Fall is a time to refresh our container gardens that have been growing all summer, switching out the heat-loving plants with more cold tolerant plants. Using the warmer tones, and sometimes the spooky dark purples and silvers, add to your seasonal décor.
Some of our favorite warm colors to use are ornamental peppers, pansies, violas, marigolds, osteospermum, crotons and lysmachia or creeping Jenny. All of these plants add loads of colors and textures to your pots, creating a whole new look for the season that reflects the tones in the trees.
To make a great Halloween pot, using dark purple kale with silver dusty miller, black petunias and dark purple pansies can make quite the decoration. This especially looks great when planted in a witch’s cauldron.
With the low temperatures at night falling, these plants will withstand the cooler temperatures. To be sure your plants will not succumb to any light frosts, you can cover them with a light-weight dish cloth or bed sheet to protect them. There is also a product called Freezepruf that you can spray on your plants to help protect them.
Another solution for the cold nights is to use perennials and cold tolerant herbs in your container plantings. A few of our favorite perennials to use in the fall plantings are heuchera, rudebeckia and lamium. Each of these have unique colors for the season and a great shape for your pots. While not all herbs work in the cooler weather, some of our favorite herbs to use are thyme, tri-colored sage, oregano, and rosemary. The herbs will also add wonderful smells to your containers.
To add a little bit more of a festive touch, try planting your containers in bushel baskets or even carved out pumpkins or gourds. You can also add bittersweet or dogwood twigs for more height and color in your containers.