Just because colder weather is on its way, doesn’t mean your gardening season has to end. Container gardens are an excellent way to bring that gorgeous fall color into your yard for the season, or to add color to patios and balconies for those that live in apartments and condos. Placing a few fall containers on your patio or near your front door make great focal points for your autumn garden.
Advantages of Fall Container Gardening
Container gardening in the fall certainly has advantages. Not only do you not have to worry about pulling weeds, but you don’t have to drag the garden hose around the yard, stepping in mud along the way. A simple watering can is all you need to keep up with your container garden throughout the season.
Another perk of fall container gardening is that many of those beautiful containers seen at the garden center all summer long will be on sale, with savings of as much as 50 percent. You’ll also find all manner of plants and flowers on sale at reduced prices.
Great Plants and Flowers for Fall Containers
There are a few old standards that are practically fail-safe in your fall containers. These include mums, kale and cold-hardy pansies that can survive the cooler nights while still performing with their bright, colorful faces.
Venture further down the aisles at your local garden center to find other options that hold up equally well this season. Coleus is an excellent choice, and does well in a shady location. Bugleweed, with its deep purple leaves, pairs well under other container plants. Heuchera with its purple and frosty tones complements autumnal hues nicely, and sedum will provide blooms in pink and magenta all fall long. Sweet potato vine looks wonderful trailing out of hanging arrangements and window boxes, and rust-colored varieties of snapdragons will keep blooming until the first frost. Ornamental peppers, with their vibrant-colored fruit, also provide a dramatic flair and form for your container.
Another great choice for fall containers are ornamental grasses which can add texture, height and color to your arrangement. Fruits and vegetables such as gourds or branches with colorful berries also make for interesting additions to fall containers.
Arranging Your Fall Containers
For the most pleasing design, three of four plants per container work the best. Using the classic rule of arranging by using “a thriller, a filler, and a spiller” will ensure that your containers are vibrant and successful.
If you are unsure of just how to arrange a container, take a few snapshots of examples at the garden center and try to recreate them at home. In some cases, you can also choose plants at the garden center and, for a small fee, have a staff member arrange them in a container for you.
For your fall container, its best to stick with planters that are weather-resistant, including fiberglass, iron, heavy plastic and stone. Terra cotta will not withstand colder temperatures, and will eventually crack with repeated freezing and thawing.
So even if you don’t have much space, or you’re done with gardening for the year, adding a few containers full of fall flowers and plants will add visual interest and make your home look festive for the season.