukee or Madison because it doesn’t like urban conditions.

    Sugar Maple

    Black Gum

    Also native to Wisconsin, the black gum “has got the best fall color I’ve ever seen,” Jull said.

    The black gum is a bit more difficult to grow and find, but it’s well worth the effort for its vibrant autumn colors, she said.

    black gum foliage


    Both the dwarf and regular fothergilla plant have bright orange red to orange-yellow fall color.

    It blooms late, from late October into November, so you can enjoy it well into the season.

    fothergilla 4

    Montrose White Calamint

    This fall flower is native to the southern United States.

    It’s a “complete bee hotel,” attracting pollinators from miles around, Jull said.

    160722 120 Chi Bot Gdn Landscape Gdn - Calamintha nepeta 'Montrose White' Lesser Calamint

    Aromatic Asters

    Jull recommended the October Sky or Raydon’s Favorite variety of aromatic asters.

    They range in color from pink to purple and are mildew resistant. These are different from the asters you might typically see in the store, she said.


Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Jill Nadeau Producer
  • Laura Jull Guest

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