What to Plant Now to Enjoy in Spring

Its hard not to notice the change of season in the landscapes all around us. Brilliant hues of yellow, orange, red, and maroon are beginning to make their appearance all around us. As we enjoy all that fall has to offer, its also good to think about the next showy season – Spring. These are some plants that you can still find and plant now, so you can enjoy their buds and blooms next spring in your landscape.

Even though most plants are dying back and preparing for winter, there is still plenty of time for successful fall planting. We advise our customers to plant perennials through the end of October, and continue to plant trees and shrubs through November. You can even stretch planting of trees and shrubs well into December as long as the ground is not frozen. Basically – if you can stick a shovel into the ground, its safe to plant.

Planting your trees and shrubs in the fall offers much more advantages than spring planting. One of the biggest advantages are the cooler temperatures and moisture that allow the trees to establish themselves. Trees and shrubs are also less likely to get stressed out due to extreme heat.

When the air temperatures are cooler than the soil, new root growth is establishing without the top growth. This allows for a  stronger, better developed root system for the spring when the plant begins to grow.

Some of the trees and shrubs that we recommend now so that you can enjoy them next spring are:  Magnolia, Lilac, Crabapples and Forsythia.  Read more below!


Magnolia are very showy, large flowering shrubs that bloom early spring. Look for a Jane or Ann magnolia for the large pinky purple blooms that make a real statement each April and May. These plants will be large shrubs or multi stemmed trees, great for a specimen plant on the corner of your house.

Lilac shrubs bloom right around Mother’s Day each year. Their blooms come in various tones of white, pink, and purple as well as various sizes – from 3ft to 8ft mature sizes. Most people select the more compact Dwarf Korean Lilac for the lavender blooms and the lovely lilac scent.

Crabapples vary greatly in mature size, shape, and color of bloom and leaf. By planting a tree like this in the fall, you are ensuring that you have a tree that is successfully rooted in and ready to give you all the blooms that could be! We like the Royal Raindrops crabapple for a stunning medium sized tree with purplish foliage and bright pink blooms. The perfect tree for your lawn or your landscape! This tree is also less susceptible to apple scab – a disease that causes early leaf drop.

Forsythia is one of the earliest signs of spring. The bright yellow forsythia flowers are the true ‘calling card’ of spring. What was traditionally a large woody shrub, has been reinvented to produce much smaller and more compact cultivars and should be on your shopping list if you want an early spring bloomer. Getting them in the ground this fall will help ensure that your property is the first to perk up next spring!


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