Perennial Seed That Does Best When Planted in Fall
Like the vibrant colors of summer start to fade and the crisp air of autumn settles in, gardeners often turn their attention to planting for the following spring. While many associate spring with planting, fall is an excellent time to get a head start on next year's garden.
Planting perennial seeds in the fall is an innovative and rewarding strategy, allowing you to enjoy a burst of color and beauty when spring arrives. This comprehensive guide will explore the best perennial seeds to plant in the fall, offering various options for different climates and preferences. By the time you finish reading, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to create a stunning perennial garden that will return year after year.
Why Plant Perennials in the Fall?
Before delving into the best perennial seeds for fall planting, it's essential to understand why this season is an ideal time to sow these seeds.
There are several compelling reasons: Soil Temperature: In the fall, the soil is still warm from the summer sun, promoting good germination. This warmth allows perennial seeds to establish robust root systems before winter dormancy.
- Cooler Weather: Fall offers milder temperatures compared to the scorching heat of summer. This reduces stress on emerging seedlings, preventing heat-related issues like wilting and sunburn.
- Moisture Levels: Fall often brings consistent rainfall, creating optimal moisture conditions for seed germination and early growth.
- Reduced Weed Competition: Fall planting means less competition from annual weeds, giving perennial seedlings a better chance to establish themselves without interference.
Springtime Blooms: By planting in the fall, you're setting the stage for vibrant springtime blooms that will dazzle your garden. Now that we've established why fall is an excellent time to plant perennial seeds let's explore some of the best choices for your garden.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.) Lavender is a beloved perennial known for its fragrant, silvery-gray foliage and vibrant purple, pink, or white flowers. Autumn is an ideal time to plant lavender seeds because they require a cold stratification period to break dormancy. The cool winter temperatures will naturally fulfill this requirement, ensuring healthy spring growth.
Lavender-drained soil and full sun make it a perfect Mediterranean garden addition. Coneflower (Echinacea spp.) Coneflowers are native to North America and are cherished for their daisy-like blooms with prominent, cone-shaped centers. Fall planting gives coneflower seeds the necessary cold period to germinate successfully. These hardy perennials attract pollinators and come in various colors, including purple, pink, and white. They prefer full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Black-eyed Susans are famous for their cheerful yellow or orange petals and distinctive dark centers. These hardy perennials thrive in fall planting conditions, producing abundant blooms in the following spring and summer. They are low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, making them an excellent choice for novice gardeners.
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) Columbines are known for their unique, spurred flowers in many colors, including blue, purple, pink, and white. That perennials self-sow readily, but starting them from seeds in the fall allows you to select specific varieties. Columbines prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia spp.) Blanket flowers are known for striking red and yellow daisy-like blooms resembling colorful blankets. Fall planting is ideal for blanket flower seeds as they require a period of cold stratification. These perennials are drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun, making them suitable for xeriscape gardens.
Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) Siberian irises are elegant perennials with slender, grass-like foliage and delicate, iris-like flowers in shades of blue, purple, white, and pink. Planting their seeds in the fall allows them to establish strong roots before winter, resulting in a robust display of blooms in late spring to early summer. They thrive in moist, well-drained soil and can tolerate light shade.
Hosta (Hosta spp.) Hostas are renowned for their lush foliage in various shades of green, blue, and variegated patterns. Fall planting of hosta seeds gives them ample time to develop robust root systems for the upcoming growing season. These perennials are shade-loving and thrive in rich, well-moistened soil.
Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) Daylilies are hardy perennials that produce a profusion of colorful, trumpet-shaped blooms. Planting daylily seeds in the fall allows them to establish a solid root system, ensuring healthy growth. They are versatile plants that can thrive in all sun to partial shade and are adaptable to various soil types.
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Milkweed is a critical plant for supporting monarch butterflies and other pollinators. Fall planting of milkweed seeds provides a cold stratification period and helps create habitats for these essential insects.
Milkweed prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Bee Balm (Monarda spp.) Bee balm, also known as the wild bergamot, is a native perennial that attracts pollinators with its vibrant, tubular red, pink, purple, and white flowers. Planting bee balm seeds in the fall allows them to develop strong root systems for robust growth. They prosper in abundant sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
Fall is a fantastic time to sow perennial seeds, setting the stage for a colorful and vibrant garden in the coming spring and summer. The best perennial seeds to plant in the fall include various options, from the fragrant lavender to the cheerful black-eyed Susan.
By understanding the specific requirements of each perennial and providing the right growing conditions, you could enjoy a garden that returns year after year with minimal effort. When planning your fall perennial planting, consider factors such as soil type, sunlight availability, and water requirements to ensure the success of your chosen varieties. Additionally, remember to prepare your garden bed by removing weeds and improving soil quality, as healthy soil is essential for strong root development and overall plant health. With the right perennial seeds and proper care, you can make a stunning and low-maintenance garden that brings joy and pretty to your outdoor space for years to come.
So, embrace the fall planting season and watch your garden flourish in the seasons ahead. Happy gardening!