What To Plant This Fall
Honestly, it might be easier to write a blog post about what not to plant this fall, but where would be the fun in that? Fall is the ultimate planting season, and we’re here to help you organize and plan your plantings so you stay focused. After all, a calm and focused fall gardener leads to a gorgeous and thriving spring garden, are we right? (Answer: Yes, we are right).
And before we get started, if you’re new to fall gardening, you may want to refer to “Top 10 Basics of Fall Gardening” for a full list of fall gardening activities to take advantage of the cooler weather!
Note: This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Creating that would literally exhaust us, and maybe you as well. Use this list as inspiration and a jumping-off point, and always make sure to check what is recommended for your particular area and growing zone.
Why to Plant During Fall?
Cooler temperatures give plants, whether bulbs, perennials, trees, or shrubs a chance to establish root systems without experiencing as much water stress. During the fall, plants are also focused on prepping for winter, not putting on a giant floral display, so they can sink all of their energy into settling in rather than showing off.
What to Plant This Fall
A majority of bulbs are planted in the fall for spring bloom. There are exceptions, of course, but in general, fall is the ideal time. Fall-planted bulbs we love:
- Bearded Iris
Nearly any perennial you can imagine is planted in the fall. These bloomers thrive in a wide range of climates:
- Ornamental grasses
Shrubs and Trees
Fall planting is especially important for these larger, anchor plants with deep root systems. You’ll want to give them the rest of the fall season and winter to establish their roots rather than asking them to grow during warm or hot weather.
- Evergreen and deciduous trees
- Ornamental trees
- Evergreen and deciduous shrubs
- Fruit trees (although this varies and many are planted in late winter—check your local planting recommendations first)
We love annuals! While their lifecycle is typically 1–2 planting seasons, their vibrancy and color are well worth it. These cool-season annuals will flourish in fall and, depending upon where you live, possibly through the winter. Major bang for the buck and a perfect complement to your seasonal bulbs.
- Ornamental cabbages and kales
Gardeners in most climates plant these cool-season edibles in the fall, while others continue to plant through the winter.
- Root veggies—radishes, turnips, beets, carrots
- Salad greens—all the lettuces, arugula, radicchio
- Other greens—collards, mustard, Swiss chard
- Kale and spinach
- Brassicas—broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi
We realize we’re talking about indoor rather than outdoor planting, but hey, it’s still planting! We don’t differentiate around here. Houseplants we love:
- ZZ (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) plant
- Spider plant
- Jenny Peterson