Fall Plant Care Tips

by Roger Sanderson, Director of Horticulture

Got your plants ... Now what?
• First, what is it? Check the plant tag. Doing some research about the plant’s specific needs is always helpful, especially if there is no information on the tag. This will help in choosing the proper location for your new plant.

• If your plant is “Tropical” or “Tender”, there is a good possibility that if left outside your plant may freeze during winter. These plants are ideally kept in a greenhouse or sunny window until after the last frost of the next spring. A last resort location would be a garage or other location with good lighting. Tropical plants are not reliably hardy to survive in Dallas. Some in recent years have managed to live if they had a year’s growth in the ground before the cold arrived and were growing in a protected location. A heavy mulch applied to the plant’s base in late fall might enable them to survive.

• If your plant is a “Perennial” or “Shrub” or “Tree”, fall is the very best time to plant them! The secret to gardening in the thick clay, alkaline soils of North Texas is tilling in expanded shale or gypsum, with some organic material then adding least 3 inches of a good soil mix (50% or more compost) on top of the beds. Once the bed is prepared, place your plants only as deep as they were in the pot. Organic fertilizer can be sprinkled into the hole prior to placing the plant or on the top of the ground after the plant is planted. Try to make sure the fertilizer is not actually touching the plant, this is not as critical with organic products as it is with regular fertilizers.

• Water your plants thoroughly after planting, even if the ground is wet from recent rains. Watering helps meld the roots, potting soil and garden soil so the roots aren’t exposed to air or dry soil.

• Since many perennials are reduced to only their roots during the winter, it is helpful to mark where they were planted. Plant labels make quick easy to spot markers!

Butterfly Plant Sale: April 8-9
(Members' Preview: April 7!)

Enjoy a selection of native and adapted pollinator-friendly plants! Have a mature yard with lots of trees? Shade tolerant plants are highlighted in yellow so you can see them at a glance.

See below for our Fall 2016 Plant Sale List. An updated spring list will be available about one month prior to the sale!

Milkweed bloom Plant List by Botanic Name
Milkweed bloom Plant List by Plant Category, then botanic name (Plants are organized this way at the sale)

Our Plant Sale list is split into plant categories (grasses, perennials, etc.) and alphabetized by botanic name in each category. The numbers in the second column show how many of each species we have in stock, so you can plan ahead. The third column, N/X, means Native/Non Native. We also a butterfly/pollinator section.

Any questions on the list? email us at RSanderson @ Texas Discovery Gardens.org.

The Dates

April 7: 3 pm to 4 pm
April 7: 4 pm to 7 pm
April 8-9: 10 am to 2 pm

Plant Safari Guided Tour ($25, $10/TDG members)
Member's Preview Sale
Plant Sale

Are you a plant sale newbie? Fall Plant Sale at Texas Discovery Gardens The Plant Sale Cheat Sheet (get in; get out; get planting!)
1. Fair Park may charge for parking at the gate. Tell the attendant you are attending the Texas Discovery Gardens Plant Sale for free parking.

2. Park around back by our Greenhouse (Turn right past the gate and follow our fence line and signs along your left.)

3. Park your plants! We have 'Plant Parking Spaces' where you can load plants while you shop. Volunteers are on hand to tally up when you're finished. You then take your ticket to the greenhouse to pay.

4. Feel free to bring a dolly or cart (or a significant other, neighbor, boy scout, etc.) to help with carry out. We have a few (carts, that is) available to help you out once you have paid and are ready to go home, but it can back up at the beginning of the sale.

5. Questions? Just ask! We have plenty of wonderful volunteers and staff on hand to answer your plant questions and more.

Prices: $4 - 4-inch; $8 - gallons; trees, shrubs are special prices. Cash, check and credit card are accepted.