10 Best Plants for Fall
What’s the most dependable tree in the South for spectacular red fall foliage? ‘October Glory’ red maple (Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’). It grows 50 to 60 feet tall, and you can get it at most garden centers. September is a great time to plant.
Sick of pansies that turn to mush with the first fall freeze and don’t bloom again until spring? I am. That’s why I’m planting the new Plentifall pansies available now in garden centers. These are among the first trailing pansies, each spreading 18 inches. Plant them in the ground to form solid sweeps, or let them cascade from containers. Plentifall pansies survive below-zero temps with little damage, so they should bloom for you from fall through spring.
Photo: Amsonia tabernaemontana, a bluestar variety similar to the Amsonia hubrichtii
Plant the best spring bulb no one seems to know about—Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica). It stands 15 to 20 inches tall, loves our climate, and spreads steadily into glorious sweeps. It comes in white and pink, but blue ‘Excelsior’ is my favorite. Order from oldhousegardens.com.
If grass won’t grow in a damp, shady area in your yard, grow moss instead. Moss stays green all year and doesn’t need mowing, watering, fertilizing, or spraying. Mosses native to your area work best since they’ll tolerate your climate best. So if someone you know loathes moss, generously take it off their hands.
Try planting one of these winter greens.
Lettuce: ‘Bibb’ (green butterhead type), ‘Oak Leaf’ (green loose-leaf), ‘Red Sails’ (red loose-leaf)
Mustard: ‘Red Giant’ (reddish-purple leaves), ‘Savannah’ (large, deep green leaves)
Kale: ‘Lacinato’ (dark green, curly leaves, very cold-hardy), ‘Redbor’ (pictured; crinkly, deep red leaves), ‘Red Russian’ (smooth, gray-green leaves with purple veins, delicious!), ‘Winterbor’ (crinkly, blue-green leaves)
Collards: ‘Champion’ (dark blue-green leaves, very cold-hardy), ‘Georgia Southern’ (deep green leaves, very cold-hardy and productive)