October is the best time of year to plant perennials

21 Sep

Surprisingly to many new gardeners, October is the best time to plant perennials in the Bay Area. If you get your new perennials in the ground now, they have a chance to benefit from the October sunshine and then the rains of November through March. Perennials planted in the fall will deliver a much more abundant display next summer than those planted in the spring, because they have had time to establish themselves over the winter months.

Some of my favorite perennials:

* Salvia, salvia, salvia (otherwise known as flowering sage) ! So many colors to choose from, and it’s almost indestructible… if you have a deer problem, plant salvia! They won’t touch it! Loves sun.

* Penstemon – again, lots of colors and very easy to grow. Try “firebird” for a true scarlet display. Sun to part shade.

* Campanula poscharskyana (serbian bellflower) – this one is for shady places in the garden. Produces a carpet of blue bell shaped flowers. Spreads and naturalizes.

* Alstroemeria (peruvian lily) is another beauty that needs little care. Comes in wonderful shades of orange, yellow and pink, great cut flower, spreads by rhizomes. One of my favorites.

A great website with lots of information on perennials that do well in our Bay Area climate is California Gardens.com.

If you would like help in selecting perennials that will thrive in your garden, just send me an email or give a call and let’s start planning for colorful spring/summer display!

2 Responses to “October is the best time of year to plant perennials”

  1. V. Carlson August 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Hello: Thanx for October schedule–very informative. I just bought Salvia Velocity Blue 1 gal. (on sale Home Depot). They will go in a bed with full sun in front of 3 foot mature bushes. Hope this doesn’t sound stupid, but today and would like to know if I should wait a month to plant If so, I should take containers out of full sun bed to a shadier spot, right? Thanks Viv (Los Altos–zone 16)

    • Heidi August 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Vivian. You can go ahead and plant right away, as long as you are watering the new plant. If you are going to wait for the rains, it is best to keep the plant in filtered sun, and water as needed.

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