Look for hardy mums in October. These Hardy Garden Mums make fall decorating a breeze and after the holidays plant them out in the garden amongst other plants where they’ll bloom again in spring and fall. If you want flowers closer to Thanksgiving, don’t buy them too early or they will bloom out before then.
Winter Cassia is another favorite for the fall season with blooms from October through Christmas. Bright, golden yellow flowers in masses on a plant that grows very fast into a 6’-10’ bush. Cassia Bicapsularis is also a host for the yellow Sulfur butterfly so you’ll have lots of those fluttering around the plant as well. The flowers even look like a butterfly!
Our favorite native grass, the Muhly, will soon be in bloom with its cloudy, pink plumes. A pretty, fine grass when not in bloom and a few always set off the landscape with its different texture and shape. Muhly withstands the cold weather better than the Fountain grasses. Not a fussy plant about all the Muhly Grass needs is full sun and water to get it established, Knock Out Roses LOVE the cooler weather and really shine fall through late spring. If you have Knock Out Roses at home and they look a little tired simple cut them back a foot above the ground, fertilize with the 12-4-12 or 8-4-12 slow release Palm Fertilizer and you’ll be amazed at how fast they flush out and flower in just 3-4 weeks. Drift Roses take a little less care as they are they spreading, low growing ground cover Roses only reaching about 2’-3’ in height. If you don’t have deer, the Knock Out and Drift Roses will bloom year round and never need protecting from the cold. Roses like a rich soil, so when planting incorporate good potting soil and mushroom compost in the planting hole. Fertilize every 3 months.
Camellia’s are in full bud now and will begin blooming late October – December. Sasanqua’s will bloom first with the Japonica’s blooming Dec – Feb. Some varieties can grow into 8’-10’ shrubs so make sure you have the space for them. Cold hardy, evergreen and a show stopper when in bloom.
Daylily can be divided and replanted now. If you have Christmas Cactus or Poinsettia and want to ensure blooms for the holiday season now is the time to place them where they receive no light at night from street lamps, porch lights. Likewise, poinsettia should not be getting nighttime light either in order to set the red brachs for Christmas! Container grown tender foliage and house plants will need to be moved indoors when temps drop below 40 F.
Zone 10-11 Semi-Tropicals like Hibiscus, Ti, Crotons, Jatropha and Allamanda should be in the ground no later than mid-month to have adequate time for rooting before the really cold weather arrives. Always remember, the majority of your landscape should be COLD HARDY with a few of these profuse bloomers sprinkled in for color. Semi-Tropicals die back with the first good frost or cold snap. Established plants quickly re-emerge in spring for another 9 -10 months of color!
Cool season flowers should start arriving in the Garden Center all month long. Flowers to plant this month and winter are Petunia, Snapdragon, Viola, Shasta daisy, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, Dianthus, Sweet Alyssum, Carnations, Lobelia, Calendula, Delphinium, Foxglove, Nasturtium and Pansy, to name a few. Pansies love the cool weather and are always last to be available around mid to late October.