Benefits of Late Summer and Early Fall Planting


Right: Fresh 72ct Monarda planted in a Premium 1-Gal pot in late summer. Left: Vernalized 20ct Monarda planted in a trade 1-Gal pot in spring.

You'll Save Money

When you grow perennials in late summer and fall, there is no need for costly supplemental heating or lighting. There’s less maintenance cost too since perennials grown outdoors tend to grow more compactly because the wind, rain, and sun act as natural PGRs.

You'll Save on Time and Labor

If you have overwintering capabilities, it is not necessary or even recommended to plant all of your plants in spring. You’ll be better off if you time your crops properly, splitting them into two groups: those best planted in late summer or early fall and those that are best planted in spring.

Ligularia 'Bottle Rocket' PPAF benefits greatly from being planted the year before it is sold. One the left is a spring planted plug, on the right is a late summer planted plug.

 This will save time and make better use of your labor force—and of course lighten your stress load--in the spring.

You'll have Larger, Better Performing Plants to Sell in Spring

It’s no doubt that some perennials perform exponentially better if potted in late summer or early fall the year before they are sold.  The perennials pictured here are great examples of that. Perennials build stronger root systems, have larger crowns that flush out nicer, and are more floriferous the following spring when they are planted summer or fall before.  They’ll not only have a higher perceived value—they will deliver a stronger performance for everyone from the grower to the consumer.

Overwintering Methods

Right: Fresh 20ct Hosta planted in a Premium 1-Gal pot in late summer. Left: Vernalized 20ct Hosta planted in a Premium 1-Gal pot in spring. Hostas planted earlier develop more eyes, a better root system, and more mature traits.

If properly cared for going into winter, perennials that are potted up in late summer and early fall should overwinter well and emerge as large, vigorous plants in spring.  There are four basic methods of overwintering perennials: Thermoblanket Technique • Sandwich Method • Minimally Heated Greenhouse or Polyhouse • Unheated Polyhouse Under a Foam Blanket.  For complete information on these four overwintering methods and more overwintering tips, read our Simple, Sensible, Solutions® guide  or request a printed copy. 

If you do not have the necessary facilities for overwintering your perennials, we suggest that you have your order shipped in spring rather than late summer or fall.

Examples of Perennials that Perform Better when Planted in Summer or Early Fall

Summer Planting

Aruncus 72ctGrasses(Sedges)Monarda 72ct
Brunnera 72ctGrasses(Warm Season)Perovskia 72ct
Coreopsis(Threadleaf) 72ctGypsophila 72ctPhlox(All)
Daylilies (All)Heliopsis 72ctRudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' 72ct
Dianthus 72ctHostas(All)Sedum(Upright Forms) 72ct
Dicentra 72ctIris(Tall Bearded)Stokesia 72ct
Euphorbia 72ctLeucanthemum 72ctVeronica 72ct
GeraniumLigularia 72ct

Early Fall Planting

Aquilegia 72ctPapaver(Bare Root)
Grasses(Cool Season)Primula 72ct
Iris(Dwarf)Pulmonaria 72ct
Paeonia(Garden)Salvia 72ct
Paeonia(Intersectional)Tiarella 72ct