Container Creations - Give Your Planters A Fresh Look For Fall!

We have a guest blogger today, my friend Donna Sagen.  Donna owns a company here in the Kansas City Metro area called Container Creations.   Today she shares with us tips for fresh fall container plantings.  To learn more, visit her website:

Whew! After starting fall off with a few warm days, it appears that the cooler temperatures are here to stay!

While I love warm summer nights and summer flowers, I think my favorite season for planting pots is fall. Fall is so much easier on the plants…mid-seventies during the day and fifties at night…most of the summer plants perk up now and stay beautiful until we get our first frost (around October 25th in Kansas City!).

While it’s okay to let some of your planters keep their summer status, I really enjoy changing the pots at the front door for the seasons. Fall pots will typically take a light frost and get us through Thanksgiving.

So, what to plant now? Grasses, cabbages, mums, pansies and ivy are all quintessential fall plants. There are a few other plants that can take a frost and give that fall look too…

  • Coneflower                            
  • Annual Black Eyed Susan
  • Coral Bells
  • Petunias
  • Snapdragons
  • Stock

Since most plants love fall, the most important thing about putting together a fall pot is COLOR! The colors have to work together to give us a comforting, fresh feeling. Our website has a “chapter” on how to use colors in your pots, so you may want to read about that HERE… Pumpkins are a great way to add color…Add some pumpkins around the base of your planters and down the steps! And maybe add a couple of mini pumpkins to your planters too!

or larger pots, I also like to use some shrubs, such as pyrancantha, caryopteris or beautyberry. Usually, I just walk around the nursery to see which shrubs look good at the time that I need them. It doesn’t really matter if they are hardy or if they need sun or shade at this time of year. If you are planting in the shade, you need to get flowers that are already starting to bloom.

n this pot, we used a Caryopteris ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ to add that beautiful blue and lime green! So it seems that we are not the only ones who enjoy the bounties of fall. As soon as we finish planting, out come the deer, bunnies, squirrels and chipmunks to see if there’s anything they might like to nibble! What I have found that works pretty well against these creatures is hot pepper wax. The wax sticks to the plants and pumpkins without hurting or discoloring them..and it doesn’t wash off!!!

nyone can do fall pots! If this is your first try, start with those quintessential plants. Grab an ornamental grass (I really like Shenandoah Switch Grass), a cabbage, a couple of small mum, pansies, and ivy…Add some pumpkins and you’re all set!