You may think the gardening season has ended, or that planting spring bulbs is your only fall garden chore, but think again. Fall is the best time to plant many trees, shrubs, perennials and vines. Vines add vertical interest and color to areas that may otherwise be drab and dull. Grab some seeds or cuttings and start some vines in your yard for flowers and foliage next year.
This family of vines includes many with attractive flowers and a fast-growing habit. Morning glories are part of the Ipomoea family, as are sweet potato vines. Other Ipomoeas are the red-flowering cardinal climber and cypress vine.
These twining vines range from annual plants which re-seed to long-lasting perennials. Fall planting of Ipomoea is best in full sun and fertile soil. Water well during dry winters.
Large blooms appear at night when growing moonflower vines, another member of the family. This perennial specimen, often grown as annual, features fragrant flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Nick the seeds and soak overnight before fall planting.
Honeysuckles are tough and ornamental evergreen vines that add flowering color in all four seasons. Lonicera varieties bloom in spring, summer, fall, and possibly winter, depending on where you live. Lonicera sempervirens, with orange trumpet shaped blooms, is sweetly fragrant. Lonicera xylesteum is a dwarf variety that can also be grown as a shrub. Lonicera varieties offer a range of flower colors and blue-green foliage to cover unsightly areas and hide unseemly views that are not aesthetically pleasant.
Plant honeysuckle in full sun to part shade in moist, organic soil that drains well. Yearly pruning for shape is needed for most honeysuckle vines and shrubs.
This vining plant is grown for colorful autumn foliage that turns reddish in autumn. Flowers are insignificant on the Virginia creeper, but bluish-black berries attract birds. Plant this specimen from cuttings or from seed in any soil, including those that are lean or rocky. Virginia creeper grows in sun or shade and climbs rapidly on tendrils that attach to any available support. When no support is available, this plant sprawls as a groundcover.
Autumn is the best time to plant bare root fruit vines, such as grapes. Plant these late in the fall when the vines are dormant. If roots have dried out, soak them overnight before planting. Provide support for fruit vines and water well during the winter.
Don't resist the urge to garden when temperatures cool. Research your area to learn which plants are best started in autumn.
More planting tips from this contributor:
Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Culture and Use; Ferris M. Bridwell