Don't Wait Until Spring to Get Your Garden Growing, RHS launches Autumn Planting Campaign

Two generations have forgotten that autumn planting gets gardens in shape for the following year, saves money and helps many plants better establish, according to a survey commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Forty years ago gardeners knew that autumn was a prime time for planting, but today just 12% of people think it is the best time to get plants in the ground, and only 6% of people purchase their plants during the season*.

The RHS is launching a campaign ‘Autumn Planting for Year Round Colour', to promote planting in autumn when the soil is still warm. This gives plants the head start they need to get established in time for spring when growth is at its peak. Once established, their root systems can cope with summer's dry, warm conditions and plants are less likely to fail.

It is also the ideal time to plant for gardeners to save money. Bare-root plants are available for planting in October and often cost much less than those sold in containers. Any smaller, less-expensive plants that are put into the soil in autumn will establish quickly and perform as bigger and better plants next year.

RHS Director General Sue Biggs says, "While spring is also a great time for gardening, it has totally eclipsed autumn and we've forgotten that this is a prime gardening season as well.

‘Autumn Planting for Year Round Colour' takes place during September, October and November. At the four RHS Gardens - Wisley, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr - there will be talks by gardeners and experts for ideas and advice, free autumn planting cards to take home and basic soil testing advice. Autumn Show (23 - 24 October).

On 2 October, RHS Garden Wisley is joining forces with the Horticultural Trades Association to plant hundreds of violas and pansies, demonstrating how to get colour in your garden now and benefit from an even better display next spring.

Nigel Eaton, Head of The Wisley Plant Centre, shares some his favourite plants to put into the ground this autumn:

Plants for colour this autumn

 • Caryopteris × clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold' AGM
 • Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert' AGM
 • Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii AGM
 • Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle' AGM

Plants for colour next spring

 • Itea ilicifolia AGM
 • Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream' AGM

Plants for colour next summer

 • shrub rose GERTRUDE JEKYLL (‘Ausbord') AGM
 • Raspberry ‘Autumn Bliss' AGM
 • climbing rose ‘Madame Alfred Carrière' AGM
 • Acanthus spinosus AGM

The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM) is the highest plant accolade the RHS can give and helps gardeners to make informed choices about plants. This award indicates that the plant is recommended by the RHS.

To find out more about autumn planting visit