Fall Plants Perfect for Pots
When the air turns cool and crisp, our minds turn to our fall container gardens. Long gone are the heat-loving plants of summer with their drought-tolerant roots and flowers that thrive in thick humidity. We’re waving goodbye to them—until next summer, at least. Fall is the season for plants that can thrive with less sun and chillier temps while still bringing the drama with blooms and foliage. It’s time to get your hands dirty and put those green thumbs to work. With that in mind, we’ve collected a few of our favorite fall plants that are great for your container gardening all season long. These plants have beautiful flowers and attractive foliage; they also work well together in containers of all styles. We have classics like mums and zinnias as well as a few plants you might not already have on your autumn planting radar. Read on for our September-to-November favorites—what are your favorite fall plants for pots and hanging baskets?
These perennials add showy color to the garden and also attract bees and butterflies. They bloom in the late summer and fall months.
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Because this is a vigorous grower and easily self-sows, it’s a good idea to wrangle it into a pot to enjoy it—and contain it—through the fall months. It has beautiful, glossy, deep green leaves and bursts out with an abundance of fragrant white blooms in late summer and fall.
Most types of begonias, which are favorites because of their flowers and deep green foliage, bloom in summer and fall. Multiflora begonias have abundant fall flowers that come in a variety of shades.
When fall arrives, Southerners know that it’s time for mums. They’re the classic fall container plant, and you’ll rarely find a porch without a pot of mums or two come October.
The plants known as colchiums are also called meadow saffron or autumn crocus. They produce elongated pink, lilac, and white cup-shaped flowers on tall stalks in summer and fall.
Cosmos plants bloom in summer and fall. They bear flowers that resemble daisies and come in many colors—crimson, pink, chocolate brown, yellow, orange, and gold, for starters. They also attract pollinators.
These long-blooming flowers offer garden color from summer through fall. They produce rounded flower heads in shades of purple, pink, magenta, red, yellow, and white. The plants themselves are drought tolerant, and many selections make great container plants.
Also known as sneezeweed and Helen’s flower, helenium is a summer-and-fall bloomer that bears flowers with red, yellow, bronze, and copper petals surrounding dark centers. The flowers resemble daisies, and the plants themselves can reach heights of 3 feet tall.
Many selections of impatiens bloom in fall and produce flowers in eye-catching, jewel-toned hues, including magenta, crimson, violet, pink, lilac, and white. They are great choices for container gardens as well as flower beds.
Marigolds add a dose of cheery color to containers because they continue to bloom into the fall, when other annuals have finished producing flowers. French and African marigolds, particularly, produce an abundance of bright blooms.
Pansies and their relatives, violets and violas, are often treated as annuals; they’re enlisted to provide beds, containers, and borders with plenty of fall (and winter!) garden color.
In warm climates, petunias can be grown as winter annuals. Plant them in containers in fall, and you’ll be able to enjoy them throughout the autumn and winter months.
These beautiful bloomers produce bright flowers in shades of red, pink, coral, white, and yellow from spring through fall.