31 Gorgeous Fall Container Garden Ideas to Try Right Now
Add Height with Grasses
Use the height of ornamental grasses to your advantage to balance the proportions of a large fall planter box. Rich gold, orange, and purple hues pair perfectly with a farmhouse-style wooden planter to decorate this porch.
A. 'Northwind' switchgrass
E. Trailing sedum
Forgo Flowers for Colorful Foliage
Evoke Harvest Season with Gourds
Dish up the season's bounty by planting frost-tolerant coralbells and Swiss chard in the center of a galvanized pan, then surround the plants with a colorful collection of gourds and mini squash. This easy fall container garden idea can also be adapted to any planter you have available.
A. Swiss chard
B. 'Pinot Gris' coralbells
Create a Long-Lasting Display with Peppers and Pansies
Plant an autumn-inspired container you can enjoy until winter sets in. The broad, fuzzy foliage of silver sage contrasts with the slender, arching leaves of sedge. Long-lasting ornamental peppers are set off by almost-black pansies to complement your Halloween decor.
A. Silver sage
B. 'Frosted Curls' sedge
D. Hot peppers
Choose a Stylish Container
Pick out a planter you really love, then let it inspire your container planting ideas. Consider a brightly colored pot to help bring some extra oomph to a gray winter day, and select plants with foliage or stems with similar or contrasting hues. In this container, bright red coralbells almost match the container color, while the rest of the plant provide contrast.
B. 'Lacinato' kale
C. 'Jade Princess' millet
D. 'Berry Smoothie' coralbells
E. 'Orchid Frost' deadnettle
Maximize Impact with Lots of Plants
In each container garden design, use at least one plant with height, one with bright colors, and one with bold textures. There won't be time for plants to grow in, so pack the pot full for instant impact. Honeysuckle, leucothoe, and coralbells pack this container with lush foliage, while little bluestem adds texture and rises above the rest.
B. 'Twiggy Dwarf' honeysuckle
C. 'Rainbow' leucothoe
D. 'Berry Smoothie' coralbells
Combine Different Plant Textures
Flowers are fleeting, so keep the show going all season long by choosing fall container plants with foliage that looks lovely in autumn. Grasses, kale, Heuchera, and Heucherella are colorful, textural, and can take a little frost, so they're dependable anchors for fall pots.
A. 'Purple Lacinato' kale
B. Orange sedge
D. 'Roy's Red' coprosma
F. 'Stoplight' foamy bells
Accent with Colorful Twigs
Long, straight stems like these from redtwig dogwoods are an easy way to add pizzazz to fall containers. Paint them for even more color, and use a tall, narrow container to heighten the effect.
A. 'Purple Baron' ornamental millet
B. 'Morning Light' maidengrass
D. Mugo dwarf pine
Plant With Colorful, Low-Maintenance Grasses
Ornamental grasses are a no-brainer for adding movement and color to fall gardens. Keep them in mind for your container plantings, too. Most grasses look great in pots. Here, purple fountaingrass and blue fescue create a lovely contrast for pink mums and yellow strawflower.
A. Blue fescue
B. 'Cecilia' chrysanthemum
C. 'Sundaze Golden Yellow' strawflower
Go for Bold Colors in Smaller Containers
Small containers are great accents because you can easily move them around into new arrangements, use them to fill gaps in the garden, or just to change up your landscape's look. This container is a perfect match for a festive series of small pumpkins.
A. 'Magellan Orange' zinnia
C. 'Panola Orange' pansy
E. 'Prestige Scarlet' celosia
Fill in with Dried Flowers
Try Perennials with Interesting Foliage
Perennials can be the highlight of fall container gardens, especially if you choose varieties with flashy foliage. Treat them as annuals at the end of the season, or get them in the ground as soon as you can before it freezes.
A. 'Efanthia' euphorbia
B. 'Hameln' fountaingrass
C. 'Flying Colors Trailing Red' diascia
D. 'Dolce Creme Brulee' coralbells
Make a Bold Statement With Colorful Stems
Combine Plants That Have Similar Fall Hues
Play with Fall Favorites
Asters and kale are surefire picks for a great fall show, and silvery foliage from 'Icicles' licorice plant is a perfect end-of-the-season accent. The annual flowers add late-season color, while kale helps fill out the container and create a lush fall arrangement.
A. 'Purple Viking' aster
B. 'Kamome Red' flowering kale
C. 'Icicles' licorice plant
Match Foliage with Mum Flowers
Contrast Light and Dark Colors
Choose a Color Theme
Mix Up Kale Textures and Colors
Use a Unique Container
Boost a set of great plants with a fun container, such as an old, weathered birdbath. Or consider a bushel basket, wooden crate, or other material with character.
A. 'Golden Globe' loosestrife
B. 'Tiny Toes' coleus
C. 'Blushing Emily' chrysanthemum
E. 'Mona Lavender' plectranthus
F. 'Dolce Creme Brulee' coralbells
G. 'Pink Champagne' rubygrass
Accent With Accessories
Give your fall containers a little something extra by adding garden ornaments or other artistic elements. A gourd birdhouse, for example, ties into the colors and lends additional height to this container garden idea.
A. 'Cheryl' chrysanthemum
C. 'Aurea' golden creeping Jenny
D. 'Icicle' pansy
E. 'Rubrum' purple fountaingrass
Celebrate Soft Colors
Rely on Mums for Bold Seasonal Color
Kale and mums always make for a reliable fall container combination. But nothing says you can't mix it up a little by adding in a few other plants to really set them off. Here, a russet red mum makes a great contrast for a purple calibrachoa in a galvanized container. These plants would also work well in a fall hanging basket.
A. 'Cabaret Purple' calibrachoa
B. 'Brandi' chrysanthemum
C. 'Osaka Purple' flowering kale
D. 'Hameln' fountaingrass
Keep Planters Simple
Go Bold and Beautiful
Make a Bountiful Blooming Window Box
Extend Your Display with Frost-Tolerant Options
Frost doesn't have to mean the end of your container plantings! Choose tough plants that can stand up to the cold and keep on looking great, such as flowering kale and ajuga.
B. 'Mahogany' ajuga
C. 'Kamome Red' flowering kale