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Fall- A Great Time to Plant!

This week marked the official start of the fall season! Often-times we think of this time of year as the time when things start slowing down and preparations for cooler temps and shorter days begin. For those of us in the landscape industry, this time of year signifies a new opportunity for planting. In fact, this time of year is one of the best times to plant!


The goal of many experienced gardeners is to create interest in the landscape during every season. A little planning AND planting in the fall helps ensure a colorful display throughout the year. Trees, shrubs, perennials, cold season annuals, and spring blooming bulbs thrive when planted between now and mid-late November. Planting in cooler temperatures helps your plants to establish a strong root system during the dormant winter months.


Planting trees and shrubs during the fall season is extremely beneficial to the plant. During the spring and summer months, trees and shrubs are using most of their energy to push out new leaf growth and blooms on ornamentals. When the plant’s energy is focused on new blooms, it is not using its resources to establish a strong root system. Planting in the fall allows the plant to focus energy toward building a well-established and healthy root system while in winter dormancy. This gives the plant a much better chance at flourishing during the bloom season.


You may have noticed many of our area’s trees suffering during the month of July this year. The extreme heat and lack of rain caused many trees and shrubs to significantly stress and drop leaves. Their root systems were going into survival mode, and the first thing to go- the leaves and blooms. We can’t guarantee that plants planted in the fall will never stress or die, but giving them the extra few months of winter dormancy to establish a strong and healthy root system will better prepare them to thrive and flourish the rest of the year.



Stressed Tree

Common spring blooming bulbs are daffodils, tulips, crocuses, hyacinths and alliums. Tulip bulbs can be planted in beds on their own or in the same beds as your fall annual violas or pansies at the same time in the fall. The violas or pansies will provide some nice color over the cooler months, and as soon as the weather breaks in early spring, the tulip blooms will give a new pop of color to the display! The color combination choices are numerous, but here are a few examples:



If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss fall planting at your home or community, please let us know! We’re happy to assist with design ideas and look forward to speaking with you!


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24388 Stone Springs Boulevard, Sterling, VA 20166

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Rockville, MD

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Alexandria, VA

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