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Container Facelifts for Fall

Container Facelifts for Fall

As summer draws to a close your container planters are probably ready for some updates. This is the perfect time to remove any plants that are looking tired and leggy from the long hot days of summer. Replace them with fresh selections that will thrive in the cool temperatures of autumn and look beautiful right up to the first frost of winter.

Here are some tips for designing gorgeous fall container plantings:

  • If some of the plants in your container are still looking good, leave them in the container and design your new planting to include them.
  • When purchasing new plants, go for immediate impact because plants will not grow at the same rate they did in the summer months and will not fill in as quickly. Select larger plants or use more of them.
  • Just as you would with your other seasonal containers, consider each plant's care requirements when planning your combinations. Select plants with similar water, fertilizer, and light needs.
  • For the largest selection of plant colours, textures, and forms consider using a mix of perennial and annual plants.
  • When adding plants to an existing container, you may need to top the potting mix off if it has dwindled over the summer.

Adding in a few of these plants will keep your container looking lovely from early autumn right up to the first frosts:


AsterBrassica oleracea - Ornamental CabbageCalibrachoa hybrid
AsterFlowering CabbageCalibrachoa
Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' - Red Fountain GrassTagetes patula - MarigoldViola wittrockiana - Pansy
Red Fountain GrassMarigoldPansy
Senecio cineraria - Dusty MillerAntirrhinum majus - Snapdragon
Dusty MillerSnapdragonOrnamental Pepper


Echinacea purpurea - Purple ConeflowerGaillardia aristata - Blanket FlowerHelictotrichon semvirens - Blue Oat Grass
Purple ConeflowerBlanket FlowerBlue Oat Grass
Sedum spectabile - Stonecrop, SedumHeuchera hybrids - Coral BellsHemerocallis hybrid 'Stella d'oro' Daylily
SedumCoral BellsStella D'oro Daylily

Caring for Fall Containers

Planting and care of autumn containers requires the same basics as for spring or summer; well-draining potting mix, feed and water.

A dose of slow release fertilizer at planting should last for 6 to 8 weeks. If you live where the winter weather is mild, consider giving a second feeding after 8 weeks.

Water needs will likely be less for autumn plantings, but containers should still be checked regularly and watered consistently based on the plant's needs.

Just for Fun…

Leave space to tuck a small pumpkin or decorative gourd among your flowering plants to give your container planter the ultimate autumn touch!