What Should You Plant? Our Fall Planting Guide for Tennessee and the Mid-South

Michael Hatcher

Sep 18, 2015 5:00:00 AM

fall planting guide memphisColorful leaves don’t have to be the only foliage catching your attention this fall: The cooler weather also means it’s the perfect time to install certain plants.

There are four plants that especially thrive in Tennessee and the Mid-South: pansies, violas, ornamental cabbage and flowering kale.

All of them will bring vibrant colors to your landscape and add life to your yard well into spring. Plus, they don’t require much maintenance.

Here is our fall planting guide for Tennessee which explains how and why to install these fall plants in your outdoor space.

Add Pops of Fall Color

All of the plants will bring eye-catching colors to landscapes when nothing else is flowering, which is one of the main reason our customers choose them.

They can really brighten up the space, add curb appeal and create a focal point with non-stop blooms until spring.

Pansies and violas are available in a wide range of colors, including purple, red, white and pink. Their blooms can either be a solid color or have multi-colored faces, which consist of dark blotches in the center and then color around the outer edges of the petals. The plants are also edible.

Ornamental cabbage and kale also have edible leaves and provide a range of colors. Cabbage typically has large rosettes of flat leaves, and kale has ruffled leaves in tight rosettes. Leaf colors for these ornamental plants can be white, cream, pink, purple and red. When temperatures drop, the leaf color will darken.

How Much Space is Needed?

fall planting guide tennesseeViolas and pansies won’t grow too large, so they are ideal for a variety of spaces. They do well in plant beds, borders, hanging baskets and planters. They need to be planted 6 to 8 inches apart so they have room to grown.

While violas have smaller blooms than pansies, both plants grow to about the same size. You can expect them to reach about 8 to 10 inches in height and width.

Ornamental cabbage and kale are a little larger and will grow 12 to 18 inches tall. They are ideal for border fronts, edging, containers and large areas.

Fall Planting for Success

Before digging in, make sure you choose healthy plants — not just ones with a lot of blooms. With pansies and violas, look for stocky plants with dark green foliage. The best ones will have a few blooms, several buds and a good root base.

Once you choose healthy plants, find a place to install them. All of them prefer full sun areas, but if you have a shadier area, violas are the better choice between the two flowers.

Install them in rich, well-drained soil, and make sure you water them thoroughly and apply slow-release fertilizer once they are planted. They should be planted in the ground at the same level as they were in the package.

The plants won’t need much maintenance beyond watering after they are established, but you should periodically check them during the winter. If it’s been an especially tough winter, you may need to apply liquid fertilizer.

The flowers typically don’t need to be deadheaded, but if they reach a point when they aren’t blooming as regularly as you’d like, you can pinch off the seed caps.

They can tolerate the cold and don’t need to be planted until October.

Bring Your Fall Landscape to Life

fall planting guide memphis tennesseeFall is the perfect time to plant a variety of foliage, including pansies, violas, ornamental cabbage and flowering kale.

Just because the temperature is dropping outside doesn’t mean you can enjoy your landscape. These winter-hardy plants will bring vibrant colors to your outdoor space when most everything else is dull or dormant.

To add pansies, violas, ornamental cabbage, kale or a range of other fall plants to your Memphis-area landscape, contact us online or at 901-755-3207.

We will bring your Memphis landscape to life, no matter the season.

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Image Credit:  Violas, Colorful Variety, Cabbage Kale Flowers

Michael Hatcher

Written by Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is president of Michael Hatcher & Associates.