Planting Perennial Plants In The Fall
When planting discounted perennial plants in the fall there are a few things to take into consideration. This gardening in Canada article looks at exactly what is needed to ensure the future success of your perennial plants. We will be looking at plant prep, ground prep and winter storage.
If you are new to this blog my name is Ashley and I am a soil scientist. I am located in a Canadian Zone 3 and a USDA Zone 4. I write articles and make YouTube videos all designed for Canadians and Cold Climate gardeners using science based methods. If you are looking for anything specific be sure to let me know in the comments down below.
If you missed the article on how to pick healthy discounted perennial plants then check that out here. Starting with a plant that will make it through the winter is the most important part of success. The plants that have spent the summer inside the nursery pots will already be stressed.
Step One Of Transplanting Discounted Perennials In The Fall
Remove all dead, damaged or diseased foliage. You will also want to remove any viable flowers to help reduce the stress of transplanting. Once this has been removed you will want to water the soil in the nursery pot. If possible try using a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium to help the roots. For more on fertilizer check out this post.
Step Two Of Transplanting Discounted Perennials In The Fall
Get them into the ground ASAP. You will want a plant hole that is 3 -4 times larger than that of the root ball. The depth should be only as deep as the container to ensure the surface of the nursery pot is the surface of the new ground soil.
Step Three Of Transplanting Discounted Perennials In The Fall
Water them with sun warmed water everyday until the foliage is dormant or the frost has caused wilting. So long as the plant is performing photosynthesis we want to provide water. This may only be once every three days at this point in the year. Do not over water this will do more harm than good.
Step Four of Transplanting Discounted Perennials In The Fall
Mulch, mulch and more mulch. Do not be afraid of making a mulch nest directly on top of the perennial. You may even want to use a burlap sack or winter covering after the first frost has hit. When we plant perennials late the plants generally will have weaker root systems. The added insulation will help the plant over winter.
If you use this four step process when transplanting your perennials you will see success in the spring. If the winter is abnormally cold keep in mind that some winter kill may happen. This is completely normal even with normal undiscounted perennial plants. Just ensure that in the following year you provide plenty of water and fertilizer. All perennials take around 3-5 years to flesh out into their full glory.