I have tried many fall container additions over the years with some successes and some not so much. I seem to keep coming back to my fab five time after time. Each year I do try to add something new and this year I will be adding that cool new dark long leaved cabbage because if it doesn’t work out I can chop the thing up and add it to a lovely fall soup.
Here are my go-to plants for my fall planters once I pull out all of my summer annuals.
Orange Grass / Prairie Fire Sedge
This reliable evergreen grass has slender leaves and a fantastic bronzy orange colour. It looks good in my pots no matter what I seem to do with it. It even looks good after my kids French braid it! I use it towards the side of the pot so it can spill over.
Winter Pansies / Violas
I know this seems old hat, but they are cheap, hardy and when they stop looking good I either cover them with pine boughs or pull them out. I like to use the tangerines and the soft sky blues. Pick them when they are shorter and have a few flower buds to come. I pack them full in my fall planters, not like my spring ones where I give everything space to spread. In fall there is not much change in the plant size so I pretty much overplant to allow for any winter damage.
I absolutely love this deep green glossy leaved groundcover with the red berries. I also love crushing up a leaf or berry or two to get that lovely spicy mint fragrance. Even though it is considered a full shade groundcover, you can get away with planting it in your full sun fall and winter pots (you can plant it at the back of the planter for now and then turn around the pot by the end of the month once it’s cooled a bit). Come spring, if you have full sun exposure, you can put it in a shady spot in your garden.
Yes, I know it is a tree and will grow big, but we have some lovely little columnar ones at the nursery that I can keep small and clipped in my pots, they still look good in the summer so I just leave them in and the grass and then change everything else. I am also buying time by root pruning, a bonsai technique. I have to say, my little Yew centrepiece is still amazing if I pair it with a pumpkin or pine boughs and twinkle lights. I also buy a bunch of curly willow each year and the contrast of deep dark green with the yellow and orange of the willow looks great.
Emerald and Gold Wintercreeper
Euonymus ‘Emerald and Gold’
I add this towards the front of the planter. I love it when we get it in the smaller sized pot. I have to say I used to use the variegated ivy but my Ivy looks pretty beaten up by the end of the winter but this Euonymus just keeps on ticking. I usually put in in the garden by spring though a couple of years I’ve kept it in for the summer display and it just kept looking great as long as I kept it trimmed.
Well now you know my secret go to fall plants but like I said I add something new as well as artsy things and cut branches and all sorts of Martha Stewart-esque touches when the mood hits. If you have some tried and true fall hits please share. Happy planting!