Planting Perennials in the Fall

Bluebells, White Trillium, and Bareroot Planting

Fall is a fantastic time for gardeners to plan their perennial beds, as it marks the ideal season for planting many perennial plants. Cooler temperatures and consistent rainfall create the perfect conditions for root development, allowing plants to establish themselves before the harshness of winter. Let's delve into the advantages of fall planting, focusing on two beautiful perennials: bluebells and white trillium. Additionally, we will delve into the technique of bareroot planting in the fall.

Benefits of Planting Perennials in the Fall

Root Development: The fall season provides a unique advantage for planting perennials, as the soil is still warm from the summer heat but not too dry. This warm soil encourages vigorous root growth, helping plants establish solid foundations for the following growing season.

Reduced Stress

Cooler temperatures in the fall reduce stress on newly planted perennials. There is less risk of dehydration and heat stress compared to planting during the scorching summer months. This results in less transplant shock and higher survival rates.

Less Competition

In the fall, annual plants die off, and many pests and diseases become less active. This reduced competition and lower risk of infestation give perennials a better chance to thrive.

Planting Bluebells in the Fall

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are charming woodland perennials known for their delicate, bell-shaped flowers that carpet the ground in vibrant shades of blue. Here's how to successfully plant bluebells in the fall:

Select the Right Location

Bluebells thrive in partial to full shade and prefer well-draining, moist soil. Please choose a specific location in your garden that receives sufficient sunlight and is suitable for your needs. Ample sunlight or is shaded by trees or other structures. Before planting, it's essential to prepare the soil properly. Loosen the dirt by breaking up any clumps and removing rocks and debris. This will help create a loose and fertile environment for your plants. Chosen spot and amend it with organic matter like compost to improve drainage and fertility.

Plant the Bulbs

Bluebells are typically grown from bulbs. Plant them in small clusters or drifts, spacing them about 3 to 4 inches apart and planting them 2 to 3 inches deep. It is essential to water the newly planted area thoroughly to settle the soil and promote growth for root development.


Apply a layer of mulch, such as leaf compost or wood chips, to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. This is especially important for bluebells as they prefer consistently moist soil.


Continue to keep the soil consistently moist throughout the fall season. Bluebells may not require as much water during the winter, but it's essential to prevent the ground from completely drying out.

Planting White Trillium in the Fall

White trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is an enchanting woodland perennial known for its pure white, three-petaled flowers. Here's how to successfully plant white trillium in the fall:

Choose the Right Location

White trillium prefers partial to full shade and well-draining soil with high organic content. Find a suitable location with filtered sunlight or dappled shade, often under deciduous trees.

Soil Preparation

Work organic matter, like leaf compost or well-rotted compost, into the ground to enhance fertility and drainage. Trilliums are particularly sensitive to soil conditions, so soil preparation is crucial.

Planting Depth

Plant white trillium rhizomes (underground stems) about one to two inches deep in the dirt. Ensure the rhizomes are oriented horizontally, with the growing points facing upward.


Space white trillium plants about twelve to eighteen inches apart to allow them room to spread and establish over time. To ensure proper growth of your plants, it's essential to keep the soil consistently moist while watering. Avoid overwatering, as trilliums are susceptible to rot in soggy soil.


Apply a nice layer of mulch around the plants to help maintain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and provide insulation during the winter months.

Bareroot Planting in the Fall

Bareroot planting is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for establishing perennials in your garden. Many perennial plants, such as roses, fruit trees, and herbaceous perennials, are available as bareroot specimens. Fall is an ideal time to plant bareroot perennials for several reasons:


Nurseries typically offer a wide selection of bareroot plants in the fall. This allows you to choose various species and cultivars to suit your garden's needs.


Bareroot plants are often more budget-friendly than potted or container-grown plants. You can purchase more plants for your garden without breaking the bank.

Easy Transport

Bareroot plants are lightweight and easy to transport, making them convenient for home gardeners. Here's how to plant bareroot perennials in the fall:

Choose Healthy Specimens

When purchasing bareroot perennials, select plants with firm, well-developed roots, and healthy stems or canes.

Soaking the Roots

Before planting, soak the roots of the bareroot plants in water for a few hours to rehydrate them.

Prepare the Planting Hole

Dig a hole wide enough to accommodate the spread roots and deep enough to allow the plant to stay at the depth it was previously growing.

Plant the Bareroot

Position the bareroot and plant in the middle of the hole and spread the roots evenly. Backfill with soil, gently firming it around the plant to eliminate air pockets.

Water Thoroughly

After planting, water the newly placed bareroot perennials deeply to help settle the soil and provide moisture for root growth.

Fall is a fantastic time for planting perennials in your garden. Whether adding bluebells or white trillium to your landscape or trying your hand at bareroot planting, taking advantage of the cool temperatures and ample moisture of the fall season can set your perennials up for success. With the proper preparation and care, these plants will reward you with years of beauty and enjoyment in your garden. So, grab your gardening tools and prepare to embrace the autumn planting season. Your garden will thank you come spring!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

  • Blog post

    Give your customers a summary of your blog post

    Blog post

    Give your customers a summary of your blog post

  • Blog post

    Give your customers a summary of your blog post

    Blog post

    Give your customers a summary of your blog post

  • Blog post

    Give your customers a summary of your blog post

    Blog post

    Give your customers a summary of your blog post

1 of 3