Fall is a great time to plant perennials. The cool air temperatures and warm soil temperatures allow roots to expand even as the plants' foliage and flowers slow down.
Dead Heading (insert Jerry Garcia reference here) is important to keep flowers blooming into fall. Removing spent blossoms encourages additional late blooms on the following perennials:
|Many daisy-shaped flowers benefit from deadheading|
In Full Sun
Chrysnathemum nipponicum (Montauk Daisy)
Heliopsis (false sunflower)
Ornamental grasses--Many colors and sizes look their best this time of year
|Solidago (Goldenrod) and ornamental grasses provide color and interest well into fall|
Tricyrtis (toad lily)
Use Espoma Bio-tone to establish plants faster
Use Leafgro compost to mix into soil (3 parts soil to 1 part Leafgro)
Dig holes 2-3 times as wide as root ball but only as deep as the rootball is tall
Care following a heavy frost or freeze
Scotty's Hamlet voice "To cut back or not cut back, that is the question"
Herbaceous perennials will likely die-back on their own, Try to leave 4-6" of the main foliage stem visible (Coreopsis, Astilbe, most Ferns etc.)
|Tickseed Coreopsis will die back on their own. Deadhead them often for extended bloom time|
|Eupatorium or Joe Pye Weed provides late summer and fall color. Butterflies love them.|
|Perennial seedheads provide winter interest and food for the birds|
After a heavy frost, as soil temperatures cool, apply 1-2 inches of shredded hardwood mulch or compost around the perennials. Avoid putting too much over the base/crown of each plant; use barely enough to cover the ground. Mulch provides several benefits. It insulates the soil providing protection to the plants from freezing. Mulch also keeps soil temperatures more uniform, preventing plant heaving from occurring during extreme changing in soil temperatures. Mulch will also maintain some soil moisture.
As gardeners trim back foliage, be aware of any diseases that may be present. Discard leaves that may harbor fungi like powdery mildew, botrytis, or other leaf diseases often present on plants like Phlox, Monarda or Peonies. Dispose of all infected leaves; do not add them to the compost pile.
|Pat cuts back perennials in our butterfly garden|
Thanks again to Scotty for sharing this information. Please feel free to contact him on the phone at 410-527-0700.