Plants & Trees for Fall Color in Texas

Lara DeHavenHomeowner Tips, Lake Conroe, Lawn

Fall Color in TX

Beautiful photographs of colorful fall foliage flood social media during September and October.  In the Lake Conroe area, we do not have the seasonal change quite like the more northern states; however, there are a few plants and trees that you can plant that will give you the fall color you desire. The following are the best four options: red oak, shantung maple, crape myrtle, and ginkgo.

Red Oak

This oak tree is as strong and big as any oak tree that dots our landscape, but in the fall the leaves turn a deep crimson before they turn brown. ┬áTheir color change is what gives this tree its name. The Red Oak is a great addition to a yard if you don’t mind brown leaves hanging from the branches until springtime, which makes it look dead. ┬áBut in the springtime, new leaves unfurl and the dead leaves will drop. ┬áSo you exchange fall color for raking leaves from your lawn.

Shantung Maple

This tree is from China where the climate is similar to ours in Texas. ┬áTherefore, this variety of maple grows well and is suitable for sun, some shade, and can withstand drought. ┬áThey can survive 100 years, too. ┬áSo it would be a great investment to give fall color in your lawn well beyond your ownership. ┬áThe tree’s size, especially in the dwarf variety, is perfect for small lawns. ┬áIn the fall, the leaves change from green to bright yellow or a deep red. ┬áThe Shantung Maple tree would be a beautiful addition to your landscaping.

Crape Myrtle

Not only do these plants bloom beautifully all summer in a variety of colors, their leaves change colors in the fall.  This gives Texas homeowners even more reason to plant crape myrtles in their yards and/or in their landscaping.  Colors like yellow, orange, and red will infuse your landscaping with the fall color you are looking for from these easy to care for plants.  According to this article, crape myrtles are the perfect plants year-round in Texas landscaping.


This tree is also from China. They are super hardy trees; in fact, they are one of the only trees to withstand the Hiroshima bomb attacks in Japan.  In the fall, their leaves turn a brilliant yellow, which contrasts nicely from the dark green leaves of evergreens in your landscaping.  Perhaps not your traditional red-orange fall foliage, but this tree packs a punch of color.  In addition, they make nice shade trees and are very easy to maintain. Choose the male ginkgo for your yard to eliminate the fruit and subsequent smell that the female ginkgos produce.  Ginkgo trees will make a nice accent tree in your garden.

There are other plants and trees that will also give your the fall color that you desire; however, they come with big drawbacks. ┬áThe first is the Chinese Tallow Tree, which is an invasive species. ┬áPeople are asked not to plant it for that reason. ┬áAnother option is the Sweetgum Tree. ┬áIt gives beautiful color of deep reds, oranges, and yellows; however, it also drops spiky “fruit” on the ground. ┬áThese make this tree undesirable for a person’s yard.

Here in Southeast Texas we can enjoy fall color if we grow the right trees and plants. ┬áToday you were given four great options for infusing brilliant color in your yard. ┬áThis is not an exhaustive list. ┬áYou can read about more options from Neil Sperry’s Gardens.┬á Fall color won’t necessarily increase your home value, but it might increase your personal enjoyment. ┬áHaving a beautifully landscaped yard that looks great throughout all the seasons will definitely increase your curb appeal. ┬áPlanting one or all four of these trees and plants will add to the overall look of your home.