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Best plants to grow in November
Garden path

Best plants to grow in November

by Faye Peterson 3 min. 13.11.2022
Add a touch of colour with Faye Peterson's selection of autumn plants
Cyclamen can be used to spruce up outdoor containers or bring a welcome pop of colour potted up inside your home
Cyclamen can be used to spruce up outdoor containers or bring a welcome pop of colour potted up inside your home
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Autumn equals darker nights, longer trousers and less time in the garden. But with the right plants, your garden can be a welcoming riot of colour this fall.

Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi)

Photo: Shutterstock

These plants get their name from the paper-thin, orange-coloured lanterns, known as calyces, that surround their autumn berries. Win at dry flower arrangements, by adding dried stems to a bouquet or use their ripe tomato-like fruit in a range of culinary dishes. 

As fall progresses the delicate lanterns turn into skeletal forms, before springing back to life and flowering in summer. Grow bare root specimens now in a well-drained container to prevent this invasive plant spreading. 

Heather (Erica carnea or Calluna)

Photo: Shutterstock

Paint your garden in a quick and easy splash of Scottish colours this season with heathers. Cheap as a bag of chips and much more bountiful, these beauties will continue bearing flowers into the spring months.

Heathers are partial to acidic soil and it is worth getting your hands on ericaceous compost to add to their pots. Alternatively, attempt to change the pH of your soil naturally by adding coffee grounds or mulching with pine needles and freshly fallen leaves. Although a superficial fix, it can alter the acidity of your soil enough to keep these shallow rooted plants happy.


Photo: Shutterstock

Hardy perennials that defy their delicate looking exterior, cyclamen look beautiful in a naturalised style of planting, peeping out from beneath bushes, trees or ferns in the garden. They can be used to spruce up outdoor containers or bring a welcome pop of colour potted up inside your home. Add them to your basket now.

Winter pansies (Viola x wittrockiana)

Photo: Shutterstock

Choose from a dizzying palette of colours that keep on coming until summer next year. Easy on the eye and easy to grow, pop the plants in shady borders, containers or hanging baskets and remove dead flower heads to encourage new blooms.

It is the perfect plant to get children into the garden. Their delicate flowers can be preserved in a press. Edible varieties, like Viola ‘Heart’s Ease’, add a flowery finish to baked goods. For winter colour in the garden, choose scented variety White Perfection or plants from the Matrix range.

Forced spring bulbs

Photo: Shutterstock

Bring spring indoors this winter with early scented displays of forced bulbs, such as short stemmed tulips, dwarf iris reticulata, and the highly scented paperwhite daffodils (narcissus) and hyacinth.

The secret? Pop about five bulbs into a shallow container, half filled with compost. Don’t stress about the depth, but do make sure the ‘pointy ends’ of your bulbs are facing upwards. Lightly cover the remaining bulb with a good layer of compost. At this point they should look like they have been tucked into bed, just the tips of their pointy heads or eyes sticking out to observe the skies.   

Next, pop them into a dry, cool shady area - like the garage. Now, they chill. Chilling tricks Mother Nature’s internal clock into thinking the bulbs have been through winter. Times vary depending on varieties chosen. 

Bulbs, like the paperwhites, can be brought out in time for Christmas as they need only four weeks in the chiller, whereas dwarf irises, hyacinths and their close cousin, Grape Hyacinth (muscari), can take up to 10 weeks before hitting their cool spot. Tulips, such as short-stemmed variety Kaufmanniana, can give you the cold shoulder for around 20 weeks before coming out to face the heat on the other side. 

Once suitably chilled, place your pots in a warm, light location and bask in the beauty of your floral bounty as each plant blooms. Prepare bulbs now for ‘full-on’ floral fabulousness. 

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