As the season makes its shift from the long, hot days of summer to the cooler days of fall, the landscape can feel void of color. However, there’s plenty of life left in fall gardens, and container gardening can revive even the most lackluster gardens, draw in essential pollinators, and welcomely adorn doorsteps.
There are lots of plants that work all summer and into the fall months to produce lovely, fragrant blooms and eye-catching colors to brighten up the landscape right up until winter’s first frost. Check out our robust list of fall flowers to plant in pots & containers that will warm, enhance, and refresh your transitioning landscape.
Asters make fantastic fall flowers for pots & containers. Plant asters as thriller plants that provide showstopping color and unique texture in fall containers. These perennial favorites come in a wide array of species and produce white, purple, blue, and even pink. Plants adjust well to dry conditions and thrive well in full sun to partial shade.
Zinnia varieties to grow in pots and containers:
- ‘Grape Crush’
- ‘Snow Flurry White Heath’
Add the balloon flower’s intrigue to your fall garden landscape and enjoy splashes of blue, white, and pink that burst open from balloon-like pods. Balloon flowers do best in partial shade and attract bees and butterflies long after summer blooms have faded, which can help your fall gardens be more productive.
Gaillardia flowers are unscented beauties that produce sunset-colored flowers into the fall. They thrive in the cooler months and make great fall flowers for pots & containers. Also known as blanket flowers, these perennial beauties lure tons of pollinators to the garden, from butterflies to bees, and even provide shelter for beetles. These low-maintenance plants require very little water and care and have extended bloom times to carry you right through the first frost.
Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
Consider adding a filler plant like calibrachoa to your mix of fall flowers for pots & containers. These lovely, compact, and showy flowers resemble petunias and come in a wide array of colors and variegations. This prolific bloomer begins its stunning flowering performance in summer and extends its blooms through the fall months.
Add these calibrachoa varieties to your fall container gardens:
- ‘Superbells Morning Star’
- ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’
Fall chrysanthemums are the quintessential fall flowers for pots & containers and are a must-have in any fall-flowering garden. This fall favorite is readily available at the end of summer and can be purchased as an annual at this time for colder zones. Mums are great grown in pots as annuals and require consistent watering and pruning to give bloom times more longevity.
Grow featherlike plumes of color in your fall containers. Celosia grows well in pots, adding height and visual intrigue to pots & containers. They also attract bees and butterflies, which help with the pollination of our fall crops.
Coral bells make showstopping fall flowers for pots & containers with their intriguing leaf textures and gorgeous spectrum of colorful hues. They thrive in the shade but can fair well in sunny conditions in cooler climates.
Try growing these coral bell varieties this fall:
- ‘Lime Marmalade’
Dahlias are not only for in-ground planting. Planting dahlia tubers in pots & containers can liven up any garden arrangement, providing bursts of color and textural intrigue. Plant dahlia tubers in the spring for midsummer and fall for showstopping blooms that attract fall pollinators.
You will need to dig the bulbs up and store them for the following spring in colder regions, or you can bring your containers indoors to an unheated garage or shed to overwinter them.
Accent your fall flowering pots & containers with the tall colorful spikes of the Liatris plant. This late summer bloomer adds striking texture and deep hues of purples and pinks to fall planters. Pollinators like bees and butterflies will seek out the vibrant flowering spikes.
Pansy flowers thrive in cooler temperatures of fall and early spring. Plant pansies at the close of summer and enjoy purple-faced blooms throughout the fall and early winter. They will bloom continuously until the first hard frost of winter and then poke through the soil again in early spring.
Add this flowering succulent plant to your fall pots & containers, and you are sure to be pleased. This deer-resistant showstopper grows in the summer but blooms in the fall into a display that bursts with color. Commonly known for its pinks, reds, and rust-colored blooms, sedum is drought resistant, requires very little care, and invites bees and butterflies to its blossoms.
Sedum varieties to plant in fall container gardens:
- ‘Sedum Dasyphyllum’
- ‘Sedum Lydium’
- ‘Sedum Spurium’
Sow calendula seeds directly or transplant them into fall pots & containers and enjoy the cheerful blooms from summer through fall. Calendula as a companion plant will result in bees and butterflies becoming repeat visitors to their nectar-filled flowers, and the vibrant blooms will fill out your planters nicely.
Sow marigold seeds directly or start in pots and transplant them into pots & containers. Marigolds offer a diverse range of yellows, golds, oranges, and reds and come in different heights. Marigolds make great companion plants and repel garden predators and attract bees.
Select compact sunflower varieties and tuck them into fall planters. Nothing cheers and brightens the landscape up more than sunflowers from deep golds to muted yellows and fiery oranges. Butterflies, bees, and birds will be equally pleased to visit frequently for nourishment.
Looking for a reliable bloomer to fill out planter? Zinnias are one of the best fall flowers for pots & containers. Nectar-laden zinnias are fabulous for pollinators and will attract plenty of bees from mid-summer through the end of fall. Plant zinnias from spring through summer and deadhead them regularly, and they will continue to produce bursts of colorful blooms.