Fall is the perfect time to evaluate your current landscape and determine where you would like to replace plants or add updates.

With Monsoons coming to an end and hopefully the 100 plus temperatures also leaving the Valley of the Sun for the year, it is time to take advantage of our perfect autumn climate. Fall in Phoenix is absolutely pleasant for outdoor living and for establishing new plantings in your yard. This ideal season will extend until at least November when temps could begin to drop and slow plant growth.

An Honest Evaluation

A variety of colors and textures keeps your landscape visually appealing. If your plantings are lacking variety, consider adding some pops of color this fall.

The first step in sprucing up your yard with new plants is evaluating what you have, what you will remove, and where you would like to see some expansion of your plant palette. The obvious removals will include anything that is dead or has been severely damaged by the intense heat of the summer or the thrashing wind of monsoon season. Removing these plants first will provide you with a clear image of the space you have to fill.

If you are not sure what you want to plant in the new barren area, sketching the space with notes labeling the other plants can be helpful. This design can be kept close by when exploring your options on the Internet or at your local nursery. If possible, note the blooming season of the existing plants and the colors so that you can increase the blooming season and create a complementary color scheme for the space. Also, pay close attention to the amount of sun the area gets during the summer months so that your new plants will thrive year-round.

Other Factors To Consider

Removing large shade trees can completely eliminate a microclimate in your yard and cause substantial stress to the plants in that area.

If you have removed a large plant or tree from your yard, carefully consider the amount of shade it provided for other plants. The removal of a large shade tree can impact the success of all of the plants that were once shaded. Now they are suddenly living in a drastically hotter environment. Conversely, if you choose to add a tree in a full sun area, the plants that will now be living in the shade could have an adverse reaction. You can learn more information about the needs of your plants with a quick search online.

Trimming And Shaping

If you want to maintain more formal plant shapes over the winter, trim in the early fall, before the cold weather arrives.

Early fall is also an excellent time to complete one last round of trimming and shaping before cold weather arrives. Long, leggy branches and overgrowth can be removed without stressing the plants unnecessarily. But be careful not to remove too much outer growth. Cold weather is not far away and could damage the newly exposed central portion of the plants. And once cold weather arrives, do not give in to the temptation to immediately trim off frost damage. Leave that dead material to act as insulation and protection for the undamaged part of the plant.


Summer watering schedules should remain active until the daily high temps are below 100 degrees and the nights are substantially cooler. Reduce the number of days that the irrigation runs rather than reducing the run time on each zone. This will provide deeper, more substantial watering on a less frequent schedule and encourage deeper root growth.

Adding raised planters and pots are perfect ways to create pockets of color that are easy to maintain and add a substantial impact to your outdoor living space.

If fall landscaping projects are not how you are hoping to spend your weekends in the coming months, remember that the UNIQUE team is here to assist you. Our professional designers have decades of experience evaluating existing landscape, determining what should be removed, and creating a plan to update and rejuvenate your plantings. Call 480-969-1911 or click here to schedule a free initial consultation for fall landscape projects. And with the holidays just around the corner, think about adding a new fire pit, fireplace, or outdoor kitchen. These functional and fun additions will turn your patio into a true outdoor living space that you will enjoy for years to come.