Autumn is not a time for gardeners to relax! In fact, it is the best time for planting as the soil is still warm so plants are able to establish roots.
Plants that are good for planting now to give you immediate colour for the autumn include:yellow and gold Rudbeckia, blue Caryopteris and varieties of Echinacea. Verbena Bonariensis is another good plant that flowers late into autumn. This species comes from Buenos Ares and has small, lilac-purple flowers on tall, branching stems. Verbena is enjoying a resurgence of popularity
- Yellow and gold Rudbeckia
- Blue Caryopteris
- Varieties of Echinacea
Verbena Bonariensis is another good plant that flowers late into autumn. This species comes from Buenos Ares and has small, lilac-purple flowers on tall, branching stems. Verbena is enjoying a resurgence of popularity.
With over 400 varieties, Sedums give gardeners lots of opportunity for late flowers. Autumn Joy flowers into November with pink blooms turning copper as the season progresses.
All of these plants attract bees and butterflies, and although it may seem late in the season you may well spot butterflies and bees on these plants on a warm autumn day. With the high pollen levels of summer dipping massively at this time of year, you’ll be doing your bit for wildlife if you plant these varieties.
When planting, you can use root grow granules which contains mycorrhizal fungi and speeds up natural processes to help the plants establish themselves more quickly. This only works when the granules have contact with the roots of the plant – the roots give off chemicals enabling the fungi to germinate and colonise the root. It’s quite simple to do, just sprinkle granules into the planting hole and place the plant on top.
Any plants that are planted at this time of the year are bedded in for the winter, so by spring they will be ready for full growth and a little ahead of plants that are planted in March, for example.
If you’re planting species in flower, some will need to be cut back before the cold sets in. But do your research before you cut back; Verbena Bonariensis, for example, will suffer from dieback if cut in cold conditions and is better left until the spring. Our planting experts will be happy to advise on individual varieties.
This is also the time of year when many established plants can be split including Veronica, Hermorcallis (day lily), Bergenia, Canna Lilies and Agapanthus. The main reasons for splitting a plant are when it has grown too big, and isn’t as effective at flowering – day lilies are renowned for this. Sometimes, well established plants start to intrude on other plants, and just need a bit of management.
Customers sometimes ask us how to split a plant. It’s not particularly difficult and although you might think you need to be careful, sometimes you have to be quite forceful! Very simply, you will need to dig up a clump of the plant and place it on plastic sheeting (just to keep the soil from going everywhere). If it is possible, tease the root ball apart and split the plant. If the root is too dense, get a spade and cut. Again, when you plant the split plants back into the soil, add some rootgrow, as this is good for established plants as much as young ones.
You may not want to replant all of the split plant, in which case have a word with your neighbours to see if they would like the surplus plant. They will have the same soil, so if the plant has done well in your garden, it is likely to do the same in theirs.
Autumn is the best time to move a plant in order for it to stand a chance. Moving is always a shock to the plant, and the bigger it is, the harder it is for the plant to survive.