Fall Colors for Southern New Mexico, East Texas and most of the southwest.
The recent rains we've experienced should bring us some beautiful fall colors this season. The extra moisture and nitrogen in the rain should give us a good show.
I've already seen Raywood ash begin to change slightly, getting ready to bring on it's vivid purple/burgandy show. Certain crape myrtles are beginning to show signs of yellows and oranges in some of their leaves. Most aren't aware that crapes too, give off a wonderful display of color, if properly fed during the summer months.
Other trees to be on the look out for are Red Oaks, Sweet Gum ( yes, they do grow here too, we have one in our parking lot at Color Your World!), Chinese pistache, Modesto, Bonita, Berrinda ash, Gingko Biloba, Bradford pear,and Bald Cypress to name a few.
Some other plants that have fall color are Nandina (there is an array of sizes, shape and leaf textures to choose from), sumac, euonymus alata (burning bush), Boston Ivy,and Virginia Creeper.
Flowering plants that look especially beautiful during this time of year, though not necessarily "fall colors" are Mexican sage, lantana, garden mums, marigolds, cannas, salvia greggii (cherry sage), mexican primrose, mealycup sage, and roses, which seem to have more fragrance during this time of year, or maybe it is just my imagination. You decide for your self.
Don't forget there is a long list of grasses which now begin their contribution to fall interest. There is a pampas grass that does not get too large called 'Ivory Feathers' that is already showing off.
Yakushima, maiden, miscanthus, fountain grass, purple fountain grass, and all various forms of these grasses are now making their debut. Muhlenbergia 'Regal Mist' the one with the "see thru" purplish flower head is just about to erupt it's color all over town. This one looks striking when the sunlight shows through it.
Last but certainly not least are pansies, snapdragon, dianthus, and stock. These will give you color even when it snows. Pansies in particular can take brief periods of below 10 degrees f. and still give off color when temperatures climb back up.
If you plant pansies now you should still have color up until next may! Amazing huh! One thing I have noticed over the years is that pansies planted in the ground typically do better than the ones in pots. If you have them it pots it is best to give the some protection against the extreme cold to avoid winter damage. Also when planting pansies it is best to use a good potting mix that is porous and lightweight. We carry a soil from fertilome called Ultimate Mix which works perfectly.
Everything mentioned above can be planted right now. So get out and enjoy what is probably the best time to be outdoors. Fall!
By Gary Guzman