Fall is the ideal time for planting shrubs, perennials and mulching. Mums and Asters are PERENNIALS – meaning if you get them good and established before the ground freezes, they will bloom again next year. They come in a great array of colors that will perk up your late season garden. Best of all, they are inexpensive!
Pansies and Violas are other favorite flowers for Fall. Pansies want full sun to partial shade, and they are extremely sturdy – withstanding a wide array of temperatures and will keep blooming even into the winter. They will survive a frost, and only die back if temperatures stay very low. Great for containers or borders.
Do you want garden advice that is totally tailored to you? Valerie Nalls is now offering one-on-one garden coaching! Click here for more information.
General Plant Care & Watering Instructions
To properly water a tree or shrub, place a hose on trickle at the base of the plant. Follow the chart below for a suggested length. Water more frequently in the spring and summer. Plants in direct sun and plants that have been installed in the last six months should be watered more often.
|1-1.5 inch’s caliper||15|
|1.5 + inch’s caliper||20|
For a potted plant, use good quality potting soil and leave a few inches at the top of the pot to hold water. The pot also needs to have good drainage, so it is best to have an inch to three inches of rocks in the bottom of the pot. Water daily, and in the summer heat, an additional watering may be required. Always water thoroughly, until water flows from the drainage holes in the bottom.
Nalls’ Helpful Hints About Annuals
All annuals will generally flower from spring until the first frost in the fall. If you choose to use your annuals in a container, you will need to water at least once daily, but twice in heat spells. Annuals in the ground will need water too but not as desperately as in pots. All plants, drought tolerant or not will need plenty of water when first planted and getting established.
- Not fussy about soil conditions and will bloom continuously through the season. They require full sun and won’t perform well with less than 6 hours daily. They are a sturdy plant and will need deadheading to avoid a slowdown in blooming. There are several different color combinations and bloom varieties. Marigolds have a musky scent that is unappealing to pests. Many people plant Marigolds with veggie plants to deter pests.
- Sun loving, long lasting, colorful, pest tolerant and easy to grow. Petunias require at least 6 hours of sun minimum and need moist but well drained soil. Deadhead these plants as needed, some varieties deadhead themselves. Wave petunias are known for their “trailing” effect, making them a wonderful addition for a hanging basket.
- Sun and heat lovers. Their bright colors attract butterflies. They will need regular deadheading to perform well. One of the most reliable annuals for our Mid Atlantic climate.
- Shade lover! Use them for a burst of color in a pesky shaded area of your yard. Medium shade is best for impatiens. They like moist, well drained soil and must adequately watered to stay looking nice. Impatiens like a 1/2 day of sun or less.
- Begonias provide long lasting bright color and are fairly drought tolerant. They like full sun but will perform well in light to medium shade as well. They are an excellent choice for border planting. The best plant for the novice gardener.
- New Guinea Impatiens
- New Guinea Impatiens will tolerate more sun than a traditional impatient but it still doesn’t want a ton of sun. They perform best when shaded from the hottest sun of the day. They are great container plants and have the same needs as traditional impatiens.
- Coleus prefers a moist loamy soil will good drainage. With our clay soil in Virginia, consider a raised bed for coleus or incorporate soil conditioner into the soil. They can tolerate full sun but will appreciate light to medium dappled shade. Performs very well in our region, often growing to 36″ tall!
- Portulaca thrives in heat! They look great in a container, or planted in crevices of rock walls or on the edges of gravel paths. Portulaca is a trailing annual but will sometimes reseed itself in containers and come back the next year. In fact I have a pot of it that has been reseeding for 20+ years! This is one of the flowers we use in our rock wall along Beulah, and that area gets beaten with sun and heat from the road, the Portulaca does very well there.
- Vinca gives a similar color and shape to impatiens but loves the sun and is very drought tolerant. Vinca is commonly used for borders, edging, and bedding plants.
- Heat and drought tolerant, no need to deadhead, trailing habit, loves full sun. Great in hanging baskets, window boxes, landscapes, and combos. A great low maintenance choice
Deer Resistant Plants
Generally deer do not like plants that are poisonous, fuzzy, smelly, or have sharp foliage or thorns. Here are two lists; one is deer resistant, the other is deer attracting. Unfortunately, deer are very fickle, and you may experience different results.
|Dianthus||Pine, Mugho & White|
|Dwarf Alberta Spruce||Sedum|
|Black & Blue Salvia||Lantana|
|Columbine||Red Hot Poker|
Afternoon sun is much stronger than morning sun. If the area receives morning sun, consider it partial shade. If it receives six hours of sun, consider it a sunny site.