These plants will bring the warm reds, oranges, and yellows you crave this autumn.

Nandina Obsession
Courtesy of the Sunset Plant Collection

The first day of fall is Sep. 22, which means it’s almost time for autumnal shades in the garden. But what makes fall leaves change their color? According to the Smithsonian, leaves stay green due to chlorophyll, which is responsible for photosynthesis; chlorophyll begins to break down when nighttime temperatures drop. That’s when pigments that were already present in the leaves—those yellows, oranges, and reds we love—reveal themselves.  

So, what if you want fall color in your garden but haven’t planted anything yet? It’s not too late! Here, Janet Sluis, horticulturalist and director at the Sunset Plant Collection, gives us great ideas for fall-blooming camellias, red bells of fire, and more.  

Plant These Flowers and Shrubs for Fall Color