Maximizing the Magic of Fall: Planting and Adding Interest to Your Landscape

Maximizing the Magic of Fall: Planting and Adding Interest to Your Landscape

Written by Nate Hopping, Tree & Shrub Manager

Fall is a fantastic time to rejuvenate your garden and add new dimensions of beauty to your outdoor space. At Wolf Hill, we often recommend both spring and fall for planting. There are several compelling reasons why fall is an ideal season for introducing new greenery. Let's explore the benefits and dive into some stellar suggestions to enhance your landscape.

The Fall Planting Advantage

When it comes to planting, fall holds a unique set of advantages:

1. Warm Soil, Cool Air

As summer transitions into fall, the soil retains the warmth it absorbed during the warmer months. This creates an optimal environment for root development, a critical factor for plant establishment.

2. Root Growth Focus

With cooler temperatures above ground, plants redirect their energy towards root growth. This enhances their ability to anchor firmly in the soil and gather nutrients, setting the stage for robust spring growth.

3. Reduced Watering Demands

Fall's milder temperatures mean less evaporation and reduced water requirements. This translates to lower maintenance for gardeners and improved odds of successful establishment.

4. Budget-Friendly Planting

Prices for plants are often more favorable in fall compared to spring. While the selection may be slightly narrower, the deals you can find are sure to make up for it.

5. Shade-Friendly Environment

The waning strength of the sun allows for the successful introduction of shade-loving plants. They can establish themselves without the stress of intense summer heat.

6. Ideal for Spring Bloomers

Plants like Dogwoods, Rhododendrons, Lilacs, and others that burst into bloom in spring benefit from fall planting. This timing allows them to settle in and prepare for their spectacular spring displays.

7. Tackling Water-Hungry Varieties

Plants with higher water demands, such as Willows, Hydrangeas, and certain perennials, find fall's moisture levels more accommodating. This means you can worry less about their hydration during hot summer months.

Adding Fall Interest: Tree, Shrub, and Grass Recommendations

For an enchanting autumn landscape, consider incorporating these stellar choices:


  • Red Maples (Acer rubrum)
  • Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum)
  • Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
  • Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)


  • Witch-Alder (Fothigilla spp.)
  • Red-Twig and Silky Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
  • High and Low bush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum, Vaccinium angustifolium)
  • Viburnum species (Viburnum trilobum, Viburnum dentatum, Viburnum nudum)


  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
  • Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardi)
  • Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)
  • Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)


  • Goldenrod species (Solidago spp.)
  • Hyssops (Agastache spp.)
  • Aster species
  • Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp.)
  • Perennial Mums and more.

Annuals with Winter Stamina

Certain annuals like grasses and millet can stand tall through winter, providing both sustenance for wildlife and a captivating visual element as they catch the snow. 

With fall's unique advantages and a thoughtful selection of flora, you can transform your outdoor space into a breathtaking autumnal oasis. Come visit Wolf Hill to explore our wide range of fall-friendly plants and let your garden shine in the splendor of the season. Happy planting!