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Did you know that fall is the best season for planting many varieties of flowers, foliage, and produce in the Carolinas? Summer may be over, but many landscape design experts agree that there are many reasons why fall is the best time to plant across the Southeastern United States:

There are less pests.

You will encounter fewer weeds and fewer pests during fall planting, which is a nice reprieve in the southern US. This also gives your plants a better chance to thrive.

It is warmer.

The weather is still warm in South Carolina in the fall; in fact, overnight freezes are infrequent and rare until January or February. The mild climate prepares tender root systems for cooler temperatures gently, creating a hardier plant.

You can’t beat bulbs.

Bulbs are a great option for a colorful display in spring, and around Thanksgiving is actually the best time to plant perennial varieties in this area. Some popular and hardy bulbs to plant include hyacinth, snowdrop, and daffodil.

You won’t need to fertilize.

When you plant in the fall, fertilizer is not recommended by landscape experts. They do, however, suggest adding a thick layer of protective bark mulch on the soil around your fall plantings.

It’s perfect for perennials.

Focus on plants that will come back in the spring, like perennials. In fact, some varieties require the cooler temperatures of fall to stimulate growth, which makes this the perfect time to plant both annuals and perennials, including:

  • Mums will flower for up to six weeks, depending on the type.
  • Pansies planted in the fall can last from September to spring, offering both fall and springtime color.
  • Verbena are hardy and will still flower after the first late-fall frost.
  • Sedum can be left outside all winter; the dried flowers look pretty all year.
  • Decorative cabbage gets prettier and more colorful after a frost and when the temperature drops.

If you live in the coastal regions of South Carolina, ask garden center staff for salt-tolerant suggestions and varieties, that have the best success surviving and thriving in these conditions.

Vegetables do very well.

Fall is also an excellent time to plant vegetables; varieties with at least a sixty-day growth cycle can be planted in early August, such as peas and beans. Shorter-cycle vegetables can be planted as late as September in the Carolinas, like turnips and greens.

Trees take time.

Trees and shrubs take time to adapt to the environment and do well when planted during the cooler temperatures of fall. This is good for the root system, helping it to develop before spring.

Grass grows best.

Plant your lawn and grass during the fall, but make sure to choose cool-season grass seed. Plant your seed from mid-August to early October, ideally, for a lush, green lawn come spring.

You can expect rain.

The cooler temperatures of fall are often accompanied by rain, which helps to effectively and efficiently keep your autumnal plants watered. The ideal conditions for your fall plants get at least one-inch of rain weekly.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to buy hardy bulbs, fresh seeds, and sturdy plants from your favorite garden and landscape design center. Talk with experienced staff for more advice about the best plants for the season and grow-zone.


Need another reason to plant in the fall? As the weather turns cooler in the Carolinas, plant fall foliage and flora for year-round color and curb appeal. Talk to the professionals at Terra Bella Garden Center, your local garden & landscape design center in Charleston, to plan your fall gardens, beds, and features.

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