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Using Autumn Flowers in Containers


  • Plant early September for best results
  • Foliage plants are king. Lasting show when flowers are over
  • End of fall? Plant the hardy varieties in a protected garden bed for next year.
  • Live in the South? Salvia, all pansies and violas, or Cuphea may be great choices for you.
  • In general, fall container recipes benefit from contrasts and tighter planting (more plants)

Chrysanthemums, ornamental cabbage, sedum, ivy, and ferns. Bright pinks and color from foliage.

A similar arrangement of plants, but in a formal, dark colored urn. The colors are closer in harmonies of orange green and purple.

Fall Container Ingredients

In both the featured photos, the main plant materials are cushion chrysanthemums and flowering kale or cabbage. Both these choices will resist frost. They drip with ivies or small sedums, and can be accented with grasses, small asters, ferns, and the like.

I have had the flowering kales last well until after Christmas in containers outdoors. It took the really harsh temperatures of January to diminish them.

An idea that almost seems too simple, except that it is visually outstanding and effective, is the single large display. The ideal is cushion mums of all one type and color. I have purchased this size for a reasonable price, especially during early fall at Costco, Sam’s club, etc. Place in prominent containers in front of your porch- striking!

FALL Chrysanthemum Container

Chrysanthemum in golden hue.

Sedums and other succulent plants will give texture while maintaining their good looks in the cooler temperatures of fall. They mix so well with other plants or just among themselves, creating interesting arrangements.

Coreopsis and Sedum Container photo by greenwalksblog on Flickr

Coreopsis and Sedum Container photo by greenwalksblog on Flickr


For detailed information on putting together your containers, see


autumn flower container with mums

Mums center it, while golden foliage shrub and grasses or plants like Bergenia harmonize.

Flower Material Ideas:

  • Mums
  • Flowering Kale and Cabbages, Brassica oleracea
  • Sedums and succulents
  • Grasses  fountain grass, sedge and others)
  • fall Pansies
  • Coreopsis
  • Coral Bells, Heucheras
  • Oxalis regnallii ‘Charmed Velvet’
  • Calibrachoa (million bells)
  • Barberry bush
  • ‘Rainbow’ leucothoe
  • Strawflowers
  • Rosemary, thyme, and lavenders
  • Euphorbias
  • colorful Swiss chard
  • Rudbeckia, Black-eyed Susans

Of course there are more, but these are enough to get your imagination in gear. Autumn is a wonderful time for fun arrangements of plants in your containers. Don’t forget to accessorize with gourds, pumpkins, and corn stalks, as well.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author


I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of "Ilona's Reflecting Pool". Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. The work on "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.