Fall Perennial Planning

Fall is a great time to check your perennial garden and take a few notes on what is doing well and what’s not. Look at the existing planting and see how they are performing. Did everything bloom well, and last a long time? Did some die out early, get too tall for the area, or get too crowded? Start with those plants that bloomed well and actually thrived.  You can learn what works in your garden with the amount of attention that you are able to give to them.  Once you find this out you’re ready to do a little Fall perennial planning.

The Right Perennial Or Not?

Once you know what types of plants grow well in your sun or shade garden, you may wish to relocate (transplant) the ones who aren’t thriving to a better location.

  • Sun loving perennials planted in too much shade get tall, leggy, and flop over because they are hunting for more sun. Move these to a sunnier location.
  • Shade loving perennials planted in too much sun will look scorched or sunburned on tips of leaves. Transplant to the shady area of your yard.

If the plant in question was positioned in the proper amount of light, but it still didn’t bloom, is discolored, diseased, or bug chewed, you have to decide if you want to treat the problem to improve its health or if you want to dig it up and throw it away. Sometimes transplanting it into reconditioned soil and fertilizing it with Superphosphate will be adequate for next season’s success. I don’t like to save diseased plants or even those that repeatedly have severe insect problems. There are plenty of “good” plants that are less fussy to replace them with. Our garden center staff can help you with this.

You Can Divide Perennials In The Fall!

Fall is a great time to divide perennials that are too crowded.  That way you can make more plants to fill in bare spots around the yard. Dig the entire clump of daylilies, iris, and hostas. Gently tease the roots apart, knocking soil off until you are left with several smaller clumps. If they are massive root balls you may soak them in a bucket of water for an hour before tackling this task. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a sharp knife and cut through the root mass in several places. Try to include a top shoot with each bare root clump. Reset these clumps in the garden at the same soil level and use soil conditioner to improve the drainage.

Suggestions Of Perennials To Add.

If your perennial garden only looks good in May to July, you need to incorporate some perennials that bloom in late Summer into Fall. Ornamental grasses, Russian sage, autumn joy sedum, fall anemones, Joe Pye Weed, and Echibekia are just a few plants to plant in the sun garden. Autumn fern, Heuchera, Hellebrous are some great foliage plants to enliven the shade garden fall into winter.

The beautiful clear crisp Fall weather brings us back outside to enjoy our gardens. Take a look at your perennial successes, divide and transplant as needed. Add new one where the garden is less than magnificent. A little Fall Perennial Planning will go a long way towards a more beautiful Perennial garden. Enjoy the season and all of the offerings by visiting our little garden center again. Fall is for planting.