When you live in a Southern Living-Inspired Community like ours, you know that fall is a perfect season for planting. The days are shorter, the sun is lower in the sky, and the weather is turning cooler. With the summer heat diminishing, it’s an excellent time to not only prepare for autumn and winter color but to strategize around spring blooms too.
Curious about what to plant? We’ve put together a handy fall plant guide to help you get started.
Fall is the ideal time to switch out tired spring annuals for colorful autumn varieties. Planting cold-hardy pansies in autumn is perfect because the soil has enough warmth for plants to establish strong roots. Healthy roots give these colorful flowers the ability to survive frigid temperatures and keep blooming from winter into spring. ‘Plentifall’ is a good pansy variety to try.
Another favorite flower is chrysanthemums (also widely known simply as “mums.”) These potted plants typically make their debut in stores and garden centers during September. They are perfect for livening up your front entry with warm colors of yellow, orange, red, burgundy, pink, and purple. Keep them watered to increase their longevity. Fun fact: Pots of blooming mums purchased in the fall won’t survive the winter if you plant them in the ground. They do best when planted in the spring — a good thing to keep in mind when winter begins to wind down.
Pretty perennials, such as hostas or peonies are happiest when planted in the fall. Autumn is also the ideal time to divide and replant them. To ensure they continue to bloom well, it’s best to avoid planting them deep in the ground. They only need about two inches of soil above the root bud. Keep the roots strong by watering them with about one inch of water per week until the first freeze.
November is the best time of year to plant your spring bulbs. Why? They need a couple of months of cold dormancy for them to bloom. Be sure the tops of the bulbs have about two inches of soil above them. Bright colored options that work well in the south are tulips, daffodils, iris, grape hyacinths, alliums, and gladiolus.
Trees and shrubs
Fall is the perfect time to get new trees and shrubs in the ground. Planting in fall means they will have enough time to acclimate and get their roots established before the soil temperatures get too cold. Increase their chances of survival by digging holes no deeper than the root ball and make it three times as wide. The red maple does very well in Georgia and has stunning fall foliage. Look for the ‘October Glory’ variety, as it has beautiful leaves in autumn.
The Fireball Burning Bush is an excellent shrub to try. Plant it in full sun among your spring and summer flowering shrubs so you can admire its striking red foliage during the fall season.
Need more advice? Our active gardeners in the Garden Club can offer more helpful tips. You can usually find them joyfully working in the Victory Garden at The Grove. We invite you to see our Victory Garden and the rest of our Southern Living-Inspired community for yourself. Plan your visit today. Who knows, you may just find yourself happily “planted” at Harbor Club soon.