Fall's arrival can leave many yards looking a little orange: full of short-lived pumpkins and mums. Gardeners know though that fall is the time to start thinking about planting, especially long-lasting shrubs and water-wise plants.

By planting in the fall, and using water-wise plants, it is easy to develop a water-wise garden that conserves water now -- and in the long run. The results? A lush, healthy landscape that can better withstand drought conditions.

Putting your plants in the ground in fall will allow them to develop healthy root systems. Oftentimes plants planted in the spring are stressed by the transplanting and then by the dry, hot weather of the summer. Fall planting gives your plants a better chance of success.

As the summer days wind down and cool weather begins again, the soil temperature is still warm. This temperature combination really helps the plants get a strong start. Then during the fall and winter, they can acclimate and take advantage of the seasonal rains. By spring, their roots are established and ready for the vigorous spring growth period.

Ready to start planting? Try out the top plants for fall from the Sunset Plant Collection.

Obsession™ Nandina

With longer-lasting foliage color than traditional nandinas, Obsession™ Nandina glows with this rich red all spring through fall. Obsession, and the other Sunset nandina releases: Flirt™, Blush Pink™ and 'Lemon Lime' also differ from standard nandina varieties in another essential way: they grow more compactly and are non-invasive.

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'Killer Cranberry' Salvia

Salvia microphylla are native to the American Southwest, and are a fabulous perennial shrub choice for dryer climates. This selection -- 'Killer Cranberry' Salvia -- produces an abundance of rich magenta flowers to lure honeybees and hummingbirds to your garden and she is deer resistant, water-wise and heat tolerant.

October Magic® Camellias 

Our October Magic Camellias were bred for improved habit (so less pruning), and more lovely blooms in fall and winter. October Magic Ruby™ Camellia has a naturally rounded form and longer bloom time, with brilliant Christmas red, double peony-form flowers.

Chef’s Choice® Rosemary

An outstanding new Rosemary specially selected for its higher oil content and spicy flavor, Chef's Choice Rosemary is compact and mounding, and ideal for containers, herb and kitchen gardens. Plus, this tasty, low water addition to your garden attracts pollinators but deters deer -- win, win!

'Soft Caress' Mahonia

This soft and touchable shade plant gives us everything we love about Mahonia, without the pesky thorns! 'Soft Caress' Mahonia is compact enough for container gardens, yet an ideal size for foundation plantings or borders. These features alone would be enough to love this evergreen shade plant, but then 'Soft Caress' debuts glowing yellow winter flowers, shining when very little else is blooming.

Imagine the garden you can create if you begin planting now. Happy Gardening!