This one word makes fall planting fabulous. Think about it. What do we expect from a perennial that you plant in mid-September? Do we expect it to bloom? Usually not. If we don’t see beautiful buds by November we don’t fret or call the store from which we we purchased it. Within a month or so in reality we see it “dying back” or entering dormancy. The leaves are yellow and browning and this is not a surprise! As most of us realize the roots are very alive and we will get to see its beautiful top growth again come spring. Had that same perennial been planted in June turned brown what would you think?
I killed it. Bad plant. Who killed my plant? (Depending on your temperament, of course :o)
So what DO we expect out of fall planting? Not much, UNTIL spring. How awesome for a plant! Here is what the plant is saying. I get time to settle in. I will grow some roots, before a lot is required of me. Before they dump too much blue fertilizer on me pushing, pushing me to look like the tag stuck in the ground beside me (how embarrassing that tag is).
I say hurray to fall! Plants need TIME (sometimes much more time than we have patience for) to establish. You might want to sit down for this next sentence. You probably are sitting, so just take a nice deep breath.
Plants need MONTHS or YEARS to look great and be great.
A perennial installed in mid-September will have had months the months of October, November, April and May to establish their roots. Four months, before we even expect GREATNESS!! Woo Hoo! Many perennials and smaller shrubs will establish in that time, not fully mature but establish well. I usually ask people to give their new landscape 3 years before it will shine in the true glory as shown and discussed in their landscape designs.
Perhaps my first sentence should have said THE LACK OF EXPECTATION makes fall planting fabulous. All in all, expectation really is everything. Expect greatness and please give your plants TIME.
May fav quote on the subject…“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian” -Dennis Wholey