Plant a Vibrant Fall Container

Combine the season's hottest hues in a vibrant mix of annuals, perennials, and shrubs.
Story by Rebecca Bull Reed

You container gardeners are growing savvier by the day. Eager to push the limits, you've asked for more adventurous combos that are still easy to create. The look you see here does just that while combining tried-and-true favorites. Begin by planting 1 quart of 'Snapshot Orange' snapdragons toward the back of the pot. This bushy, compact selection won't topple like some of the taller snapdragon selections. Slightly fragrant, it also tolerates light frost. Next, add a 1-gallon shrub. 'Purple Pixie' loropetalum, which is part of the Southern Living Plant Collection (southernlivingplants.com), makes the perfect spiller and will stay evergreen (or rather ever-purple) throughout winter. Then, for prolific, bright blooms, add 'Penny Clear Yellow' violas. Finally, tuck in the showy foliage of heucheras on either side. Color-morphing 'Miracle' and rich 'Sparkling Burgundy' heucheras are perennial favorites that will round out any display.

More Shrubs to Love
Mix any of these shrubs from the Southern Living Plant Collection into existing pots.

'Obsession' Nandina offers brilliant red new foliage on an upright plant. Grow in sun or part shade. Try it as a thriller.

'Soft Caress' Mahonia is a winner! Named Plant of the Year 2013 at the Chelsea Flower Show, it likes part sun or shade. With soft, fernlike foliage, it makes an ideal filler.

'Emerald Snow' Loropetalum has white flowers in spring and sporadically in summer and fall. It takes full sun to part shade and is great as a filler, growing up to 3 feet tall.