Spring gets all the attention for bringing new blooms and fresh leaves into the world after a long, cold winter. But fall is a great time to get new plants into the ground. Fall-planted perennials, in particular, will benefit from time spent in cool soil before the warmth of spring and summer, says Rebecca Sears, chief gardener at garden company Ferry-Morse.
"While many think the gardening season is over come fall, there is more work to be done that can increase your harvest and better prepare your garden for next year," says Sears. "To ensure successful blooms next season, it’s wise to plant perennial flowers now so they can establish their roots before frost."
Embrace autumn gardening with fall perennials
Planting perennials that come back year after year makes your garden healthier over time.
"One of the greatest benefits of growing perennials is that they live for several years, saving you time at the start of each gardening season," says Sears. "Since the life cycle of perennials is several years, they’re more resilient, develop stronger root systems, better the soil they inhabit, and promote healthy conditions for the plants around them."
When planting this late in the year, you can plant seeds, bulbs, roots, or full plants. "Planting perennials in the fall as baby plants, such as the Ferry-Morse Fall Plantlings, allows you to enjoy them during the fall season and give them time to establish their root system before the winter months," says Sears. The key is to plant perennial bulbs before the first frost. Ensure that what you're planting can survive in your region by checking the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. "Be sure to consult the map to find out what zone you are in and review the zone information on the seed packet, label, or website if buying online," says Sears.
Wondering what perennials to plant in fall? Here are 8 ideas
The Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower is one of Spears’ favorite fall perennials to plant because “they are low maintenance and pollinators love them,” she says. These plants survive well over winter and are drought-tolerant. They grow best in full sun to partial shade.
Ranunculus loves an area with full sun and the bulbs perform great when planted during the fall growing season in zones 8 through 12. If you live in another zone, you can begin to grow your bulbs inside and plant them in the spring. These bulbs will ship in the fall.
Early Sunrise Coreopsis are bright golden yellow flowers that thrive when planted in full sun. Compared to other fall perennials that are more elegant, this bright and resilient flower works well in naturalized landscapes, garden borders, and transitions.
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