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12 Fall Flowers for Pots that Create a Seasonal Look

By HomeBNC • Updated on 2024-03-19

With a chill in the air, it’s time to think about fall flowers for pots. Nothing is more exciting than the harvest season. Deep, rich colors share a warmth as nights get cooler, wind is more refreshing, and temperatures fluctuate unpredictably.

Our favorite spring and summer blooms are past their prime. It’s time for tougher, more durable fall flowers for pots. More tolerant of colder weather and wilder winds, below are fantastic fall flowers to liven up your pots.

Refreshing or replanting pots in fall is a wonderful way to decorate for the harvest season. Fall flowers in pots are gorgeous alongside pumpkins and gourds, dried flowers and grasses, and all your creative harvest-themed décor.

Key Takeaways

  • Fall flowers for pots can handle cooler temperatures, some even thrive with frost.
  • To celebrate the harvest season, fall flowers have warm, rich colors.
  • When spring and summer blooms are past their prime, pop fall flowers in your pots for extravagant shine.
  • Wonderful companions in your harvest-themed décor, fall flowers are gorgeous combined with pumpkins, squash, and dried grasses.
  • Durable foliage and long-lasting blossoms, fall flowers tolerate wilder weather, wind, and fluctuating temperatures.

12 Extravagant Fall Flowers to Refresh Your Pots and Containers

1. Petunia (Petunia)


Image credit: © Tanya

Petunias in containers look fantastic in fall. This makes them an excellent addition to the fall container garden. As tough summer annuals, petunias don’t show stress until severe cold weather. Also, flower variations make designing with petunias a blast! Seemingly limitless options are available such as smooth, ruffled, solid, striped, veined, speckled, single, and double flowers.

Find rich, harvest-inspired colors of Petunias to best enhance the fall display. Petunias also partner well with other frost-forgiving summer beauties that tough out cooler temps. There is an extensive group of annuals and perennials that provide their best show way past Labor Day. Our top contenders are below, but noteworthy contenders are Snapdragon, Alyssum, Dianthus, Calendula, and Salvia.

2. Million Bells (Calibrachoa)


Image credit: © adinamnt

This easy plant breezes through summer overflowing with abundant single or double mini-petunia-like blooms well into fall. The well-named Million Bells come in an unbelievable spectrum of colors. Hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11, Million Bells are available in many autumn-inspired shades of bronze, orange, magenta, and purple. Extraordinarily useful as a fall flower for pots, Million Bells overflow, mound, and spill, creating an incredible show when stuffed in fall pots and containers.

A fabulous feature of Million Bells is that they are self-cleaning. This means you can skip the task of deadheading and Million Bells will keep on blooming. Interestingly, self-cleaning petunia varieties are also available. This is because they are petunias crossed with calibrachoa for their self-cleaning habit.

3. Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima)

Jacobaea maritima

Image credit: © gicku91

The snowflake-inspired foliage of Dusty Miller brings colorful harvest hues and rich autumn tones to life. For fabulous textural interest, Dusty Miller comes in variations of deeply scalloped leaves to nearly fern-like lace leaves. The naturally frosted silvery gray of the foliage provides an excellent contrast for many fall flowers. A wonderful companion plant in pots, Dusty Miller holds its best color when grown in full sun.

Tolerating frigid fall temperatures, this popular bedding plant is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11. Depending on the variety, Dusty Miller grows 6 to 18 inches tall.

4. Ornamental Sedge (Carex)


Image credit: © joe

With contrasting colors and striking variegated leaves, ornamental sedges are cool-season grass-like plants that create wonderful texture in pots. Study narrow leaves are graceful and arching to compliment bold upright or cascading fall bloomers.

Many Carex varieties stay small, 10 to 12 inches, making them perfect for pots, planters, and hanging baskets. Carex are sturdy plants that hold up in inclement weather. They look fantastic draped in frost.

Two North American native varieties to consider are Foothill sedge (Carex tumulicola), and Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica). Both are structurally interesting, growing arching mopheads of 12 inches or more. For even deeper autumn color, Evergold Weeping Sedge (Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’) has warm yellow variegation, and Bronzita Sedge (Carex comans) grows a bronze mound of narrow leaves.

5. Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)

Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum

Image credit: © Jeri

Delightful in a fall container display, Purple Fountain Grass needs lots of room as they can reach 5 feet in height. This tender perennial is a favorite for pot and container gardens. The deep maroon arching grass forms huge burgundy feather-like plumes that are beautiful and graceful.

Purple fountain grass is hardy in zones 9 to 11 so will require a move indoors or winter protection. They are perfect alone or at the back or center of a pot or container. Their elegant seed heads are wonderful in dried flower arrangements.

6. Ornamental Cabbage and Kale (Brassica oleracea)

Brassica oleracea

Image credit: © MOLLY SHANNON

If you are looking for plants that are tough as nails and flourish in fall, Ornamental Cabbage And Kale literally weathers the storm. They thrive in frosty weather with impressive durability. And, with foliage so pretty it looks like its blooming, Ornamental Cabbage And Kale steals the show with their contrasting reds, purples, pinks, greens, creams, and whites. From frilly flamboyant foliage to sturdy striking spiky leaves, Ornamental Cabbage And Kale are fantastic fall flowers for pots.

Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, Ornamental Cabbage And Kale can be long-stemmed, or stout, frilly, or deeply scalloped. Hardy in USDA zones 2 to 11, these resilient plants bring out the best of fall pots and containers. The strapping tough leaves glide through fall delivering deeper colors as the temperature drops, even below 5° F.

7. Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris var cicla)

Beta vulgaris var cicla

Image credit: © Patrik Stedrak

If autumn bites with temperatures below 40° F, Swill Chard can take the freeze with ease. You might not think of this vegetable for ornamental gardening, but it has colors so exquisite they could only be made by nature. Related to beets, Swiss chard boasts vibrant stems, leaves, and leaf veins.

The upright Swiss Chard leaves and stems seem to be lit from withing in striking shades of vibrant red, orange, purple, yellow, and white. It isn’t as sturdy as ornamental cabbage and kale, but with its illuminated foliage, Swiss Chard is a glorious option to plant with fall flowers. It is hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10. It grows 1 ½ to 2 feet tall.

8. Heather (Calluna or Erica)

Calluna or Erica

Image credit: © Igor Groshev

An exceptionally tough plant, Heather is a great fall flower for pots. The scale- or needle-like leaves form texturally interesting mats. Heathers draw attention with late season flowering spikes smothered in white, pink, and purple flowers. To accentuate your fall display, there are stunning autumnal shades to choose from.

Hardy in USDA zones 3 to 10, this robust plant hails from frosty bogs and rugged mountains of Europe. It prefers damp, slightly acidic growing conditions. These lovely toughies may take your fall-inspired pots and containers through Thanksgiving and excitingly, convert perfectly into winter holiday décor.

9. Mums (Chrysanthemums)


Image credit: © Maryna

To warm up any chilly fall day, use Mums’ assortment of rich bold colors that range from bronze, burgundy, reds, oranges, yellows, and golds. The long-celebrated harvest flower, Mums provide the blossoms we crave as we head into winter.

Rounding, mounding plants virtually smothered in fabulous Autumn blossoms, Mums are perfect in fall pots and containers. Mums are often planted as a show-stopping solo plant, to perfectly exhibit their masses of magnificent warm glowing flowers. They can also be grown right in the garden as many varieties are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.

10. Pansies (Viola)


Image credit: © Anita

Adorable and cheerful, Pansies take the doldrums out of any gloomy fall day with their perky, uplifting faces. Choose rich jewel tones in warm autumn colors for a sunny display of fall pots and containers. Easy to grow, pansies perform with ease. They truly prefer cool weather. A sure-fire mood lifter in the contemplative autumn, Pansies’ rich vibrant colors and bold design bring a smile to any dreary day.

The exceptionally perfect fall flower for pots, pansies prefer moist rich soil in zones 6 to 9 and thrive in colder weather. Pansies play well with others. They bring out the best of ornamental grasses, cabbage, kale, and foliage plants, and there are a ton of varieties, colors, and sizes to choose from.

11. Coleus (Coleus)


Image credit: © Anna

Coleus warms up the fall display with hot contrasting colors, unique eye-catching variegation, and lush velvety foliage. Available in a spectacular range of sizes. There are dwarf types which reach 6 to 10 inches tall, and large types that grow 2 to 3 feet with 6-inch leaves.

The color palette of coleus is perfect for fall. Coleus prefers warm temperatures above 60° F, so they may need protection from frost. But excitingly, Coleus grows surprisingly well indoors. So this plant performs double duty in fall pots that can move indoors to warm up your home for winter.

12. Ornamental Peppers (Capsicum annuum)

Capsicum annuum

Image credit: © svetlanais

Striking Ornamental Peppers really come into their own in fall. Smooth green foliage accentuates the abundant colorful fruit which gives these fall flowers for pots a breathtaking exotic touch. They do best when grown in full sun. Spicy colored fruit heat up beautiful fall pots and containers with round and elongated peppers in yellows, reds, oranges, purples, blacks, and white.

Fabulous harvest shades on a backdrop of glossy green foliage, Ornamental Peppers are hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11. Though they won’t last through frost, this is a fantastic plant for fall pots in warmer climates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fall flowers for Pots

What plants to put in pots in the fall?

Choose plants that have a warm autumn color for your pots in the fall. Colors like sunflower yellow, pumpkin orange, plum purple, and apple red help to symbolize the harvest season. As the weather cools down, choosing warm colors reminds us of snuggly sweaters and warm mugs of tea to enjoy the cooling of the season. In areas where the temperature drops quickly or below freezing, it is great to plant tougher plants that tolerate the cold. As summer’s blossoms fade, cold tolerant plants are fantastic for fall flowers for pots. Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, described above, is one of the toughest cold-hardy fall plants for pots.

What flowers do best in the fall?

Many flowers will continue to do well in the fall. Flowers including Snapdragon, Alyssum, Dianthus, Calendula, and Salvia continue to flourish in fall with proper care. They can handle the changing weather that fall brings. Our favorites described above include Pansies (Viola), Mums (Chrysanthemums), Heather (Calluna or Erica), Million Bells (Calibrachoa), and Petunia (Petunia) do particularly well in pots in the fall.

What to do with flowerpots in the fall?

Basically, there are two, well maybe three choices of what to do with flowerpots in the fall. You can clean them out and get them ready for planting next spring. More interestingly, you can clean them out and plant them fresh with your favorite fall flowers for pots. This is a great choice if you have a long fall season. Or, perhaps a bit trickier, you can remove any plants that are well past their prime. They are worn out, suffering from the changes in weather and have stopped blooming. In their place, you can pop in your favorite fall flowers for pots. This way you can save the ones that still have some life left and will keep looking great throughout the fall season.

How do you fill a fall planter?

Fall planters can be one of the most fun planters to fill. The rules change in fall. Along with your preferred fall flowers for pots, try putting in some dried flowers or grass. An evergreen branch or even small live shrub. Succulents are worth a try too. Since plants will probably be growing slowly, you can fill in the extra space with exciting fall trimmings. You might love your fall planter so much you’ll want to move it inside when the weather turns too cold.

How do you decorate an outdoor planter for fall?

Use warm autumnal colors for decorating an outdoor planter for fall. Stark branches or vibrant fallen leaves of maple and oak can set the scene for your fall-themed décor. Get creative with fall decorations such as pumpkins, gourds, squash, cattails, reeds, and corn stalks. Celebrate the harvest season or let your spooky side show by using darker, Halloween type decorations.

12 Extravagant Fall Flowers to Energize Your Harvest Season Pots

Nothing is more exciting than the harvest season. Deep, rich colors share a warmth as nights get colder, wind is more refreshing, and temperatures fluctuate unpredictably. We need tougher, more durable fall flowers for pots. Refreshing or replanting pots in fall with your favorite fall flowers is a fantastic way to add to your harvest-themed décor.

Fall Flowers for Pots

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