Fall is for Planting - Check List

fall is for planting showing images of trees, shrubs and perennials and someone planting

Fall is truly the best time of year to add new perennials, trees, and shrubs to your California landscape. It’s all about the roots!  When you plant in the fall, your soil is still warm – and as the cooler months set in, the root structure is encouraged to become stronger, ensuring a beautiful and healthy spring and summer.

green check mark in boxThe Perfect 5 to Plant This Fall:

green check mark in boxFall Planting Essentials

green check mark in boxTime To Plant

green check mark in boxMaintaining Your Existing Landscape Plants This Fall

The Perfect 5 to Plant This Fall...


close up and full size of red maple or acer rubrum tree

1. Red Maple

Acer rubrum - This large shade tree has the distinctive maple shape leaves that turn from a lovely green to vivid orange and finally stunning red in the fall.  As a deciduous tree, it has a medium to fast growth rate with moderate to regular water.

  • Height: 40 to 60 ft.
  • Spread: 30 to 40 ft.
  • Low Maintenance
Chinese Pistache Tree

2. Chinese Pistache

Pistacia chinensis - This tree grows quickly in full sun to partial shade on moderately fertile, well-drained soils and will handle heat and drought extremely well.

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tristania tree fall planting

3. Tristania

Tristaniopsis laurina - This resilient Australian evergreen makes a fabulous lawn, specimen, or street tree with its symmetrical rounded head, peeling bark and dense foliage.

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japanese maple focal tree in landscape

4. Japanese Maples

Acer palmatum - Perfect for our climate, They come in a range of colors, leaf shapes, form and size.  Their versatile nature make them ideal for spaces small and large.

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palo verde tree

5. Palo Verde

Cercidium sonarae - The Palo Verde tree has a stunning upright growth and offers color of lemony yellow blooms late spring through summer. This wonderful tree tolerates heat well.  Tree selection varies by location.


pittosporum shrub

1. Pittosporum

Pittosporum - One of our favorite shrubs due to the dramatic foliate color and the shimmering effects it gives off when the wind blows through the small leaves.  The contrasting branches only add to the beauty of this evergreen shrub.  A dense and compact shrub.  The 'Silver Sheen' variety has small dark purple flowers that bloom in the spring and give off a sweet honey scent. Easy to care for and prefers well draining soil.

  • Height: 8 to 16 ft.  &  Spread: 5 to 8 ft. 
  • Full to partial sun
white camellias

2. Camellias

One our most popular shrubs in the fall because of their beauty and large stunning blooms.  Available in an array of flower from reds, pinks to whites.  Camellias have a horizontal habit with accenting glossy foliage.  They prefer slightly acidic, moist, well drained soil.

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red barberry shrub in landscape setting

3. Barberry Shrubs

If you are looking for a shrub that is low maintenance, high impact and offers incredible color throughout each season, a barberry shrub is perfect for your California landscape.  A showy, deciduous shrub with small thorny branches is available in various colors.  Dark purple to chartruese for incredible contrast.

pink azaleas

4. Azaleas

Azalea indica - This evergreen shrub is an absolute show off in your landscape.  It is available in various blooms of reds, pinks or whites.  It has bright green foliage for a pretty contrast.  Azaleas prefer acidic soil, moist, well-drained soil and do well in partial sun.

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Monrovia purple hopseed shrub photos by doreen wynja

5. Purple Hopseed

Dodonaea viscosa 'Purpurea' -A great show of color with bronze-green foliage that turns deep purple-red in fall. Pinkish fruit brightens the plant in summer. Dense branches can be trimmed as hedge or espalier; left unpruned, it makes a superb evergreen screen.  This shrub prefers partial to full sun.


lavender in landscape

1. Lavender

Lavandula sp. - A long stem evergreen perennial with dainty flower spikes that are highly aromatic.  Lavenders provide interest in bushy mounds.  It is one of the most beautiful and useful plants to add to your garden.  From the fragrant, blue-purple flowers, to its ability to attract wildlife, this is one plant you will want in your yard!

  • Full sun & Low Maintenance

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pinkish purple verbena perennial

2. Verbena

This evergreen perennial thrives in the sun.  It provides an airy feel with lovely clusters of tiny stunning color in the summer.  Compact mounding habits that look great as a ground cover.  Verbena attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Attracting Pollinators

red salvia

3. Salvia

Salvia greggii - One of the most popular landscape plants due to its ability to handle the heat, humidity, magnetic personality for hummingbirds, is drought tolerant once established, has a charming evergreen habit and colorful, long-lasting blooms.

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yellow achillea perennial

4. Yarrow

Achillea - A California Native, this drought tolerant perennial offers long-lasting flowers that butterflies just simply can't resist.  Available in an assortment of colors.  Prefers full to partial sun and will reach a height of 18" to 24" and spread 20" to 24".

California Natives

penstemon perennials

5. Penstemon

Penstemon are drought tolerant once established.  With their mounding habit, this herbaceaous perennial produces tubular blooms in the late spring and early summer the hummingbirds go crazy for.  Butterflies are also a big fan.  Ideal for full and partial sun.

Now that you have your trees, shrubs and perennials selected for your fall planting project...

Don't Forget About Your Fall Planting Essentials

2 cu ft. bag of summerwinds nursery planting mix sitting on the sidewalk in front of green shrub

SummerWinds Planting Mix

100% Natural and Organic all-purpose planting mix for flowers, trees, vegetables and ornamentals. Formulated for the Bay Area, this exceptional planting mix has received the CDFA seal of approval. Blended with aged redwood, rice hulls, chicken manure and feather meal.

  • 2 cu ft. Bag
E.B. Stone Organics Sure Start Fertilizer 4 lb. box

E.B. Stone Organics Sure Start

Sure Start is a blend of natural organic ingredients formulated for use when planting or transplanting plants.  It's a gentle organic formula that will not burn.  Contains mycorrhizae, beneficial bacteria and humic acid.  Mycorrhizae: are naturally occurring fungus that attaches to plant roots to form a symbiotic relation with the plant.  It’s like putting an extended root system on the plant!

  • 4 lb. Package
  • Feeds at a natural rate
  • Provides a health ecosystem
Adding mulch to landscape

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch

Mulching – or covering a garden surface with a layer of mulch material – provides many advantages to your summer landscape but the biggest and the most important advantage is retaining water and water conservation.  When planting trees, shrubs and perennials, it's a wonderful time to lay down some material.  Don’t worry, we’re here to help make sense of mulch!  


blushing beauty tulips

Time To Plant Your Spring Flowering Bulbs

Netherland Flowering Bulbs have arrived at SummerWinds. We've chosen the very best from traditional favorites to the many unique varieties. Selection is great right now and they are guaranteed to energize your spring.

Flowering Bulbs

Time To Plant

How To Plant Trees and Shrubs

This video will show you the basics to planting trees, shrubs and more. We will focus on trees but the same can apply to shrubs, perennials and more. With these simple steps, you can successfully plant your next garden.

Maintaining Your Existing Landscape Plants This Fall

Fall is a great time to give your planted trees, shrubs and perennials an extra dose of love.

E.B. Stone Organics Ultra Bloom Plant Food4 lb box of e.b. stone organics ultra bloom plant food or fertilzer

E.B. Stone Organics Ultra Bloom Plant Food 0-10-10 is good for all plants, particularly Azaleas, Camellias and Rhodenderons. Add to flowering plants when buds begin to form. In addition to encouraging the development of flowers and fruit, this fertilizer also helps plants resist disease. Registered cdfa.

Consider Planting Cover Crops cover crops

Cover crops improve soil structure, water retention and drainage with organic matter. Earthworms and other microorganisms that enhance decomposition love feeding on cover crops; they keep soil healthy. Cover crops feed the soil by being tilled under once properly matured.  

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