Thinking About Perennials For Fall
Darwin Perennials has written at-length about how timing perennials to flower for fall sales can increase your business and provide your retail customers fresh flowers to sell. All that talk must be paying off, because fall perennials are becoming an increasingly popular program. Timing perennials has heightened the appeal of fall decoration and opened up the eyes of landscape designers with plant alternatives that complement their existing mum installations.
Some other benefits of fresh fall perennials:
- Fresh-grown perennials get full price vs. leftover cutbacks on the discount rack.
- Perennials for fall come in the décor colors homeowners are looking for.
- Timed right, they can arrive in stores the same week as garden mums.
- Many perennials outlast mums – well past frost – for added customer value.
However, not all perennials are suitable for fall programs, or for all regions of North America. To get the best value from a perennial fall program, be sure your assortment includes first-year flower perennials. Darwin Perennials has availability in several classes of these types. Your fall perennials should also be pest- and disease-free for the area you’re selling into. They should tolerate the bulk-up process in the summer and be conducive to summer growing conditions. Your choices should also have extended flower interest – no short flowering windows – if you want to extend the season.
The good news: Most fall perennial choices are very easy to grow and produce under full sun. Several suitable seed and vegetative varieties are available. Liners, too, are readily available for the transplant weeks you need to meet your delivery windows. Liner suppliers will provide any plug treatments necessary, just share your ideas about your fall program.
Above: Echinacea Sombrero Salsa Red, October 1, 2019, grown outdoors on drippers; one 72 liner in a 2.5-qt. pot.
Darwin Perennials has developed a ready-made fall perennial schedule (download it directly here or find our other scheduling tools at our Scheduling Tools & Production Guides page). Take a look at the document and see where your team can participate in fresh-flowering perennials for fall.
Some other tips to consider:
- Plant from mid-June to end of July for Labor Day/Week 36 flowering.
- Controlled release fertilizer supplemented with liquid feed as necessary.
- Place pots on drippers to help ease production, or use overhead watering.
- PGRs are generally not needed or recommended in summer production.
If you've had success with timing perennials for a fall program, let us know! Comments below are always welcome. Need a bit more guidance? Reach out — our team is happy to help.