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Why You Should Plant Ornamentals in the Fall

Use this season and these tips to successfully plant ornamentals

Adding beauty to your yard is all about timing. Here’s why you should consider planting ornamental trees and shrubs at this time of year.

What are Ornamental Plants?


Ornamentals are plants you choose for their beauty as opposed to any practical reason. Whether these are azaleas, dogwood trees or fountain grasses, these plants add character with beautiful sights and, in some cases, pleasant smells to your landscaping. Nearly every type of plant has an ornamental type, with plenty of variation in ease of care. Ornamental grasses in particular are known for being low-maintenance yet showy, while ornamental flowering shrubs might thrive under an experienced green thumb.

Why is Fall the Best Time to Plant?


Planting in the fall gives ornamentals time to establish themselves in the soil well before spring. This is important because transferring plants from a pot or other environment into your lawn is a huge disruption for them. The roots will need time to become accustomed to their new environment before you see them start to thrive.

Plant as early as you can in the fall, providing ornamentals with a temperate, mild season to adjust to their new environment. This also means plants can grow without added stress from heat or drought conditions associated with summer.

Tips for Optimal Plant Growth

Caring for your ornamentals can be simple or more involved, but there are some universal steps you can take to set new plants up for success:

  • Before you plant, do some research. Review recommended planting depths, where you’ll want to plant in your yard and any soil or pH requirements your new ornamentals may have.
  • Try to plan out when you plant so you’re well in advance of late fall or winter’s first frost. Generally, plants should have about two months or eight weeks between planting and that first frost.
  • Spread mulch when you plant. This will give your plants and their delicate roots a good foundation to draw on, helping them adjust to the new environment more quickly.
  • For trees and shrubs, you may be tempted to dig a very deep hole for the roots when planting. Pay attention to the recommended depth and follow it to the letter. Planting too deep could lead to permanent damage to the tree or shrub eventually.
  • If you’re planting from a pot, be careful about watering. Generally speaking, ornamentals you’ve planted from a pot won’t need watering every day. Water about every three days without natural rainfall for best results. Overwatering can lead to deadly root fungi, so be mindful!

Help Ornamentals Thrive with Fairway Green

While we do not offer planting or maintenance services, we’re committed to helping make your lawn look its best. We can help care for your ornamental trees and shrubs with custom services and maintenance plans. Contact us for your free lawn analysis today!