Did this summer’s hot weather keep you from working in your ornamental bed? Procrastinators rejoice! This is actually the best time to plant those perennials.
While the air is cool and crisp in the fall, soil temperatures are warm and promote good root growth. Perennials planted in the spring need to produce new roots, leaves and flowers, all while surviving the stress of summer heat and drought. By waiting until fall, the plant can focus its energy on producing healthy roots.
With cooler and shorter days, photosynthesis is slowed, requiring less water. Here in the Mid Atlantic, fall rains will normally take care of most of the plants watering requirements without the need for supplemental watering.
You can still see other plants in your garden. Most perennials in this area are herbaceous, meaning the foliage dies back to the ground. By spring, we have forgotten where our plants are located.
Fall is also the time to plant spring blooming bulbs. By planting your perennials at the same time, you avoid having to damage the root systems of established plants.
So while you’re thinking about the spring color of your bulbs, don’t forget spring blooming perennials like creeping phlox and dianthus.