Autumn is a beloved season for many, marked by crisper temperatures, family festivities, and of course, the glorious fall foliage. For those with backyard gardens and patio shrubs, these botanicals need less attention compared to warmer summer months. While it’s true that most plants need less irrigation in the fall, don’t hang up the garden hose just yet.

This is because autumn is the time when active root growth takes place. Energy that was once focused on foliage goes underground, where roots will continue to absorb nutrients from the soil. Hydrating the plants and soil during the fall helps perennials, trees, and shrubs better cope during harsher winter climates.

Why Supplemental Irrigation is Important

Certain plant species with shallower root systems are more prone to drought injury and will require more watering during the autumn months. These include dogwoods, spruce fir, boxwood, willows, maples, alders, and birches.

Newly planted shrubs or plants situated in windy areas where soil moisture is low will need supplemental watering as well. Perennials, trees, and shrubs will benefit from periodic watering during cooler fall months to stave off root damage that can undermine the plant’s health.

How much irrigation is too much? A general rule of thumb is that the water must reach the plant’s root zone, which can be up to 12 inches beneath the soil. For best results, water less often but for longer periods to help fortify the plants against colder weather and future droughts.

Guidelines on When to Stop Watering Plants

It’s time to stop watering your plants when the soil and air temperatures regularly fall below 40° F. For many states, this will occur in October or November. In more Southern zones, this can happen in late December or, in some cases, not at all. Once the ground is below 40 F, the soil cannot absorb water, making irrigation a futile endeavor.

Everyone loves flowers for fall, like chrysanthemums, pansies, asters, and daisies. In order to keep these plants strong and healthy, water them first thing in the morning until the ground freezes over. If you live in a warmer area with mild winters and where ground frost is rare, continue to irrigate your flowering plants and shrubs throughout the winter or when they look dehydrated and thirsty.

Send the Freshest Autumn Plants and Flowers

Featuring a rich color palette, autumn flowers make for an excellent gift, and are often used in home décor accents. Proflowers can help you celebrate the harvest season with a large assortment of fall gifts for that special person in your life. From charming gardenia bonsais to low-maintenance succulents, we deliver autumn botanicals nationwide.

Whether you’re shopping for a birthday present, a holiday party, or a milestone anniversary, Proflowers is your online source for the best fall plants and blooms. Send the gift of living beauty and browse our collection of autumn floral arrangements and live plants.