40 Gorgeous Fall Container Garden & Planter Ideas

Cooler temps are here to stay. Start planning your autumn container garden now with our favorite cool-weather flower combos, pretty planter ideas and more.

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August 17, 2020

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Darling Dahlias

Nothing says "fall" quite like coco baskets filled with beautiful peach dahlias and a colorful variety of blooming spillers (trailing plants). Shown here, award-winning 'Gallery Pablo' dahlias bloom from late summer through fall. When first freeze hits, follow our tips to tuck away those precious bulbs until spring. Find more dahlia care tips at the link below.

READ MORE: Dahlias: How to Care for, Plant and Grow

Light It Up

No time to maintain finicky fall blooms? Fill planters with an assortment of faux pumpkins, gourds and dried fall foliage that will stay gorgeous all season long. For an extra cozy touch, nestle beautiful lanterns and faux-flame candles into the greenery, then arrange small mums and cabbage plants around the base. Not in the mood to DIY? Shop these gorgeous ready-made wreaths from Grandin Road at the link below, then drop them right into your planters.

BUY IT: Grandin Road

Touch of Gold

Combine grasses with flowers for a sensory delight. ‘Red Riding Hood’ rose fountain grass provides a backdrop for pineapple coleus and strawflower. The spillers in this pot are ‘Yellow Ripple’ English ivy and dense-flowered loosestrife.

Sweet & Simple

Mounds of purple winter pansies and cold-hardy trailing English ivy add a lovely touch of color to this rustic wood window box. Snag our top pansy care tips here, then follow the link below to craft your own rustic window planter.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Floating Window Box

Full Sun, Fall Hues

This warm-hued container is overflowing with 'Timeless-Fire' geranium, 'ColorBlaze Kingswood Torch' coleus and 'Superbells Dreamsicle' calibrachoa — sun-worshipping blooms that will last until first frost.

Choose Containers That Shine

Old world details, streamlined design and durable stone composite construction make these French country-inspired planters from Ballard Designs a foolproof pick for dressing up your entryway. Fill with striking cold-tolerant grasses, rich purple sweet potato vine and a multicolor mix of mums for an eye-catching fall look.

BUY IT: Ballard Designs

Cottage Charmer

Bursting with variegated sage, ruby red calibrachoa and dainty wire vine, this sweet window box lends a welcoming feel to a charming exterior. Each of these garden superstars will thrive well into autumn, with the wire vine maintaining its color year-round.

50 Degrees or Above

This moody floral combo shows off a mix of begonia, sweet potato vine, wishbone flower and coleus — a summer to early fall stunner that thrives in temps above 50 degrees farenheit.

Boho Beauty

Bring store-bought mums to life in a big way this year by planting them in a wheelbarrow. To ensure that her display would look less country and more boho-chic, lifestyle photographer Aniko Levai painted feathers and geometric shapes right onto the wood — something you can easily do, too.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Bohemian Wheelbarrow

SEE MORE: 25 Outdoor Fall Decor Ideas to Step Up Your Seasonal Display

String Quartet

Who needs flowers? Look to colorful foliage and leafy perennials to orchestrate a fall-worthy symphony. Coppery-bronze carex and peachy-toned coral bells (Heuchera) complement gold and green variegated sage. ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga adds just-right deep shades to make the whole arrangement sizzle. Recipe for a 24-inch planter (use plants in 4.5-inch pots): 1 'Toffee Twist' carex and 2 each 'Dolce Peach Melba' heuchera, ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga and golden variegated sage (Salvia offcinalis ‘Icterina’).

Break Out the Baskets

Inject your front porch with a dose of farmhouse style by filling oversized, rustic wicker baskets with sweet seasonal blooms. And while you're at it, give your outdoor furniture a mini fall makeover by draping chairs and loveseats in cozy quilts that can be easily transported in and out of the house depending on the weather.

SEE MORE: Cozy Up Your Front Porch With Farmhouse Style for Fall

Or, Beautify With Barrels

Layer your entrance or walkway with a cascading arrangement of the season’s most popular gourds. Half of the pumpkins seen here were purchased from a produce stand while the other half are faux pumpkins that designer Jenny Reimold uses year after year. Decorating your porch with both real and fake pumpkins is a budget-friendly design trick that creates a full and vibrant display. This is also a great opportunity to use older or broken faux pumpkins, as those can be tucked in among the new ones. To give your real pumpkins more life, spray them with an acrylic spray, extending your fall presentation by a few weeks.

SEE MORE: 30 Chic, Crafty and Creative Ways to Decorate With Pumpkins

Window Box All-Stars

Nothing amps up your fall curb appeal quite like window boxes filled with lush, colorful fall favorites like dusty miller, ornamental kale, cabbage, pansies and English ivy. With regular watering, these plants will thrive in a partially shady spot all season and into winter.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Floating Window Box

Hitch Your Wagon

Filled with a seasonal display of pumpkins, pinecones, berries and greenery, this wooden wagon planter would make a beautiful statement on any fall front porch. Follow the link below to shop or, if you're feeling crafty, upcycle an old wheelbarrow or wagon into an autumnal container on wheels.

Buy It: Plow and Hearth, $199.95

Pumpkin Patch Charmer

Bring the charm of hayfields and pumpkin patches home by filling your front porch containers with gold 'Marguerite' daisies, 'Yellow Chiffon' calibrachoa, 'Blackberry Ice' coral bells and creeping wire vine.

Beautiful Pumpkin Topiary

Grab some faux pumpkins, dried fall flowers and your handy hot glue gun to craft a gorgeous fall topiary that will last all season long, zero maintenance required. Get the step-by-step instructions below.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Natural Pumpkin Topiary

Blaze of Beauty

Capture the colors of fall with a blaze of red, orange and bronze by combining Superbells million bells (calibrachoa) with a tuft of 'Toffee Twist' sedge (Carex flagellifera). All three plants tolerate temps down to 5°F (Zone 7). Expect the million bells to wilt away when a hard frost hits (28°F), unless you cover plants. Recipe for a 20-inch pot (two plants each in 4.5-inch pots): Superbells 'Dreamsicle' and red calibrachoa; 'Toffee Twist' sedge.

Make an Entrance

Brighten up your shady front porch with high-gloss black planters filled with tall evergreens, trailing ivy and fuschia calibrachoa.

Upcycled "Pumpkin" Planters

Have your metal hanging baskets seen better days? Give them new life as decorative, pumpkin-shaped planters overflowing with fall blooms. Find the step-by-step instructions at the link, below.

GET THE HOW-TO: 3 Pumpkin Projects That Will Outlast the Season

Until First Frost

Many popular summer blooms can pull double duty in fall containers. This gorgeous hanging bakset, filled with dichondra 'Silver Falls,' 'Blue A Fuse' petunias and 'Breathless White' Euphorbia, will stay full and pretty until first frost.

SEE MORE: 20 Gorgeous Fall Hanging Basket Ideas

Porch Pals

A tall concrete planter filled with gorgeous 'Orange King' zinnias makes a perfect companion to this adorable DIY scarecrow plaque. Finish the look with orange pumpkins and a seasonal doormat to welcome fall guests.

GET THE HOW-TO: Snowman + Scarecrow: Two-in-One Front Porch Decor

Blue & Gold

This one's for all you UCLA fans! This Bruin-worthy pot showcases blue and gold plants that thrive in autumn’s football weather. Starting with a 12-inch container, add two 'Bluebird Nemesia' fruticans on either side, one 'Vanilla Butterfly' Marguerite daisy in the back, and one 'Burgundy Glow' ajuga in the front. In Southern California, plants bring color from football season to the bowl games.

SEE MORE: Team-Inspired Plant Color Combos

Pumpkin Planters

Aren't these faux pumpkin planters the cutest? Shop the link below to snag your own, then fill them with beautiful foliage like 'Golden Zebra' heuchera and yellow lantana, seen here. Fun fact: In zones 7 and above lantana can bloom well into the winter months.

BUY IT: Plow and Hearth, $69.95

DIY Design

Up your fall curb appeal with a DIY house number planter painted in a fashion-forward cranberry hue and filled with low-maintenance autumn blooms. Follow the link below to snag our easy step-by-step instructions.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Wood Planter Box With House Numbers

Autumn Drama

Add a touch of dramatic flair to your fall containers by arranging low-lying blooms around tall focal point plants like this Vertigo purple fountain grass.

Snap Out of It

Bring stunning color to your hanging baskets or urns by filling them with different shades of ‘Candy Showers’ snapdragon. Look for blossoms in red, orange, rose, white, yellow and purple hues. Snapdragons are a great choice for cool-season planting, as they love temperatures in the low 40s at night and will thrive through winter, dying back when the heat of late spring arrives.

SEE MORE: 20 Gorgeous Fall Hanging Basket Ideas

Beautiful Boxwood

Visually stunning and easy to maintain, a clipped boxwood topiary and fluffy lime-green sedum make for a perfect pair in any container garden. Cut sedum back in late fall to make way for new growth come springtime.

Ribbons & Pearls

Steal the neighborhood show by filling containers with a texturally rich blend of plants. Perennial ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga (Zones 4-11) and 'Garnet Brocade' sedum (Zones 3-10) bring drama with dark leaves. Annual 'Soprano White' osteospermum adds a pop of brightness while perennial ‘Ogon’ acorus (Zones 5-11) shines in gold. Recipe for a 12-inch pot (using 4.5 inch pots): 1 each ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga, 'Garnet Brocade' sedum and 'Soprano White' osteospermum; 2 pots of ‘Ogon’ acorus.

Pumpkin Squash

This pretty duo from ProvenWinners.com blends two colors of Superbells brand million bells (calibrachoa) — the red and orange tones of 'Dreamsicle' and the gold blooms of 'Saffron.' Plants last until a hard frost arrives. Alternately, you can tuck pots onto a covered porch to provide a little frost protection and prolong the show. Recipe for a 12-inch pot (2 plants each in 4.5-inch pots): 'Superbells Dreamsicle' calibrachoa and 'Superbells Saffron' calibrachoa.

Garden Accessories

As summer is winding down and garden pots are vacated, stack them up and use them as sculptural accessories. They can be strikingly beautiful when empty or filled with seasonal knick-knacks such as pinecones and mini pumpkins.

SEE MORE: Cozy Up Your Front Porch With Farmhouse Style for Fall

A Blaze of Gold

Decorate your outdoor living spaces with a collection of plants in a continuum of gold tones. This container combination thrives in cool weather and can easily hold its own through a mild winter. Recipe for a 14-inch pot (one plant each in 4.5-inch pots): ‘Citrona Orange’ wall flower (Erysimum), ‘Easter Bonnet Peach’ sweet alyssum, ‘Sorbet Peach Melba’ viola, ‘Frizzle Sizzle Yellow-Blue Swirl’ pansy and ‘Sirocco’ stipa grass (Anemanthele lessoniana).

Take a Seat

If you love an upcycled, country cottage look, turn an antique white chair into a charming seat for cream-colored pumpkins and pretty fall blooms. Just make sure the chair doesn't hold sentimental value as plants and other natural materials have a tendency to stain.

Crowning Glory

Topped with a crown of dainty linaria, this pretty patio planter stuns in shades of burgundy, white and black. To re-create the combo, grab a favorite pot that's 12 inches wide. Plant two magenta 'Enchantment' linaria at the back of the pot, behind two 'Matrix Sunrise' pansies on each side. Fill the empty center spot with one '21st Century Buttercream' Phlox drummondii for a lush look that's fit for a queen.

Simple Succulent Garden

This easy mix pairs sedum with hens and chicks for a container of plants that can stay outside all winter in most places. Sedum's glossy chartreuse leaves are a lovely contrast to the spikey ruby red sempervivum plants. Use a wide dish to accommodate the spreading habit of each plant. Recipe: Golden Japanese stonecrop (Sedum makinoi 'Ogon', Zones 6-9), 3 plants; ‘Pacific Shadows’ hens and chicks (Sempervivum ‘Pacific Shadows’, Zones 5-8), 4 plants.

Fall Favorites

A collar of cabbage, kale, pansies, ivy, dusty miller and coral bells supports an eye-catching evergreen shrub in this simple yet gorgeous fall urn. Plant this arrangement in late summer or early fall to give spillers and fillers time to become full and lush before first frost.

Cool Season Kicker

This fragrant purple and gold combination dances through winter without missing a blooming beat. Start with a 14-inch (or larger) container. Fill the center with ‘Citrona Orange’ wallflower, spacing four ‘Matrix Purple’ pansies evenly around it. Plug ‘Sorbet Orange Duet’ viola into the empty spaces between pansies, and finish the container with a ring of ‘Easter Bonnet Violet’ sweet alyssum. Snip blooms as they fade for the longest flower show.

SEE MORE: Team-Inspired Plant Color Combos

Mod Thrillers

If you prefer the modern look, go all out with tall, dramatic thriller plants (like fountain grass and boxwood) and trailing fall foliage (like English ivy and heuchera) displayed in sculptural metal containers.

SEE MORE: 12 Ways to Spruce Up Your Front Porch for Fall

Pumpkin Tower

Want to make a seasonal statement? Fill whiskey barrel planters with a stack of pumpkins and gourds held in place by a willow tower plant support. Fill in around the edges with a stunning assortment of fall-hued calibrachoa and cold-hardy grasses for a head-turning display.

‘Diamond Mix’ Dianthus

Color your autumn scenes with a splash of pink by filling containers with a ready-made dianthus mix. This pretty annual thrives in cool fall weather and opens blooms that offer a spicy clove scent. The blend of pinks and white is created at the grower level, which guarantees you get great looking containers. Recipe: Purchase the number of cell packs needed to give your pot a lush, full look. A rough guide is one 4-cell pack per 6-inch planter.

Autumn Majesty

This colorful container sparkles with hues of the season found in perennial coral bells (heuchera) and annual strawflower (bracteantha). Strawflower is the most frost-tender of the two, bowing out when temps tumble to 20°F. Coral bells can hold its own through winter in Zones 4 to 9 when planted in the ground. In containers, a hard freeze will take it out. Transfer it to planting beds if you want to grow it as a perennial. Recipe for a 12-inch planter (1 plant each in 4.5-inch pots): 'Dolce Cinnamon Curls Coral Bells' and 'Sundaze Blaze' strawflower.

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