Top Plant Picks October 2021

Top Plant Picks October 2021

There’s so much more than mums to see during Cheekwood Harvest! Cheekwood’s Plant Collections Manager, Shanna Jones, shares her top plant picks for October.

Chinese Abelia (Abelia chinesis)

Bloom Time: August – October

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Butterflies & bees

Tolerates: Deer

Native to North America: No

Zones: 7 – 9

Other: Makes an effective hedge when planted in mass.

Location: Bradford Robertson Color Garden

Toadlily (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’)

Bloom Time: August – October

Sun Requirement: Part shade – full shade

Water Requirement: Medium – wet

Wildlife: Butterflies, bees & hummingbirds

Native to North America: No

Zones: 4 – 8

Other: Plant where detailed flowers can be appreciated up close. Rabbits enjoy eating the new leaves and flower buds.

Location: Carell Dogwood Garden

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Bloom Time: April – May

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Butterflies

Tolerates: Deer & drought

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 4 – 8

Other: Seed heads provide attractive garden interest in the fall

Location: Wills Perennial Garden

Devil’s Walking Stick (Aralia spinosa)

Bloom Time: July – August

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Birds

Tolerates: Drought

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 4 – 9

Other: Leaves present a tropical effect. Fruit is an excellent food source for birds.

Location: Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail & Herb Study Garden

White Oak (Quercus alba)

Bloom Time: May – June

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Dry – medium

Wildlife: Acorns provide fruit for a variety of wildlife

Tolerates: Drought, dry soil

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 3 – 9

Other: The white oak is commonly used as a street tree and makes a picturesque shade tree at maturity.

Location: Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden

Fig (Ficus carica ‘Chicago Hardy’)

Bloom Time: Spring – inconspicuous

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Birds

Tolerates: Colder temps than any other F. carica

Native to North America: No

Zones: 6 – 10

Other: Produces fruit in late summer or early fall. ‘Chicago Hardy’ is the most cold-hardy of the species.

Location: Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Bloom Time: June – July

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium – wet

Wildlife: Birds

Tolerates: Wet soil

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 3 – 9

Other: Be sure to plant at least one male in a grouping to ensure berry production occurs.

Location: Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail & Howe Garden

Tartarian Aster (Aster tartaricus ‘Jindai’)

Bloom Time: September – October

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Butterflies

Tolerates: Disease and insect damage

Native to North America: No

Zones: 4 – 8

Other: This cultivar seldom needs summer pinching to control height as long as it is grown in full sun.

Location: Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden


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