Ten Most Popular Fall Foliage Plants

This article describes the most popular foliage for fall, including most popular indoor plants and the most popular fall plants for outdoor borders.

As summer begins to fade into fall, you might be interested to learn about some of the most popular fall foliage plants for both indoor and outdoor gardens.

One of the most popular indoor plants for fall is the philodendron. Its heart-shaped leaves and modest vining make them an attractive accent to any room. It's striking appearance makes for a very dramatic effect. It has slender stems that allow for trailing vines or you can train it to be a climber by providing some support. This plant likes warm temperatures, indirect light, and moderately moist soil.

Another popular plant for indoor fall gardening is indoor ivy, which looks much like its larger outdoor cousins but is bred to keep its spreading to a minimum so your indoor garden doesn't get too overgrown too quickly. Growing ivy extremely simple because they thrive in almost any type of soil, even poor soil. Ivy does not like strong light, so keep it out of direct sunlight. Ivy also needs lots of support, so you will need to provide a trellis of some sort for it to climb. This plant can be moved outdoor in the summer for a nice addition to a patio garden.

Golden pothos provides a lovely splash of gold and green to brighten up your winter atmospheres. This plant is a hardy indoor climbing foliage plant. It resembles and is often confused with the philodendron. Golden pothos has thick, waxy green heart-shaped leaves with splashes of yellow. Other popular varieties of the pothos include the Marble Queen, which has more white coloring than do other pothos plants, and Tricolor, which has shades of green, deep yellow, and creamy white. They all look lovely in an indoors autumn flower arrangement.

A large indoor foliage plant is the ficus, a hardy "decorative fig tree" that graces many homes and offices. This is a multi-stemmed tree with large, lobed leaves and silvery-gray bark. It also has edible fruits.

The Peace lily, whose beautiful flowers are complemented by its graceful dark green foliage, is another popular indoor fall plant. Lilies are prized as ornamental plants; they are erect perennial plants with leafy stems, scaly bulbs, usually narrow leaves, and solitary or clustered flowers. The flowers consist of six petallike segments, which may form the shape of a trumpet. These flowers are quite fragrant, and they come in a wide variety of colors. Plants of most species range in height from 30 to 120 cm (1-4 feet); plants of certain species, however, exceed 2.5 m (8 feet) in height. Lilies are usually raised from bulbs, but they can be grown from seed.

While most borders consist of summer flowers, it's nice to have some fall flowers planted to add color when summer flowers begin to fade. One of the most popular fall flowers is the chrysanthemum. Mums have large flower heads and aromatic leaves that alternate along the stem. They are so popular because they come in such a wide variety of sizes and colors: white, cream, yellow, red, orange and russet. All of these colors would contribute nicely to a fall display. Use them as foreground planting with fall foliage shrubs to add extra color to your garden. Mums can also be moved indoors and kept year after year as houseplants, although this is not a common practice.

Japanese maples are well known for their oriental appearance and striking beauty. In the fall their delicate, bright foliage is sensational in any landscape setting but is usually shown to best effect when grown on a hill or around small ponds. Japanese are fairly small, dainty trees and are easily grown from seed. Their foliage can be either green or red and can grow to ten or thirty feet, depending upon the variety. Although they appear quite delicate the Japanese maple is a hardy tree, and is seldom damaged by smoke or other air pollutants. It adapts well to pruning and is easily transplanted. They do best in a moist, fertile soil, and partial shade.

Rockspray cotoneaster is a deciduous shrub that grows to be about two to five feet tall. It has small leaves that are wide and layered, resembling a spry of water. The leaves are dark green and turn dark red in fall. This shrub also has small pink flowers in the spring and small, bright red fruit in late summer and fall that makes a nice contrast to its brightly-colored leaves. They look nice in a border with mums. It prefers sun to partial shade and well-drained, loose, dry, fertile soil.

Autumn crocus produces leaves in the spring and flowers in the fall. The plants prefer semi-shade but take full sun if well watered. You should plant the bulbs 2 inches deep in moist soil containing lots of organic matter an leave them alone unless they show signs of overcrowding. You can also grow the bulbs indoors in a sunny window without soil or water, but when you force a bulb in this manner you must plant it. The yellow and purple varieties look nice with mums and rockspray.

Cyclamen are planted in bulbs, and have heart-shaped leaves that are marbled green and white. Its flowers are pink and white. They look great in a winter hanging basket with winter heather and evergreen or in an indoor autumn arrangement. This plant likes shade, well-drained soil, and does very well when planted under a tree.

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