Fall Container Refresh
By mid-September in Zone 5 your container plantings have often seen better days. Some may look scraggly, some may no longer bloom, and others could have perished altogether from too much water or too little. Don’t fret – refresh!
How To Create Attractive Fall Container Gardening Groupings
First, pull out the plants that don’t look so good and put in plants that will see your containers through the cooler months of fall. Not only will this rejuvenate your arrangements, it will lift your spirits and put you in an autumn frame of mind.
Think warm fall colors such as reds, oranges, shades of gold and yellow, deep plum and green tones. You can create unique and colorful fall containers using flowering plants and foliage in the rich colors of nature. Top off the look with pumpkins from your neighborhood farmstand for an inviting display …
Here are some of my fall favorites:
Topping the list are chrysanthemums, the quintessential plants for fall color. Mums are hardy to around 30 degrees F, virtually immune to pest and disease problems, extremely carefree and available in lots of luscious colors. Don’t use florist mums…they are bred to be indoors in our area.
If you’re looking for a quick blast of color late in the season, mums deliver with gusto! Take the time to deadhead spent flowers so energy directs into the formation of new blooms …
The orange and rust coleus varieties are naturals for an autumn-themed container. They are also extremely easy to propagate by cuttings and many people also use them as houseplants.
The brilliant colors of coleus explode in sunny locations! Coleus plants are durable and easy to grow, although frost will cause them to die immediately. An example of some of the fun and descriptive coleus names: Fishnet Stockings, Chocolate Covered Cherry, Lemon Twist, and Dipt in Wine.
Another great replacement plant choice is the aster. They look great in pots, grow in a manner very similar to mums, and are equally hardy and carefree. Further, they prefer to grow on the dry side, so they don’t need as much water. Asters also do well in the ground, and most species are hardy to at least the Zone 4 gardening area. I particularly love the violet ones with the sunny yellow centers …
Pansies are a favorite among gardeners because they’re one of the best plants for providing color when the rest of the garden looks as if it’s beginning to shut down for the season. These cool-weather lovers can actually make it through frosts!
The variety of color choices is amazing from reds to deep purples, blues to golden yellows. A few pansies in a pot can quickly liven up your containers. The cascading varieties are some of my favorites …
Commonly known as ‘coral bells’, Heuchera varieties come in an array of fall colors including purple, butterscotch, burgundy, silvery gray and lime green. They are some of the most attractive foliage plants for northern gardens!
Heucheras make themselves at home in moist but well-drained, organic-enriched soils. Typically, they are easy to grow in the sun or part shade, They are also attractive to hummingbirds and rarely bothered by deer …
So there you are … a quick list of Flower Chick’s five favorite plants for fall container gardens! Mix and match them as you please, and enjoy an autumn burst of color!