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6 Plants and Trees You Can Plant in Fall in Zone 7

When you are new to gardening, it isn’t easy to know what trees and plants are safe for your yard. You may not know when the best time for planting in your zone is either. 

As the fall season starts to turn things brown, adding a bit of color is a great idea to offset the blandness that we sometimes see. However, it’s not simple to find the right foliage to plant in the fall.

We put together a list of things for your autumn planting needs. Read below for the six types of trees and plants you can use to enjoy in the fall for zone 7 below.

#1: Azaleas

Azaleas have often been the go-to plant for late spring. Their showy blooms give the color you want while often keeping their leaves in the winter months. 

While this shrub from the genus Rhododendron prefers climates with adequate rainfall and moist summers, they can be found in every part of North America. The two main groups are evergreen and deciduous, who drop their leaves in autumn.

But there are thousands of varieties, giving you endless options for your landscape. Some only grow from 1 to 2 feet, while others can reach up to 25 feet tall.

The variety of colors, including purple, white, pink, yellow, and red, may seem more of a spring staple. However, there are summer bloomers that can add some charm and color to your garden. 

You need to plant them in a site that receives afternoon shade, especially in hot climates. The azaleas will bloom in the full shade when in tropical zones.

You will have to plant them early in the fall.

Fill the hole halfway with soil before watering it well. This will settle the ground before filling in the remainder of the soil.

#2: Camellia

The state flower of Alabama, the camellia is a signature flower of the South. It seems these beautiful plants originated in the southern states, but the plants hail from eastern and southern Asia. Over 3,000 kinds of camellias exist, with a vast range of sizes, forms, and colors. They are also not a favorite snack of deer!

The planting of these in Spring or fall is excellent in most areas. If you live in the upper South, the planting would need to be in Spring to establish a root system before winter. 

You not only need to mulch thoroughly to keep the roots cool and soil moist, but keeping the plant watered regularly is crucial in the first year. Make sure to water the root ball thoroughly, then let the top of the root ball slightly dry out before the next watering. 

This is an excellent plant for partial shade, and it is especially true for when the plants are young. They thrive under tall trees or when grown on the north side of the house. 

When the camellias are older, their thick canopy shades the roots, keeping them cool enough to accept more sun. The shade will also reduce the cold damage in the Upper South.

With plants over three years old, they can get by with little supplemental water. When watering them, you need to make sure the soil is well-drained. This plant may not be the best for those on the coast because they cannot handle strong winds or tolerate the saltwater spray.

The camellia is also an excellent container plant. Whether outdoors on a patio or indoors in a greenhouse, you can plant gallon-size camellias in 12 to 14in diameter containers, 5-gallon ones in 16 to 18in. Containers. Just fill the containers with a potting mix containing fifty percent or more organic matter and make sure it has a generous drainage hole.

#3: Burning Bush

This crimson colored plant is from the genus Euonymus. Burning Bush is native to Asia and is perfect for your beds, containers, and borders.

They are a low maintenance plant perfect for newbie gardeners. Easy to grow in almost any site and soil condition.

Finely pointed leaves drooping from the branches decorate arching stems in clusters. The plant is called the winged Euonymus for the ridges on the young, burning bush growth.

The ridges disappear after the stems mature, and grow tiny flowers around May into June. These flowers turn into red berries, which birds love to eat and accidentally plant the seeds into your garden. If the soil is fertile enough, the dropped berries could turn into new plants.

The burning bush’s average size is 15-feet, so planting a dwarf version of this plant is best if you want minimal maintenance. There are two different cultivars who produce the dwarf forms of the plant:

Burning bush is possibly invasive in the warmer ranges, but does well in zones 4 to 8.

#4: Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina Domestica, or heavenly bamboo, is an evergreen shrub that isn’t a member of the grass family. This plant gives you fantastic foliage all year long.

The bright red berries and flowers attract mockingbirds, robins, cedar waxwings, and bees. 

The berries are, however, poisonous to pets and humans. All parts of the plant have toxic substances, including nandenine and hydrocyanic acid.

This hardy plant will grow in zones 6 and 10. While heavenly in the respect it needs little care to thrive, it may need extra attention to keep it from being a nuisance.

This barberry family member gets its “bamboo” nickname from the lacy leaves and cane-like stems, giving it the strong resemblance to true bamboo. Springtime brings on the copper color leaves, followed by green in the summer and changing to a reddish-purple color in the fall.

While Nandina can be grown from seeds, the germination can take several years. It is possible to use half-ripe wood cuttings to grow more, but place them in well-drained pots or trays with potting soil. Rooting hormones can speed up the process to help the cutting form more roots.

When transplanting cuttings or root balls, do it in the cooler months of autumn. A general-purpose fertilizer is needed at planting and again before the new growth in the springs. Overwatering these plants can lead to iron chlorosis, so only water them once a week.

#5: Japanese Maple Trees

These fantastic additions to the landscape have beautiful autumn foliage and attractive summer colors to match. While Japanese maples are lovely to have around, they can be a bit of an investment.

This is why it’s essential to have the right tree for your environment. Growing a Japanese maple is best done in zone 7, and you need to make sure you have the zone 7 maple variety.

The rule is Japanese maple trees are hardy in zones 5 through 9, but not all can tolerate zone 5 minimum temperatures. If you want to have color in colder weather, zone 7 is the one for you.

There are virtually limitless options for zone 7 Japanese maples as long as you plant them in the ground. Such a showy plant is popular for container trees in the petite varieties.

This means that your options when selecting zone 7 Japanese maples are virtually limitless as long as you’re planting them in the ground. Because they’re so showy and some varieties stay very small, Japanese maples are popular container trees.

If you do decide to plant them in a container, choose a variety that can take cooler temperatures. The thin layer of plastic containers are not the greatest at protecting the roots from the cold air.

Planning for overwintering in a container means you need a plant rated two hardiness zones cooler. This implies a zone 7 Japanese maple in a container should be hardy down to a zone 5.

This gives you plenty of varieties to choose from:

#6: Flowering Crabapple Tree

Referred to often as “The Jewels of the Landscape,” these trees have a fantastic visual impact throughout all four seasons.

Springtime brings the flower buds that swell until they burst open to reveal the fragrant blossoms in various shades. While the tree leaves out, you can also enjoy the white or pale pink to red blooms dotting the green of the leaves.

As they often do, flowers fade, but in this tree, they are replaced by small fruit. These fruits are a favorite of squirrels and birds. Most crabapple trees’ vibrant fall colors keep the fruit once the leaves fall, leaving the fruit to stand out against snow-covered or bare branches.

The fruit lasts long into the winter months. If you are wondering what makes crabapples different from apples, it is the size. The crabapples are any fruitless than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Any bigger, and they are considered apples.

A location with well-drained soil and full sun are best. A crabapple tree grown in the shade develops a canopy instead of a dense, more attractive growth habit. They also produce less fruit and flowers, plus are more vulnerable to disease.

To plant, dig the hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. Once in the hole, the surrounding soil of the tree should be even with the soil line.

The hole should be half full of the soil before you water it to remove the air pockets. Allow water to drain through the soil and settle before filling the hole the rest of the way and water thoroughly.

Get the Best Mulch and Planting Mix in North GA

The soil in North Ga or Chattanooga, TN, is difficult with the clay-ridden soil. Without the right mulch or planting mix, your plants may not get the protection and nutrients they need to thrive.

We have a special planting mix hand-crafted by our gardening expert to help your plants grow healthy and strong, even in the irritating red clay. 
Contact us or stop by our location to purchase all the mulch and planting mix you need to add pops of color to your yard.