5 hardy plants to plant in the fall for spring

There are advantages to planting spring plants in the fall. The soil is still fairly warm, so the roots will have a chance to develop. On the other hand, many of the weeds will have gone dormant, so the new plants will not have to compete with them for nutrients. Gardeners also usually have more time to plant in the fall rather in the spring. Consider the following possibilities:

Hellebore

The hellebore (Hellborus) is a genus related to buttercups. There are several different species, but H. orientalis is the one most commonly used in gardening. There are many hybrids, and they are sometimes called Lenten hellebores, Lenten roses oriental roses. Hellebores have the following advantages:

  • The hybrids have colorful blooms
  • Hellebores can withstand frost
  • Many are evergreen
  •  Hellebores are among the first perennials to flower

Peony

Peony Blossom

The peony (Paeonia) is a perennial that can grow in any Hardiness Zone from 3 to 8. They should be planted in late September or October, and they should be established before the first frost. They need moist and humus-rich that drains well and is neither alkaline or acidic. Unlike most perennials, they don’t need to be periodically divided. Other advantages of planting peonies include:

  • Beautiful, brightly colored flowers
  • Long lifespan of up to a century
  • Easy to take care of
  • Leaves last all summer long

Larkspur

The larkspur (Consolida ajacis) is an annual that can be planted in the fall or spring. The seeds need to be cool to germinate, so some gardeners in warm areas will keep them in the refrigerator to chill them before planting. Larkspurs bloom in the late spring or early summer, and they range from one to eight feet tall, with most of them being two or three feet tall. Advantages of planting larkspur include:

  • Beautiful pink, white or blue flowers
  • Drought tolerant
  • Resistant to deer
  • Easy to grow from seed

Fountain GrassFountain Grass

Fountain grass (Pennisetum) is a perennial ornamental grass that owes its name to the cascading leaves that make it look a bit like a fountain. There are several different species, and their height can range from one to three feet. The flowers resemble those of foxtails, and they bloom in the late summer and the autumn. Fountain grass should be planted at least a month before the first frost. Fountain grass has the following advantages:

  • Easy to grow
  • Can grow in almost any kind of soil
  • Deer and rabbits generally don’t eat it
  • Few insect pests

Daffodils

Daffodils are perennials that are members of the narcissus family. They can grow almost anywhere in North American except southern Florida. Their bulbs should be planted about two to four weeks before the first frost. Daffodils have the following advantages:

  • Large, showy white or yellow flowers
  • Rodents don’t like the taste of their bulbs
  • Deer won’t eat them either
  • They grow in many types of soil