Transitioning Summer Containers to Fall

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The transition from the vitality of summer, when your flowers are looking their fullest and most luxuriant in their containers, to the first frost, when your more delicate plants start to wane, can be a trying time. But take heart, just because fall is coming doesn’t mean you can’t continue to have eye-catching areas in your garden and landscaping.

During the summer we often fill our containers with flowering annuals of single or multiple varieties, adding vibrant color and contrast to the landscaping. A few months later, the early season plants often look like they’ve taken a beating, due in large part to summer heat. And soon, they’ll be feeling the bite of fall’s much cooler weather.

The flexibility of planters, pots and other containers allow you to change up the scene during autumn, providing a different and livelier look to your landscaping or garden area. While the summer colors of bright reds, pinks, yellows, purples serve our landscaping areas well during that period of the year, when the weather starts to change, it also brings about a desire to change up the color pallet, utilizing the soft hues of fall colors instead.

There is an abundance of seasonal arrangement and flower varieties that can be used to transition your containers into beautiful autumn accessories around your home. Spillover vines, grasses, sedums, coral bells, sedge, and so many others can be used to create some striking designs.

Mums are frequently among the preferred fall flower and can be used alone or with other plants in your containers. Cool season annuals like pansies and violas are also a big favorite as they typically provide long lasting color during the cool fall and winter months. We highly recommend violas, a small bloom cousin of the pansy family, which are even more tolerant to cold weather making them last longer in raised containers.

Something else you might want to consider in your fall pots and planters is layering in spring bulbs, about eight to 10 inches below the pot’s surface, and beneath the container’s primary accent pieces. You can use daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, tulips, and any other fall-planted “spring blooming” bulbs. These flowers will give your containers the added bonus of color for early springtime when the bulbs finally poke up through the fall/winter arrangement. And you’ll have something beautiful and unique to get spring started off on just the right note!

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