As summer gives way to fall, it’s time to think about new flowers for your containers and beds. The cooler weather may limit your choices in some areas, but there are still plenty of plants and flowers to brighten up your porch or planter.

Read on for nine colorful ideas to brighten up your fall flower containers!

Idea #1: Extend Your Summer Season

You don’t have to change seasons all at once. If some of your summer flowers are still thriving, leave them in place; then tuck in a few mums, asters, or brightly colored gourds to extend the color for another month or two.

Once everything is spent, you can replace your container with a cold-weather alternative.

Idea #2: Choose Cool Weather Flowers

Pansies, violas, and snapdragons are favorite annuals for the fall garden; and hardier varieties might even hang on through the winter and get a second wind in early spring.

They’re often mixed with shorter-blooming perennials such as chrysanthemums, asters, heather, and anemones.

When choosing flowers for containers, look for ones that are hardy to a planting zone or two colder than yours, since the soil in containers is colder than ground soil.

Idea #3: Think Texture

In colder weather, supplement your containers with bold textures such as dramatic foliage, berry-producing plants, fuzzy leaves, gourds, pine cones, and even twigs and boughs to give your containers an interesting shape.

Idea #4: Plant a Salad

Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and chard do great in cool – even lightly frosty – weather.

Plant a variety of multicolored greens for a splash of color that’s also edible, and be sure to locate it near the door for easy picking!

Idea #5: Ornamentals Can Take Cold Weather

Ornamental cabbages don’t have the flavor of their garden counterparts, but many of them can tolerate downright cold weather.

A collection of ornamental cabbages can get your containers through much of the winter, and the lacy leaves are lovely when edged with frost.

Idea #6: Don’t Forget the Seeds

Seed pods are also great additions to cold weather planters, adding interest, shape, and color without worry – and they attract birds, too!

Summer ornamental grasses often give way to lovely seed heads if you don’t cut them back, or you can pick seed pods and simply tuck them in among your flowers.

Idea #7: Evergreens Hold Their Shape

Many cool-weather flowers, such as pansies, are low-growing and delicate. Use small evergreen plants and shrubs – such as rosemary, lavender, boxwood, ivy, or dwarf conifers – to add structure, texture, and height.

Idea #8: Early Spring Surprise

When planting your containers in fall, you can also add in some spring bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, for an effortless burst of color in early spring.

Idea #9: Ready Planted Refills

For fall color without the fuss, consider looking for pre-planted containers to drop down inside your larger planters.

If the flowers die back in the cold, it’ll be easy to remove the inner pot and store the planter away until spring.

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avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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