Looking for easy container garden ideas for fall? I planted some cool containers for my front porch that look amazing! Learn how to make your own with these easy tips.
Container gardening is one of my favorite things to do. It’s easy, they warm up empty spaces, you can change the plants out to match the season, and you don’t need much room to enjoy one.
But for me?
The best part about growing plants in containers is designing them. Because I really enjoy spending time at the garden nursery playing around with different plant combinations.
And when I’m shopping around, I look for plants that will add seasonal color, texture, and dimension.
Wait until you see how gorgeous this planter looks!
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What Can I Do With My Container Garden for Fall?
As the fall season approaches, it’s time to transition your container gardens to embrace the changing colors and cooler temperatures.
With a few simple steps, you can keep your containers thriving and add a touch of autumn beauty to your outdoor space.
Here are some easy ideas on what you can do with your container gardens in the fall.
Replace Summer Annuals with Fall Garden Favorites
Start by removing any summer annuals that may be past their prime. Replace them with fall-friendly plants like pansies, ornamental kale, mums, and decorative cabbage.
These cool-season plants can withstand chilly temperatures and add a splash of color to your containers.
Add Fall Blooming Flowers
Consider incorporating fall-blooming flowers into your container arrangements. Flowers like asters, chrysanthemums, sedum autumn joy, pansies, celosia, and zinnias can add vibrant colors and extend the blooming season well into fall.
Introduce Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are perfect for fall container gardens. Their feathery plumes and changing foliage hues add texture and movement to your arrangements.
I have several different varieties planted in the beds, but there are smaller ones that you can grow in containers too.
Incorporate Fall Foliage
Embrace the beautiful foliage of fall by adding plants with colorful leaves to your containers.
Consider plants like coral bells (Huecheras), Japanese maples (Acer palmatum), and ornamental peppers (Capsicum annuum) for their eye-catching foliage hues.
For me, I love using huecheras in my planters instead of garden mums because they last longer are much easier to grow the following season.
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Plant Fall Bulbs
Get a head start on spring by planting fall bulbs in your containers.
Tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths can be planted in the fall, and they will reward you with colorful blooms when spring arrives.
If you plant them in containers, pot them up, lightly water them, and keep them in a covered protected area like a garage or shed so they don’t go through the freezing and thawing of winter that can rot them.
Then pull them out in early spring as you see the growth emerge.
Keep Watering and Maintaining
Even in the fall, container plants still require regular watering. While you might not need to water as frequently as in the summer, make sure to check the soil moisture regularly and water as needed.
You can use your finger by sticking it in the soil about an inch to check for dryness. Or you can use a moisture meter like this.
Additionally, continue to deadhead spent blooms and browned leaves to keep your containers looking tidy.
Protect from Extreme Weather
As temperatures drop, keep an eye on frost warnings. Move your containers to a sheltered spot or cover them with a frost cloth or old blanket overnight to protect sensitive plants from frost damage.
I will admit, I don’t do this regularly. But I will do if we are expecting a frost much earlier than we should.
For the most part, I let the weather do what it’s going to do and the plants that are hardier will fare better than ones that aren’t.
In this same regard, it’s not a good idea to buy garden mums too early when the weather is still hot out. I know nurseries, big box stores, and markets start to put them out in August.
But resist the urge to buy them!
They are not bred to last more than a few weeks anyway and they can’t love hot weather. It’s better to hold off buying them until later in the fall when the temps stay more consistently cool.
Get Creative with Fall Decor
Add a touch of seasonal flair to your container gardens with fall-themed decorations. Consider incorporating pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, or other fall harvest elements to create a festive display.
I like to add cornstalks to my porch posts in addition to tucking pumpkins in both on my porches, ledges, and walls.
And last year, I even added the biggest pumpkins I could find on the pillars as you enter my driveway and I love how it looked!
If you have container plants that are not cold-hardy or won’t survive the winter, consider bringing them indoors.
Many plants can thrive as houseplants with proper care, giving you a head start for next year’s garden.
Geraniums and coleus do well when you move them indoors. I’ve had great success overwintering them in my sunroom and family room.
Enjoy Fall Blooms and Foliage
Above all, take the time to enjoy your fall container gardens.
Whether you have a few pots on the porch, patio, or a collection of containers throughout your yard, these fall displays are sure to bring joy and beauty to your outdoor space during the autumn season.
What Can I Plant in Fall Containers?
There is so much more to plant in fall container gardens than just garden mums!
- Garden mums
- Creeping Jenny
- Fountain Grass
This year, I want to try something different and have a little more fun with my container gardens.
I can’t wait to show you the cool plants I used!
And guess what?
I did NOT use garden mums.
Container Garden Ideas for Fall
For several seasons, I decorated the front porch urns with plantings that are easy on the eye.
Because my front gardens are so vibrant and colorful, I usually like to keep my front porch planters simple with a plant or two.
I love to use small dwarf Alberta spruces in the front porch containers because they are conical, create a focal point, and look simple.
Plus, they are green and look good all year round.
Since I’m decorating the porch for fall now, I started thinking about last year’s outdoor fall decor for some inspiration.
And I loved what I did.
While this post shares how I designed and planted these particular fall planters for my porch, feel free to substitute with plants you want to work with, that are available to you and inspire.
And be sure to check out the additional container garden ideas inspiration at the end of the post.
Container Garden Idea for Fall Supplies
For this container garden idea, I chose plants with bold, bright colors and lots of texture.
Here’s what I used:
- ornamental kale and cabbage
- creeping jenny
- pansies (the nursery didn’t have them when I first designed this, but I am adding them soon)
- potting soil
- slow-release fertilizer
Directions to Make Container Garden Ideas for Fall
First things first, you need to choose the type of planter you want to use. Do you want to use an urn, stone planter, terra cotta, all-weather resin, etc.?
Once you have the container figured out, you are ready to design and plant.
When designing any container garden, it’s important to consider the thriller, filler, and spiller technique for design.
Since my containers already have plants in them, I cleaned them out first.
Instead of tossing the dwarf Alberta spruces, I planted them directly in the ground in other areas of my garden.
I added some fresh potting soil to the container. then started with the thriller plant.
Designing the Fall Planter
For this fall garden container idea, the thriller is the millet. It is tall, leafy, creates a focal point, and adds movement, color, and texture.
When I dropped the millet in the urn, I centered it towards the back since this is sitting on my front porch.
The plant’s root ball was a little bigger than I estimated for my container garden.
Ah well, I can work around it. Sometimes I get so excited about things I see at the nursery that I want to use, that I just go for it and figure it out later.
Since the root ball takes up a lot of container space, I have to squish the smaller ones in there around it.
I tucked the creeping jenny in front as the spiller. I love that bright chartreuse green. It pairs well with the millet.
As an aside, creeping jenny can be a little invasive here. So keep an eye as it trails down over the edges of the containers.
I had it in one of my summer containers years ago in the garden.
It crept down from the pot and rooted into the ground. I’m still pulling it out – it grows quickly and can be hard to get rid of.
But it should be fine in this fall outdoor planter because it will be located on my front porch.
Then I added the ornamental cabbage and kale as some low filler.
Aren’t they so fun? I love the colors and leafy texture they add to the planter.
Next, I tucked in the salvia and the celosia on one side with the billowy calamint and celosia on the other.
The Final Result
I really love this plant combination with the millet. That beautiful purple with the bright fuschia of the celosia is really striking, isn’t it?
And the calamint smells really good! Before finishing up, I added plant food and watered it thoroughly.
And that’s it!
I can’t wait to add some pansies, garden mums, and pumpkins to the front porch.
That’s happening later this week.
Fall Garden Tip: if you buy and plant pansies now, they will bounce back in spring when the daffodils start to bloom.
Now that my container garden for fall is planted, I am ready to decorate the front porch with some outdoor fall porch decor.
Can’t wait to show you how it looks!
More About Fall Planting in Containers
Do you love to plant fall containers too? What plants do you like to design them with? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I would love to know more in the comments below.
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More Container Garden Ideas You Might Enjoy
Wait until you see these beautiful container garden ideas that will inspire for different seasons.
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- How to Choose an Autumn Color Palette
- Easy Winter Container Garden Idea
Garden Supplies I Use
I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.
- I like to use a good-quality garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting.
- I have used this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad.
- Hands down this is my favorite hand-weeding tool. You can use to get underneath roots, loosen soil, and it cuts down on the weeding time because you work much faster.
- But I also love this long, stand-up weeding tool to really get around roses from afar.
- I like to use THIS ORGANIC FERTILIZER for roses because the blooms are more prolific and it’s organic.
- You’ll need a sharp set of pruners when working with plants and flowers. I buy a few so I can stash them around.
- Where pest and disease problems are concerned, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue.
- This is my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens.
- Whenever I stake my peonies or other plants, I generally use these grow through garden supports because they work really well and keep the blooms upright.
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