Why Fall Is the Best Time to Plant Perennials

Why Fall Is the Best Time to Plant Perennials

It's fall -- time for apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween candy. It's also the best time to plant perennials. Here's why.
This time of year is most of my friends' favorite -- the days are getting shorter, the sky is turning that incredible shade of October blue, leaves are turning up North (we don't really have that here in Miami), and fall flavors like apple and pumpkin and coming back. While I've always been a bigger fan of spring, I do love taking advantage of fall for planting perennials. It's the perfect time to plant for a number of reasons, including:

Cool temperatures keep it easy on you for plant perennials. Why sweat in the heat of the summer when you can wait a few weeks?

Mild weather makes it easier on the plants, too. Hot weather makes it stressful for your perennials to get established. But cool fall temperatures let them go right to it, so they build robust root systems and can take off in spring. 

Planting perennials in fall gives you more time for other planting annuals, vegetables, and other things in spring. The start of the season can be a busy time -- there's so much to plant! Plus in spring you often have non-gardening events (Easter, Mother's Day, graduations, etc.).

Your perennials will bloom more. If you plant in spring or summer, your plants will bloom while they're getting established, so they're not putting all their energy into looking good. Planting in autumn, however, allows plants to bulk up their root systems in fall -- then bloom in spring. They'll be bigger, fuller, and lusher.

You can often find good deals. Many garden centers don't like to carry perennials over winter, so they put the plants on sale at season's end. That means more color in your yard for less money.

Written by Justin Hancock