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Top 15 Low Maintenance Shrubs to Plant in the Fall

Once summer turns to fall, it’s easy to think that you have to give up on your shrubs. Lower temperatures and unpredictable weather can make it difficult to look after shrubs. Whether you’re a newbie to the world of gardening or a seasoned pro, adding low-maintenance shrubs can help bring your garden to life during fall.

At Sammy’s Plant World, we’re sharing the top low-maintenance shrubs that our team recommends planting this fall. Spring and summer aren’t the only times that you can create a beautiful landscape for your home or property. With these 15 fuss-free shrubs, you’ll be able to tend to your garden all year long.

1. Knock Out Roses

A knockout roses is a shrub with mid-green, semi-glossy leaves. It’s easy to spot with its small clusters of single-petalled roses. This shrub will bloom in your garden from spring to autumn with its yellow flowers. Its extended blooming season makes it ideal for repeat flowering as a fuss-free and low-maintenance shrub that everyone should have in their garden this fall.

Its best to leave your knockout roses in the sun or partial shade to allow them to mature to 3-4’ tall and wide. The knock our rose was introduced in 2000 and braised as the ‘breakthrough shrub rose’ by the All-American Rose Selections. Its durability, hardiness, and disease resistance make it the perfect way to keep roses in your garden all-year long.

2. Ligustrum

Ligustrum – also known as privets – are some of the most low-maintenance shrubs that you can plant this fall. As a versatile shrub, it’s ideal for using for home landscapes as shrub borders, patio trees, foundation plants, and hedges. You can choose between 3, 10, and 20 gal for your Ligustrum shrub.

These small trees grow up to 12’ tall in the partial shade or sun and can grow in a variety of soil conditions. They bloom in late spring, making fall the perfect time to plant them in your garden.

3. Burning Bush

A burning bush is a slow-growing and compact shrub that has a twiggy, dense, and flat-topped mound. The dark green leaves transition into a beautiful rose-red during fall, making them an ideal shrub to plant as an accent around darker evergreen plants. This shrub typically grows to 6-8’ tall and 5-6’ wide in partial shade or full shade. You can plant burning bush as a screen or background in your landscaping.


 4. Lynwood Forsythia Golden Bell

This shrub is a hardy and upright growing shrub that produce golden yellow flowers that fully open and are heavily distributed across its stems during the spring. The fall is the perfect time to plant a Lynwood Forsythia Golden Bell shrub for it to bloom in time for spring. We recommend using this shrub as borders around your landscaping.

As Lynwood Forsythia Golden Bell blooms early, it’s known as unofficial harbinger of spring. This shrub is relatively low maintenance during the fall, along you will need to regularly trim it during the spring to maintain your desired look.

5. Hydrangea

If you want a flower for your fall garden, a hydrangea is the perfect choice. Their massive flowerheads can measure up to 15 inches, making them a statement shrub for your garden. You’ll find smaller and fertile flowers amongst the larger, showier flowerheads. The strong stems of the hydrangea plant prevent it from drooping during the fall.

A phantom hydrangea is easy to maintain thanks to its hardiness. Its foliage produces a green-yellow color and oval shape. During the summer, this shrub products creamy white blooms that change into a deep pink as the seasons change to fall. You can expect your phantom hydrangea to reach a width and height of between six to ten feet to make it a focal point of your landscaping.

6. Bridalwreath Spirea

Bridalwreath spirea is a flowering shrub that creates a beautiful cascading waterfall of white flowers that bloom during the spring. If you want to take advantage of their blooming season, it’s best to plant them during the fall. Bridalwreath spirea is a popular choice to use for specimen plants, borders, and foundation plantings.

We recommend growing this fuss-free flowering shrub in fertile and moist soil that is well-drained in the full sun. You’ll want to cut back the shoots at least once a year during flowering.

7. Camellia Sasanqua

As an evergreen shrub, camellia is one of our favorite shrubs to plant during fall. It produces a beautiful pink semi-double petal that is perfect for using on an evergreen hedge or for mass planting. You can add Camellia Sasanqua to any area of your garden or in a large container for planting.

The beauty of a Camellia shrub is that it blooms in fall during October and December, adding a pop of vibrant color to your garden during the fall. You can plant it in shade or partial sun, with the afternoon shade being preferred.

8. Rhododendron (Azaleas)

Azaleas are evergreen shrubs that are ideal for adding pops of color throughout your garden or landscaping. The Azalea x Fashion is a miniature evergreen azalea that offers petals that range from salmon to red blossoms that contrast against the lush green foliage. As this azalea is more compact, the petals are smaller, making them ideal for adding throughout your garden.

You’ll get to enjoy the scarlet flowers from October and through to winter. Unless your azaleas are killed by a strong frost, they’ll usually bloom again in spring, making them an ideal shrub for every season. We recommend planting this shrub in a partial to mostly shaded area of your garden.

9. Bottlebrush Shrub

Bottlebrush shrub is an evergreen shrub that has synonymous lance-shaped leaves and arching branches, along with scarlet bo0ttlebrush-like flowers. This shrub is drought-resistant and blooms during the spring and summer, making it an ideal choice to add to your garden during fall.

It’s relatively care-free during the fall as most of the work required to maintain a bottlebrush shrub comes in the early spring and during blooming season. You want to plant them somewhere in your garden where it will get full sun during blooming season and the spring.

10. Indian Hawthorn

Add showy clusters of white flowers to your garden with the Indian Hawthorn shrub. Its attractive dark green foliage turns Indian red in the spring, while its glossy oval leaves turn burgundy during the fall. This shrub has something to offer every season with its white flowers blooming during the late winter and through to spring.

We love to plant this shrub as a transitional plant to carry your garden through from fall into early spring. We recommend planting your Indian hawthorn in an area where it will get partial or full sun.

11. Mahonia

The Mahonia shrub offers beautiful fragrant bright yellow flowers that bring with them the first signs of spring. We love to plant this fuss-free shrub during the fall to act as a privacy screen in your garden. It’s guaranteed to add a new sense of vitality to your garden during the fall.

The long clusters of lemon-yellow flowers of the Mahonia shrub bloom throughout the fall, giving you garden a lily-of-the-valley scent. When the temperatures start to drop, this evergreen shrub develops a red or purple tint to its foliage.

12. Pittosporum

Pittosporum is a low-maintenance dense and evergreen shrub with delicate foliage and distinctive green pittosporum shoots. It’s an ideal choice for adding as a hedge plant or foundation plant. It blooms in the spring with white flowers and is easy to maintain with regular trimming.

You can enjoy the large glossy and vivid green leaves of the pittosporum plant throughout the fall and before it blooms in mid-spring. As a moderate-growth plant that is compact, it’s ideal for adding as a border or accent to your landscaping.

13. Sweetbay Magnolia

With its glistening dark green leaves, sweetbay magnolia is one of our favorite shrubs to plant during fall. This shrub has a white flower and a light lemon scent. Its elegant shape makes it the perfect choice for using as a patio tree or a specimen plant. This late blooming tree comes from the United States and can tolerant wet sites, including low landscape areas and pond edges.

We recommend planting this shrub in an area of your garden that gets full sun or partial shade for the best bloom.

14. Sweet Olive

Sweet Olive is a fragrant shrub that produces a cluster of subtle flowers that produce a strong apricot fragrance. This shrub stands out for its oval and glossy green leaves that add depth to your garden during the fall. You can expect this plant to grow up to 20 feet tall with a 6-8 feet width span. 

15. Frost Proof Gardenia

One of our favorite low-maintenance shrubs is the Gardenia which blooms to produce a fragrant 2-3’’ flower. The frost proof Gardenia has a distinctive cup in the middle of its blossom and has a blooming season that goes from spring to fall.

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