How Late Can You Plant Perennials in the Fall

frost in gardenHow close to the first fall frost can I plant perennials in my garden? What should I do if I have perennials that I wasn’t able to get planted in time?

Answer: It is important to have an idea of your frost times to know when to plant your perennials accordingly. The winter season is often unforgiving, causing newer plants to die or become damaged by the harsh, cold temperatures mixed with the often dismal, sunless skies.

Planting too close to the first fall frost can hinder the success of plants by not allowing enough time to establish and take root. The right timing is often instrumental in the vitality of overwintering plants.

Although each plant’s needs may vary and some will be more winter-hardy than others, in general about a month before the last fall frost is sufficient in giving the plant enough time to establish itself and take root.  If you have to plant closer to the last frost, you can plant the perennials a little bit deeper than normal to help prevent frost heaves from dislodging the plant over winter. You should also apply a layer of mulch once the perennial dies back.

Didn’t have time to plant the perennials? Check out this article on overwintering perennials in containers.

Image: Romfordian
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