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Fall Magic Foliage

Don't forget the foliage! Use these Proven Winners foliage varieties in your fall garden.


The Fall Magic® collection by Proven Winners® is composed of cold tolerant plants with either striking flowers or foliage. The Bringing Color to Fall article covers the flowering plants within the Fall Magic collection. This article highlights the foliage plants within the Fall Magic collection. In nature, fall foliage comes in a variety of colors many of which are mirrored in our Fall Magic collection.

Many leaves in fall turn bright yellow and we have 4 varieties that have yellow to chartreuse foliage. Acorus 'Ogon' is a short grass, 8-14 inches tall, that loves damp conditions and mixes extremely well in combinations. 'Ogon' is yellow and green variegated. It is an excellent plant to add a bit of a vertical element without being overpowering for small combinations. It is also an excellent filler plant for larger combinations. Salvia 'Icterina' has green and yellow variegated foliage and is also a great filler plant in combinations as well as in landscaped beds. Also in this color class is Lysimachia 'Goldilocks' which has round, chartreuse colored leaves on a very prostrate habit. It is excellent spilling over the edge of a combination planter. The last plant in this category is Heuchera 'Amber Waves'. The stunning amber-gold foliage is totally unique and quite beautiful. If that isn't enough to entice you, it's USDA zone 5 hardiness will probably clinch it. It is great in ground beds and containers alike.

Silver to white foliage is popular in our fall collection. There are 5 plants that exhibit these colors. First are Helichrysum thianschanicum 'Icicles' and 'Lavender Cotton' (Santolina chamaecyparissus) both of which have soft silver colored foliage. They are used as filler plants in combinations and are both excellent highlight plants. In addition to the yellow/green variegated Acorus grass we also offer a white and green variegated cultivar called 'Variegatus'. It is also 8-14 inches tall and can be used the same as 'Ogon.' Salvia 'Tricolor' has green, white, and pink variegated foliage and is an excellent filler plant in either beds or planters. The last plant with silver foliage is Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride' which has what appears to be an almost silver net overlaying green foliage. This mounding plant will fill in the middle ground of combination planters but will also spill over the edge in a cascade of silver green foliage. 'Herman's Pride' can have small yellow flowers but it is grown mainly for its foliage.

Red to purple foliage is also popular in fall. This is the largest category in our collection. The first purple foliaged cultivar is Ajuga 'Catlin's Giant', an extremely hardy (USDA zone 3) perennial with dark purple to almost black foliage. Grown primarily as a groundcover it also makes an excellent combination component plant. If you are looking for something a little more unusual you might want to try our two Euphorbia varieties. The cultivar 'Despina' is blue-green with just a tinge of red while 'Efanthia' has dark green foliage with maroon highlights when the weather is cool. Both will flower in early spring and are hardy to USDA zone 4. The last 3 plants with red to purple foliage are Heuchera (Coral Bells) varieties. All 3 varieties are hardy to USDA zone 5 and will probably take most winters in zone 4. These 3 distinct varieties can be used in the ground or in combination planters. First, is 'Amethyst Myst' which has a mist of silver over purple-burgundy foliage. This winner of the National Home Gardening Club Member Tested and Recommended seal of approval can grow up to 24 inches across. The second variety is 'Purple Petticoats' which has chocolate leaves with burgundy underside. The leaves also have ruffled edges giving it a unique appearance. The last Heuchera variety is 'Green Spice' which is a stunning mix of green, silver and purple. The dark purple veins stand out against the silver leaves that are then edged in green.

As summer fades into fall there is an abundance of browns to be seen, from soft fawn to dark coffee and cinnamon, brown pulls the fall color scheme together. One of our best plants is in this color class. Carex 'Toffee Twist', a fairly tall (18-24") grass with mahogany colored foliage that twists and twirls, is our version of the fall mainstay color. It is a great anchor plant and mixes well with almost all of the other plants in the Fall Magic collection. It can be used in a variety of containers and landscapes and add a unifying element to all of your plantings.

By now you can see how the foliage and flowering plants in the Fall Magic collection can create an array of beds and containers with abundant color and fantastic staying power.

To view all of the Proven Winners plants with Fall interest, click here.

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