Fall gardening: what to plant in your garden in September

With the arrival of fall, it’s time for gardeners to start preparing their gardens for the cooler months ahead. While Britons may be spending less time in their gardens during the autumn months, gardeners can still make their gardens lush and healthy. Morris Hankinson, general manager of Hopes Grove Nurseries, shared plants that gardeners can plant in the fall.

The gardening expert said autumn is the “best time of year” to plant a plethora of hardy plants in gardens, as it’s a “sweet time” when the soil is still warm and there is usually a good chance of rain.

New plant roots are likely to grow rapidly and can then become well established.

Morris added: “As the days get shorter, many plants will start to ‘shut down’ for the winter, which means that instead of focusing on their leaves (photosynthesis and growing new) , they will refocus on the root system.”

The gardening expert told Express.co.uk exclusively that now is the time to revamp the garden and move established trees and shrubs to a new location.

However, Morris said there’s never a guarantee of success if they’ve been planted in the same spot for many years, but the best chance of success is in the fall.

He explained, “Try to move them with as big a clod as possible, soak them well before and after moving them.

“Increase your chances of success with taller, older shrubs by pruning to reduce the length and number of branches by 30-50% before you start, this will mean less water lost through transpiration that needs to be replaced by the root system being redeveloped.

“Plant potted hedges, trees, shrubs and conifers in September and October.

“Now is also the time to plant those spring bulbs for a great display next year!”

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Here are the best things to plant in the fall:

Potted hedges

Abelia Grandiflora Confetti Blanket

A very useful and colorful dwarf variety of Abelia that looks great for many months of the year, the Confetti Hedge has small grey-green leaves with a cream border during the summer months.

As the weather cools, the creamy variegation changes to shades of pink, starting at the ends of the branches and gradually spreading throughout the plant.

In summer and autumn appear a succession of fragrant white tubular flowers, slightly tinged with pink.

These are very popular with bees and other pollinators and are produced over several months.

Cover Amelanchier

These are also known as “Snowy Mespilus” or “Juneberry Hedge”.

This hedge is a unique choice for hedging due to its characteristic fall leaves and production of dreamy snowy white flowers in the spring.

Morris said this hedge is sure to add “aesthetic value to any garden space, the Amelanchier hedge comes in a variety of shapes”.

blackthorn hedge

Morris said: “Blackthorn or ‘prunus spinosa’ is a hardy, free-flowering native shrub often seen in mixed wild hedgerows, masses of damson-like sloes appear in autumn.

“Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is another variety of hedge plant that makes an excellent security hedge, due to its dense, spiny, bushy foliage.

“As found in native hedgerows, blackthorn grows best in full sun and tolerates most soils, including sand, chalk, clay and silt, making it a hardy and versatile choice for a number of different landscaping projects.”

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Potted trees

potted apple trees

Planting an apple tree in the fall means you are guaranteed a beautiful apple tree blossom in the spring.

Apple trees are “easy to grow” in most non-waterlogged soils.

Young trees will become well established and grow faster if a small circle is placed around the base – 50-100cm in diameter – and kept clear of weeds.

Laying down mulch or bark chips will help deter weeds and maintain moisture.

Morris also recommended adding rootgrow when planting for faster root establishment.

Acer garden trees

Acers, also known as Japanese maples, are popular beautiful plants known for their delicate foliage which is available in a range of colors.

Most acers have the advantage of producing stunning fall colors, which adds to their appeal.

Acacia Baileyana Songlines Garden Trees

Morris said: “Acacia Baileyana Songlines Garden Trees are tall, graceful evergreen shrubs or small trees reaching around six meters in height with a naturally rounded, spreading shape.

“With incredibly attractive fern-like greyish-violet leaves and axillary cones of deliciously fragrant small spherical yellow flower heads that have a slightly fluffy appearance appearing in winter and spring, adding a wonderful splash of late and early season color. season to your garden.

“Their new growth comes in a beautiful almost purple color, softening to silver gray as it matures.”

Cotton candy tree (cercidiphyllum japonicum)

This unusual tree gives off a sweet smell of burnt sugar from its attractively colored fall foliage – hence its name. The tree has heart-shaped leaves that change colors with the seasons.

potted shrubs

Arbutus (arbutus)

Arbutus Unedo Compacta, better known as strawberry tree, gets its name from the bright red strawberries.

The fruits develop their color from shades of orange and yellow at first, then turn red in the fall as the next crop of pretty pink-tinged white flowers appear.

Once established, the shrubs feature colorful orange-brown bark and glossy dark green evergreen foliage. These plants make excellent shrubs for borders and do well by the sea.

callicarp shrubs

Morris said this deciduous shrub makes an “amazing addition” to any garden.

The shrub develops new bronze colored foliage in the spring turning to medium green in the summer. The shrub also produces small pink flowers in summer.

This plant also produces masses of dark purple, perfectly formed pearl-like fruits in the fall that are retained after the leaves have fallen.

It is one of the best fall/winter interest shrubs. It is ideal in small groups and the cut branches are perfect for flower arrangements.


Conifers (including clod hedges) should be planted in October and November.

Faulkner cover box

Buxus microphylla ‘Faulkner’ or Faulkner Box is a cousin of the common boxwood, Buxus sempervirens.

At first glance, the two plants look very similar, but Buxus ‘Faulkner’ has several distinguishing characteristics.

The glossy leaves are more rounded than those of the common boxwood and lighter in color, an attractive emerald green just like the color of the no less beautiful hedge plant Griselinia.

Buxus ‘Faulkner’ is one of those evergreen hedge plants that manages to stay pristine all year round with very little maintenance.

Euonymus Golden Blanket

The Euonymus Golden hedge makes a small but pretty dense and bushy hedge.

Euonymus Golden has green leaves with a golden edge, and when fall comes, a hint of red creeps over them.

These make an excellent low hedge, especially in a border or when used as a ground cover.

This hedge likes full sun or partial shade and can grow in any well-drained soil. It grows quickly and produces small green flowers in May and June.

Clod cover plants

Common box cover

Morris explained: “Common Box (Buxus sempervirens) is the most popular low hedge species for an evergreen hedge, its small leaves and versatile bushy habit make it the perfect subject for all manner of small hedges or borders and Topiary possibilities with Common Box are limited only by the imagination of gardeners.

“Although it is used almost exclusively for small hedges (less than about 100cm), common boxwood will grow steadily at 10-15cm per year in much larger hedges several meters high if you are patient.”

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