broccoli plant

What To Plant In October

As summer winds to an end and autumn is fast approaching, most of us are thinking about harvesting rather than planting. Luckily, there are still plenty of plants you can grow in October to keep on flexing your green thumb even as the weather gets cooler. This article features 50+ ideas for what to plant in October. Give it a try!

What to plant in October

Not all plants aren’t meant to be planted and grown in the springtime. In this category of plants, you can grow in October, there are both flowers and decorative plants as well as vegetables. Some of these are plants that will bloom in the colder months, others are ones that you will plant in the fall to allow them months of root development before they bloom in the spring. Either way, they will keep your gardening itch scratched.

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Check your USDA hardiness zone before planting.

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Flowers You Can Plant in October

This is the time when you want to plant wildflowers, spring-blooming bulbs, and more. In fact, many of them benefit from time spent under the ground at the cooler temperatures. For all of these, make sure you wait until it is now warmer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit to plant these.

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Amaryllis

  • Zones 9 to 11, zone 8 with winter protection.
  • Loamy soil
  • Full or partial sun, some shade needed at sun peak
  • Flower 6 weeks after planting
  • Blossom from December to June
  • If planted in October, will plant in time for Christmas

Aster

  • Zones 3 to 8
  • Loamy soil
  • Full or partial sun

Autumn Crocus/Saffron Crocus

  • Zones 3 to 8
  • Must stay between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 weeks in order to flower
  • Any soil type
  • Full sun or light shade

Read More: How To Grow Autumn Crocus

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Baboon Flower/Blue Freesia

  • Zones 9 to 10
  • Moist, well-draining soil
  • Full sun or light shade
  • Blossoms 10 to 12 weeks after bulbs are planted

Carnation

  • Zones 3 to 10 (variety dependent)
  • Slightly alkaline (pH 6.75), fertile, well-draining soil
  • 4 to 5 hours of daily sunshine
  • Bloom one to two years after seeds are planted

Cornflower

  • Zones 2 to 11
  • Full sun
  • Slightly alkaline soil (pH 7.2 to 7.8)
  • Can grow in fertile standard, poor, or rocky soil

Forget-Me-Not

  • Plant them now to have a full-looking garden early in the springtime

Goldenrod

  • Zones 3 to 9
  • Full sun or part shade

Hyacinth

  • Zones 4 to 9
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Fertile, well-draining soil
  • Flowers bloom 3 weeks after leaves appear

Ice Plant

  • Zones 8 to 10
  • Full sun
  • Can bloom in temperatures below freezing
  • Can be found in Zones 4 to 9

Larkspur

  • Zones 3 to 8
  • Thrives in light soil with ample drainage but can grow in most
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Blooms will appear in the spring

Marigold

  • Zones 3 to 9

Poppies

  • Three varieties: annual, California, and Oriental

Tulips

  • Zones 4 to 6

Other flowers to grow in October:

  • Cockscomb
  • Common daisy
  • Dogtooth
  • Fritillaria
  • Giant allium
  • Glory-of-the-snow
  • Hawksbeard
  • Hellebore
  • Hollyhock
  • Iris
  • Leather flower
  • Lupine
  • Pansy
  • Peony
  • Petunia
  • Pinks
  • Poached eggplant
  • Primrose
  • Siberian squill
  • Snowdrop
  • Snapdragon
  • Stock
  • Summer snowflake
  • Sweet pea
  • Sweet william
  • Wallflower
  • Watsonia
  • Winter aconite

There are plenty of landscaping plants, herbs, shrubs, trees, roses, cover crops, and herbs you can also grow in October. Again, check your zone, estimated freezing date, and instructions for each plant to know whether or not it can be left outside in the cold.

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  • Bay
  • Blueberries
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Fothergilla
  • French Thyme
  • Japanese Maple
  • Milk flower
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Red chokeberry
  • Rosemary
  • Rowan
  • Smokebush
  • Strawberries
  • Turfgrass
  • Witch Hazel shrub

Vegetables You Can Grow in October

If growing food is more your thing than flowers and decorative plants than there are plenty of vegetables to plant in October that will also keep you busy.

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Arugula

  • Zones 3 to 11, best in zones 8+
  • Full sun
  • 45-60 days to harvest
  • Plant every 2-3 weeks for continuous harvest

Asparagus

  • Zones 4 to 9
  • Full sun
  • Sandy soil
  • 2 to 3 years for full production

Artichoke

  • Zones 7 to 11 as perennial, colder zones grow as an annual
  • 110-150 days to maturity

Beets

  • Zones 9+
  • Loamy or sandy soil
  • Full or part sun
  • 45-65 days to harvest
  • Plant every 20 days for continuous harvest

Bok Choy

  • Zones 4 to 7, undercover
  • Prefers partial shade, full sun is okay
  • 30 days for baby bok choy, 120 to 180 days for standard

Broccoli

Broad Bean

  • Excellent to 14 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Protect with fleece during snowstorms of hard frost
  • 240 days to harvest

Brussels Sprouts

  • Zones 2 to 9
  • Full sun
  • Loamy soil
  • 80+ days to harvest

Cabbage

  • Zones 1 to 9
  • Full sun
  • 80 to 180 days to harvest

Carrots

Cauliflower

  • Can grow as long as temperatures are in the 60s
  • As the plant matures, use a cold frame until spring
  • Only plant when the temperature is below 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Full sun, shade from heat as needed

Corn salad/Lamb’s lettuce

  • Zones 5+
  • Once the plant is 4 inches tall, harvest 2 to 3 leaves daily
  • 120 days to harvest

Collard greens

  • Zones 8+
  • Plant 3 feet apart
  • Full sun, hot areas partial shade
  • 60-75 days to harvest

Cucumber

  • Zones 4 to 11
  • Loamy soil
  • Full sun
  • 50 to 70 days to harvest

Garlic

Kale

  • Good to 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Full sun
  • Loamy soil
  • 55 days if transplanting to harvest, 70 to 80 from seeds
  • Plant every 3 weeks for continuous harvest

Kohlrabi

  • Best between 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Can tolerate an early fall frost
  • 45 to 60 days to maturity

Leek

Lettuce

  • Zones 3 to 9
  • Select loose-leaf varieties

Mustard greens

  • Zones 8 to 11
  • Can begin harvest at 120 days, full maturity at 180

Onions

  • Zones 3 to 9
  • Full sun varieties
  • Choose long-day varieties

Parsnip

  • Zones 2 to 9
  • Loamy or sandy soil
  • Full or partial sun
  • Cover with mulch in the winter
  • 480 days to harvest
  • Harvest before ground freezes

Peas

  • Zones 2 to 9
  • Plant 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost
  • Full or partial sun
  • In snow or hard frost protect plants with fleece

Potato

  • Good in most growing zones
  • 120-135 days to harvest
  • Harvest 2 to 3 weeks after foliage has died black
  • Plant late-season varieties
  • Read More: How To Grow Potatoes

Radish

  • Zones 3 to 9
  • 30 days to harvest

Rhubarb

  • Zone 6 and cooler

Rutabaga

  • Zones 3 to 9
  • Loamy soil
  • Full sun
  • 80 to 100 days to harvest

Shallot

  • Zones 4 to 10
  • Best in full sun, partial sun okay
  • Plant 2 to 4 weeks before the first frost
  • 90 to 180 days to harvest

Spinach

  • Zones 3 to 9
  • Plant every few weeks for a continuous harvest
  • Protect with fleece
  • 37 to 45 days to harvest

Spring Onion

  • Zones 5 to 9
  • 240 days to harvest

Summer Squash

  • Zones 3 to 10
  • Average harvest time is 60 days
  • Harvest between 4 and 6 inches long for tender, tasty fruits

Swiss Chard

  • Zones 3 to 10
  • Full or partial sun
  • Plant 40 days before the first frost
  • 30 days for baby greens, 45 to 60 days for mature greens

Turnip

  • Zone 9 and 10
  • Best-tasting when harvested when bulbs are between 2 and 3 inches in diameter

Clearly there are so many options for plants you can grow in October, so there’s no reason to mourn the end of the spring and summer season. We hope this guide on what to plant in October helps you in your gardening journey!

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Keep Reading: 12 Vegetables You Can Grow All Winter

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Thomas Nelson
Environmental Advocate
Thomas is an environmental advocate currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing the outdoors, raising chickens and ducks, and reading about current environmental issues. Despite slight colorblindness, his favorite color is green.
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