Tender Plants to Plant in Spring, Not Fall

You’ve probably already heard me go on about how fall is the best time to plant, but – it’s not the best time to plant everything! If you’re in zonal denial like me and want to plant a few things that push the boundaries of your climate, or even plants that do great once established but maybe get slightly frosted leaf tips or something – spring’s the time to get those in the ground.

Here in rainy, coastal Humboldt County (USDA Zone 9), these beauties will live over through most winters if planted in spring and protected from the worst frosts their first year:

Tibouchina urvilleana/Purple Princess Flower Citrus Trees (lemons and limes are best here)

Loropetalum chinense/ Fringe Flower

Tree Fern/ Dicksonia antarctica

Coleonema/ Breath of Heaven

Passiflora/ Passionflower Vines

Salvia/ Sages

Any kind of Fuchsias (call up Cindy Graebner of Fickle Hill Old Rose Nursery, or catch her at the Farmer’s Market to see some fantastic mite-resistant Fuchsias that are extremely unusual!)

Abutilons/ Flowering Maples

Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’/ Red Dragon Fleeceflower

Agapanthus/ Lily of the Nile


I also recommend planting all but the hardiest perennials in late spring, because so many perennials are stressed by heavy rains or frost. Better to let them grow and gather steam throughout the first year before expecting them to survive winter time.