22 fall plants and flowers perfect for pots

22 fall plants and flowers perfect for pots

When the air gets cool and fresh, it’s a good time to replenish the containers. Heat- and moisture-loving summer plants wither as temperatures drop. We wave them goodbye – until next summer, at least. Fall is the season for plants that can thrive with less sunlight and cooler temperatures while still bringing drama with flowers and foliage. It’s time to get your hands dirty and put your green thumb to work planting fall container gardens. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite fall plants that will last in your container gardens all season long. We’ve included classic plants like mums and zinnias as well as some that may not already be on your fall planting radar. Read on for our favorites from September to November. What are your favorite fall plants for pots and hanging baskets?


Aster

© Debbie Dalio/Getty Images

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Aster
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, loamy, loamy
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral

These perennials are filled with white, purple, blue or pink daisy-like flowers that also attract bees and butterflies. They bloom in late summer and fall. Asters can need sun or shade, depending on the type, so be sure to check plant labels. Add them to your containers for fall color and then plant them in the ground; Asters are winter-hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8.



Begonia

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Begonia
  • Sun exposure: full sun, shade
  • Soil type: moist, rich, well-drained
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic

Most begonia species have fleshy leaves and bloom in summer and fall. But multiflora tuberous begonias—like the old favorite “Non-Stop” series—have abundant, showy blooms in a variety of colors that persist late into the season, blooming until the first frost. Grows in full or partial shade.



chrysanthemum

Laure Patterson / EyeEm / Getty Images

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: chrysanthemum
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, clay, sandy
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic

When fall arrives, Southerners know it’s time for mothers. They are classic fall container plants, and you’ll rarely find a porch without a pot of mums or two in October. Mums like regular watering and full sun. Cut flowers to keep your mums blooming.



Autumn crocus

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Colchicum is autumn
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, loamy, loamy, sandy
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral

Colchicums It actually belongs to the lily family and is also called meadow crocus, naked ladies or autumn crocus. It produces cup-shaped pink, purple or white flowers on bare, leafless stems (foliage will appear later). Bury bulbs in your containers in late summer for a fall flower show. This plant is toxic to people and pets.



Universe

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Universe
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: well-drained, loamy, loamy, sandy
  • Soil pH: alkaline, neutral

Cosmos is a sun-loving annual plant that blooms throughout the summer and into fall. Fern leaves bear daisy-like flowers and come in many colors – crimson, pink, chocolate brown, yellow, orange, and gold, for starters. It also attracts pollinators. Pinch stems after first flowering to reduce height and encourage branching.



Globe Amaranth

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Gomphrena globosa
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, sandy, loamy, loamy, chalky
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral

These long-flowering flowers provide garden color from summer through fall. It produces round, clover-like flower heads in shades of purple, pink, lilac, red, orange and white. The plants themselves are drought tolerant, and many of the selections make great container plants for full sun.



Helenium

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Helenium is autumn
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained
  • Soil pH: acid

Also known as arnica and Helen’s flower, Helenium They are summer and fall bloomers that bear flowers with red, yellow, bronze and copper petals surrounding dark centers – ideal colors for containers in the fall. These plants in the daisy family prefer to grow in full sun and can reach up to 3 feet in height.



Impatience

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Impatience The prosecution.
  • Sun exposure: partial shade, full shade
  • Soil type: well drained
  • Soil pH: acid

You may have planted your plants in the heat of summer, but many clumps of clematis will continue to bloom until the first frost kills them. Impatiens produces flowers in attractive, eye-catching colors, including purple, crimson, violet, pink, lilac and white. They are great choices for shade and partially shade container gardens as well as flower beds.



Marigold

Maxime Weisz/EyeEm/Getty Images

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Tagetes The prosecution.
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy, loamy
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral

Marigolds add a dose of cheerful color to containers because they continue to bloom into the fall when other annuals have finished producing flowers. French and African marigolds, in particular, produce an abundance of bright flowers in sunny locations until the first frost. They are even used in Day of the Dead celebrations on November 1 and 2.



Pansy

Leonid Shkurykhin / EyeEm / Getty Images

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Horned violet
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy, loamy
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral

Pansies and their relatives, violets and violas, are often treated as cool-season annuals because they don’t thrive in the heat. They’ve been enlisted to provide beds, containers and borders with plenty of garden color in the fall (and even winter!). In the South, they can last through the winter to provide another season of bloom in the spring.



Petunia

Ali Majdfar/Getty Images

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Petunia
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic and neutral

In warm climates that generally stay above freezing, petunias can be grown as winter annuals. Plant them in containers in the fall, and you will be able to enjoy them throughout the fall and winter months. Bring containers indoors at night when there is a cold snap to extend the growing season.



Zinnia

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Zinnia elegans
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: well-drained, clay
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral

These beautiful bloomers produce bright flowers in shades of red, pink, coral, white and yellow from spring until the first frost. In very humid climates, zinnias can re-emerge during the dry fall months. Place it in full sun and cut back faded flowers to encourage more blooms.



Crosandra

Ruby Caponetto; Produced by: Mark Thompson

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Crossandra infundibuliformis
  • Sun exposure: partial
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, clay
  • Soil pH: acid

Also called the firework flower, crossandra blooms from late August through early fall. It can withstand late season heat waves with plenty of water. Leave them planted until the first frost. Here, we’ve paired spruce with ‘Orange Marmalade’ firework flower.



Echinacea

Ralph Anderson

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Echinacea, purpurea
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy, loamy
  • Soil pH: neutral

Sun-loving coneflowers show off their playful blooms all summer long and until the first frost. Removing deadheads from these perennials will prolong the flowering period. If you’re craving fall color, newer varieties come in sunset-inspired colors that are sure to brighten up your containers.



Mexican bush sage

Photo: Roger Foley

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Salvia leucantha
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: moist, well-drained, clay, sandy
  • Soil pH: alkaline, neutral

Add height to fall containers with Mexican bush sage, a late-blooming species hardy to USDA zone 8 that blooms throughout fall (in the tropical South, it will grow into spring). This drought-tolerant evergreen shrub produces long, spiky purple flowers. Plant it in well-drained soil in a sunny location.



Ornamental cabbage and kale

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Brassica oleracea
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: moist, rich, well-drained
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic

These cool-weather annuals do well in containers and provide lush fall color. Give them moist, well-drained soil and full or partial sun, and they will stay happy throughout the fall and winter in the South.



Ornamental pepper

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: potato
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: well-drained, loamy, loamy, sandy
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral

Season fall containers with ornamental pepper. These vibrant peppers come in a variety of shapes, colors and textures to grow in a sunny location. They are remarkably resilient, and survive the harsh temperatures of fall. You can harvest peppers before the first frost to cook them, just know that they tend to be very hot.



Snapdragon

Maxim Shebeko/Getty Images

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Antirheinus major
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: well-drained, rich
  • Soil pH: neutral

Snapdragon plants prefer cool temperatures, which you might have suspected when they were fried in the heat of summer. Now is a good time to add them to containers, where they will bloom long after many flowers. Place them in a sunny location and give them more water when freezing temperatures arrive. If you live in USDA zone 7 or a warmer area, they will survive the winter to bloom again in the spring.



Goldenrod

Ralph Anderson

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Solidago
  • Sun exposure: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: well-drained, loamy, loamy
  • Soil pH: acid

The delicate Goldenrod shows off its bright yellow color in late summer and fall. Its seeds attract birds, and butterflies and bees also visit the plants during October. The Goldenrod is not only attractive, it is also easy to care for. Growing in pots helps control the spread of the plant. Deadhead flowers to extend the length of the blooming season.



Coral bells

Hector Sanchez

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Heuchera The prosecution.
  • Sun exposure: full and partial sun
  • Soil type: moist, rich, well-drained
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral

The variety of colors of coral bells makes them ideal for a container garden in the fall palette. Here, heuchera “Sparkling Burgundy” brings warmth to loropetalum, snapdragon, and viola. It also has more color when its red, white, orange or pink flowers bloom during the fall. Deadheading will ensure continuous flowering. Coral bells like partial shade and well-drained soil to thrive.



Lantana

Southern living

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Lantana camara
  • Sun exposure: full sun
  • Soil type: well-drained
  • Soil pH: neutral

The bright colors of lantana add a little cheer to an autumn-colored container. The yellow clusters of lantana show more subtle shades than coleus. Lantana likes full sun and moist soil. Potted lantana overwinter in an unheated room no warmer than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It can bloom continuously throughout the year in warm climates. To the north, you’ll have yellow, orange, pink, red, white, or blue flowers from spring through fall. Deadhead to encourage more flowering.



Coleus

  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Coleus scutellarioides
  • Sun exposure: full sun, shade
  • Soil type: well-drained, rich
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic and neutral

Coleus grow in pots all year round. They come in a variety of colors, making them the perfect addition to a fall mixed container. Coleus plants don’t like the cold and won’t survive frost, so bring them indoors when the weather gets cold if you want to keep them for spring. Place it in a sunny, south- or southeast-facing window indoors, and water only when necessary. There are many types of coleus, and some prefer shade more than others. Outdoors, be sure to provide the amount of light your variety needs.


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