By the end of the summer, your existing annuals may be showing some signs of summer distress. Fear not! Greenleaf Garden Services is here with some great ideas for freshening up those tired old planters with some glorious autumn colors.
Mums the Word
Adding some mums to existing planters will bring a bold splash of fall colors to your porch or patio. But don’t limit them to containers only. Plant them in the ground anywhere you could use some visual interest. Welcome visitors by placing a mum on each of your front steps. Sunny yellow, rich burgundy, or royal plum – the choice is yours. Try autumn clematis vine for a fun spiller. Its dangling white flowers will brighten up any container.
Pour on the Season with Fountain Grass
Rustic purple fountain grass and purple millet make striking fall seed displays. Plus, their height adds a touch of splendor as the thriller in your display. Their deep red wine color combined with cool ornamentals like cabbage and kale bring seasonal contrast to tired planters.
Kale & Cabbage Are for More Than Just Salads
Speaking of cabbage and kale, they make awesome fall container residents. Their spiky and ruffled texture combined with rich fall colors really pop against grasses and taller neighbors. Also, don’t limit yourself to the annual purple fountain grass. It’s great, but expand your palette and try other grasses like the golden Japanese forest grass – that’s the lime green grass in this container which adds some really fun texture. Shenandoah is another great grass variety to try.
Other Fabulous Flowers to Try This Fall
Most containers of annuals just need a little help at the end of the summer season. Extend their beauty for a couple more months by simply adding some fall focused blooms with annuals and perennials that can handle the cooler temperatures. Just adding or replacing tired summer plants will give you a fresh look that will get you through fall in spectacular form.
Coneflower (Echinacea) adds a bold pop of color to any planter. These plants are hardy in zones 3-9. Their flowers are rich in nectar and very popular butterflies as you can tell from this picture. You can leave the plants standing through winter, to feed the birds and shear them back in the spring to get bushier plants that bloom longer into the season.
Pansies will punch up existing containers with bright and cheery colors. Their hardiness and smiling little faces will provide frost tolerant planters that will defy old man winter till the weather really turns cold.
Sedum is hardy down to -40°F and is a perennial in zones 3 to 9. Some sedum can get pretty tall so it’s best to place in the center or back of a container. One of our favorites is a short flowering sedum called dazzleberry. Its flowers have a great raspberry color!
Coral bells, also called heuchera, come in a wide assortment of colors and textures and are super hardy. Their mounding habit looks great alone or with other plants. Most are hardy down to -25°F and perennial in zones 4 to 9.
Lamb’s ear is another great cold weather plant that adds interesting texture. It’s velvety texture and silvery color blend well with other container neighbors.
Fothergilla ‘Blue Shadow’ is a blue leaf shrub whose compact size, cool blue hue, and fragrant bottlebrush flowers look great in fall containers. Many of the shrubs and perennials we use can be planted in the garden after displaying in a container. Blue shadow is easy to grow and makes a great addition to mixed borders and foundation plantings, and is also great for naturalizing.