Is Fall The Best Time To Plant Shrubs In Georgia?


The fall season in Georgia sees an incredible transformation of gorgeous foliage colors: the reds, yellows, and all other captivating hues in between. It is also the opportune time for planting shrubs and ornamental trees as the soil temperature is perfect for their roots to thrive at this time of year. This enables you to create a great foundation for your shrubs to establish a considerably robust root system.


Is It Better To Plant Shrubs In Fall Or Spring?

Deciding when to introduce shrubs or any other plant to your garden can be frustrating as the goal is to ensure that the plant can adapt and flourish. Many yard owners are convinced that springtime is the best time to start planting due to the generous amounts of rain. However, fall is, in fact, the best time to get you some new shrubs or move your established plants to their new home.

Spring in Georgia offers favorable warm weather accompanied by a reliable supply of rain. However, with the constant climate change, winters are becoming less predictable and severely stretch into the first months of spring.

Additionally, the rainfalls may be too much for the young shrub as the soil becomes drenched, leading to rotting of the plant’s roots, which will result in cutting oxygen supply from the soil to the shrub.

Thus, if you plant a shrub in spring when there’s a large amount of rain, the roots won’t grow as much and your shrub will just be sitting in the wet soil. This could lead to early plant disease issues.

On the other hand, fall in Georgia is ideal for planting as temperatures are pretty steady and moisture levels considerably fair to facilitate the rapid development of roots. We recommend that you do not wait too long into the fall season to plant as you may expose your shrubs to the much colder winter weather.

Preferably, make plans to start planting your shrubs by early October, perhaps as early as the beginning of September. Fall is also an excellent time to transplant shrubs as the conditions contribute significantly to managing their shock of transplanting. It helps to trim the plant’s roots 30 to 60 days before transplanting them in the fall. Doing this will restrict growth and maximize feeder roots.



Is It Too Cold To Plant New Shrubs In The Fall?

It is easy to assume that the growing season ends in fall, however, that is absolutely not the case as moderate and relatively steady fall temperatures are best for stimulating root development. Most parts of Georgia have sufficient warm soil temperature during the fall to stimulate the much-required root growth.

But don’t wait until it’s too cold outside as the soil temperatures must be warm enough for the roots to absorb water and nutrients so that the plant can actively grow. If the soil temperature is consistent at a minimum of 50° F or more, then it is safe to plant shrubs and deciduous trees.

Typically, when plants go dormant, growth above the ground comes to a stop, especially for deciduous plants. As a result, all the energy is directed underground – to the roots. Planting shrubs while in dormancy reduces the effects of stress on the plant for both new and transplanted plants.


For a better chance of survival, it is wise to ensure that you shop for healthy plants before you can plant them into the new space in your yard.

Some of the things to keep in mind include:

  • Check the plant for damages on the bark
  • Go for trees with symmetrical branches
  • Look out for girdling roots as they may lead to a poor root system
  • Properly prepare the plant’s new site as this may also affect how the roots grow


What Shrubs Can You Plant In Fall In Georgia?

When it comes to choosing suitable shrubs for your landscape in Georgia, there are numerous options to go for, depending on several characteristics such as:

  • Landscape needs – this refers to when the shrubs drop their leaves or whether they can provide good screening all year round.
  • The type of hedge – formal or informal.
  • Amount of maintenance – most informal shrubs require low maintenance.
  • The preferred height of the shrub – whether tall or short.
  • Ornamental characteristics – whether the plant has flowers, fruits, or foliage
  • How well the shrub grows in your area – ensure that it does not serve as the breeding place for severe insect and disease problems.



Georgia boasts excellent picks when it comes to blooming shrubs. The state is unique as residents have to consider deer-resistant shrubs to maintain the peace between man and wildlife.

Here are a couple of shrubs to choose from:



The Hydrangea shrubs are a favorite in the south and come in several species, each with unique features and colorful hues. Some, like the Hydrangea Macrophylla, need shade, whereas others are not afraid of the sun. Oakleaf Hydrangea thrives in dryer climates and changes into shades of orange and maroon in the fall.


Carolina Allspice or Sweetshrub

It is a native shrub with bursts of fragrant blooms that smell like a combination of apple, strawberry, and banana. The deciduous shrub has dense, dark green leaves and barks, and is incredibly easy to grow. It is perfect for the patio or sidewalks, where the sweet aroma can be enjoyed to the fullest. The best part is that it is deer and pest resistant and very low maintenance.


Fothergilla Gardenii

This dwarf ornamental shrub is exceptional for its leathery leaves, dark green in color with a blush of gray beneath. Its foliage exhibits beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red-purple in fall, and spicy, honey-scented cream flowers in the spring. The Fothergilla shrub is low-maintenance, it is comfortable in both wet and dry soils and prefers little sun to partial shade.


Viburnums species

From the Shasta Viburnum, Korean Spice Viburnum, to the Chinese Snowball Viburnum, this evergreen shrub species is a winner. They are all different, but each has so much to offer, such as colorful berries, and occasionally, even the deer cannot stay away. Their diversity and tough nature make them great for hedges and the patio area.


If you’re ready to get assistance with your shrub care services in Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas, talk to us today! Our professionals at Guaranteed Green will provide you with the best possible tree and shrub service in your area.

So call us today at (770) 599-2774 to inquire about our year-round ornamental tree and shrub care program to protect your vegetation from pests and diseases in all seasons.