I'm a new homeowner and need to replace plants in our lawn in Northern California). Is it okay to plant now or is there a reason to wait for Spring? Is the main difference flowering? Will plants root and survive now?
Provided what you're planting isn't tender and will withstand any frosts you might get, then yes, you can plant now, unless the soil is frozen or waterlogged. On the assumption that you get rain in winter, plants won't get baked too much by the sun before they've had time to put out a good root system, meaning they should be more settled in by next summer. However, if you've had unseasonably cold weather for 3 or 4 weeks, with frost, it may be that the soil is already too cold, so it depends what your weather's been like - optimum planting time for permanent non tender planting is September/October.