Why Fall & Winter Are The Best Time to Plant Shrubs & Trees In The South

When it comes to planting shrubs, trees, perennials and many other outdoor landscaping plants in the southern United States, contrary to popular belief, the fall and winter seasons are a great time, if not the best, to plant. Read on to find out why. 

As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin to cool towards the end of summer outdoor plants will begin to go into dormancy, which is a period of rest that is crucial to their survival in order to regrow each year. As this occurs, above-ground growth slows down or ceases. The foliage of deciduous plants and trees will often change color and eventually drop. Evergreen plants will retain their foliage during dormancy, however there will will be no new foliage growth until the following spring. Meanwhile, when soil temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, roots of plants and trees will continue to grow and thrive throughout the fall and winter months. Then, when spring comes, these plants will be acclimated and there and ready to benefit from the heaviest root flush of the year that occurs in spring. And this is one of many reasons while fall is an ideal and preferable time for planting shrubs and trees!

Here are some other reasons why fall is such a great time to plant shrubs and trees...

Less Care & Maintenance

A plant planted while dormant in the fall or winter won't be drinking much if any water. The evaporation of moisture from the soil slows way down so a good rain or occasional watering will last much longer during the cool season than the warm season. Then, because the plant will be acclimated to its new home it will be there and ready to benefit from the spring root flush. An acclimated and established plant with a more extensive root system requires less attention to watering when summer and warmer temperatures arrive.

Dormant plants that aren't growing will not require fertilizer. You can hold off on feeding until spring. On every plant page in WilsonBrosGardens.com you will find helpful plant-specific feeding advice under the Planting & Care Advice tab. 

Better Plant Selection

It makes sense that during the fall and winter seasons you'll find more plants available at nurseries that flower and/or show beautiful foliage color during the cool season.

Here's some links to fall color plant categories on our website...

Fresh Air & Exercise are Benefits as Well!

Something about the fall air - it's clean, fresh and the smells around are comforting. The hot and humid summer is gone. So, pull that sweater out of the closet, buy some plants and trees, grab a pair of gloves and a shovel, and add some appeal to the cool season landscape. You'll be happy you did!