Fall vs. Spring: When Is the Best Time to Plant New Plants?

If you want to plant new plants in your yard, you’ll quickly realize that timing is everything. The decision of when to plant is crucial. Typically, two primary seasons are considered best for planting: fall and spring. That said, each season has its unique advantages and challenges, so the choice is not always straightforward. 

Here, we’ll discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of both fall and spring planting, to help you make an informed decision for your yard and garden. We’ll also go over some of the unique considerations Phoenix-area homeowners should take into account.


Fall is often considered an excellent time to plant for various reasons. 

Warm soil and root development

As temperatures begin to cool down after the scorching summer months, the soil remains warm, promoting robust root development. This is particularly beneficial for perennials, shrubs, and trees, as they have a little time to establish themselves before harsh winter conditions set in.

Less water use

One of the key advantages of fall planting is the reduced need for watering. Cooler temperatures mean slower evaporation rates, allowing plants to retain moisture and establish strong root systems without the risk of drought stress. Additionally, fall’s milder weather creates less stress on newly planted specimens, reducing the likelihood of transplant shock.

Plants are ready to thrive in the spring

Finally, fall planting provides a head start for plants to flourish come spring. With a well-established root system, plants are better equipped to take advantage of the increased sunlight and warmer temperatures, leading to more vigorous growth and earlier blooming. 


Spring has its own set of advantages when it comes to planting. 

Increased daylight for above-ground growth

As temperatures rise and daylight hours increase, plants experience optimal conditions for above-ground growth. This makes spring an ideal time for the introduction of annuals, vegetables, and other plants that need more above-ground development.

Faster results

Spring planting also allows gardeners to witness immediate results, as plants quickly respond to the warmer weather by producing foliage and flowers. This instant gratification can be particularly rewarding for those who enjoy visual transformations in their garden spaces, or who want a quicker outdoor makeover.

More time to develop before winter

Another notable advantage of spring planting is the extended growing season. By getting a head start in spring, plants have plenty of time to establish themselves before the onset of winter. This can be especially beneficial in regions with short growing seasons, allowing for a more extended period of active growth and blooming. This is also a major benefit for areas that may have cold fall weather.


It’s always important to consider climate and regional conditions when deciding when to plant. This is especially true in the arid climate of Phoenix. While a desert fall offers favorable conditions for root development and reduced watering needs, gardeners must be cautious of potential early frost risks. Spring, with its rapid above-ground growth and extended growing season, typically aligns well with the desert climate.

Ultimately, the decision of the best time to plant in Phoenix comes down to the plants themselves. Perennials, trees, and shrubs may thrive with fall planting, while annuals and warm-season vegetables often fare better when introduced in the spring.

Fall vs. spring planting is an ongoing debate amongst landscaping professionals, and there is not one right answer that will work for every situation, every time. While both seasons offer pros and cons, it’s important to consider your local climate, the plants you are trying to grow, and your own goals and desires for your garden.

It is always a good idea to consult with an Arizona landscaping professional about best practices for your growing needs. With the right advice and a well thought out strategy, you can enjoy beauty and vitality in your outdoor space, all year long. 

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