Many of the same fall-flowering plants grown in the garden make fine specimens for containers and hanging baskets. Good candidates for fall containers include any flowering plant that has a genetic disposition to fall blooming or has a long-lasting bloom period that extends into fall. Good tolerance for the cooler temperatures of fall is also essential; heat-loving species don't make good fall flowers.
Traditionally, containers and hanging baskets are planted with vigorous-blooming annual flowers, but increasingly, gardeners are using traditional garden perennials for their containers. While plant species have varying soil needs when planted in garden settings, most plants do quite well in containers filled with an ordinary general-purpose potting soil.
Here are good ornamental plants to consider for your fall container gardens.
Coral Bells (Heuchera cultivars)
Coral Bells, a long-favored species for gardens, has also become a favorite container plant. These perennial plants come in a huge range of colors and leaf textures, and they are almost impossible to kill. Coral bells is a mounding plant and it looks great on its own their own or paired with plants that either contrasting plants or offer varying shades of the same color. Coral bells can work especially well with gourds, mums, and ornamental grasses. Choose a dark, almost black leaf, like 'Dolce, Licorice' or choose the lighter 'Dolce, Peach Melba' for a terrific fall plant that works well with many fall decorations. They also look lovely when paired with pumpkin planters. USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
Color Varieties: Red, white, coral, pink Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial sun Soil Needs: Moist, loamy soil Soil Needs: Acidic soil
Oxalis or Shamrock (Oxalis regnellii)
A warm-weather perennial generally grown as an annual, oxalis is elegant and cheerful. It is exceedingly easy to grow and likes partial shade to full shade. Oxalis is a mounding plant and grows to be 12 to 18 inches high, making it a good plant to use in filling out a container. It comes in several colors including a nearly black, ‘Charmed Velvet', and a burgundy color called ‘Charmed Wine'. Another plus about oxalis is that you can bring it inside to overwinter.
USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 11 Color Varieties: Mauve, lavender Sun Exposure: Partial shade
Soil Needs: Well-draining soil Ornamental Cabbage and Kale (Brassica oleracea)
Ornamental cabbages are delightfully chubby and cheerful plants, while the kales are spiky. However, both of these plants will take you well into fall with style and beautiful sage greens blended with pinks and purples. As a bonus, the colors of flowering cabbage and kale only intensify as the weather gets colder, especially after a frost. Cabbages are wonderful grouped in either rustic garden planters or low baskets. They also can bring some great color and texture to mixed container gardens. Kales can look great in funky shallow baskets, window boxes, or modern metal planters with clean lines. These are bold plants, so don’t be afraid to put them in unusual containers or combine them with unlikely plants.
USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 Color Varieties: Ornamental leaves in purple, rose, cream
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade Soil Needs: Loamy soil
Sedum (Sedum, Hylotelephium spp.) Stonecrop
The very large Sedum genus recently was split, with 33 species reassigned to the Hylotelephium genus). This included some standard favorites, such as 'Autumn Joy, now known as Hylotelephium 'Herbstfreude' AUTUMN JOY. However, they are all still generally known by the common name of sedum, or stonecrop.
Many of the fall-blooming Sedum (or Hylotelephium) species are classic plants for fall container gardens. Blooming in late summer to early fall, sedum is easy to grow in containers, and there is a vast array of species and cultivars with different textures and flowers. Sedum is a particularly good choice of plant for a fall container that you want to leave out all winter because the dried flowers can look beautiful, especially covered with snow or frost. Some varieties can get pretty tall and are great to use in the center or back of a container. USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 10 Color Varieties: Pink to mauve Sun Exposure: Full sun Soil Needs: Average soil with good drainage Garden Mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
The potted garden mums that are sold so prevalently for fall display are typically forced into late bloom by commercial growers, who keep them closely pruned back until late July, waiting until early fall to put them out for sale at nurseries. If you are growing your own potted mums from transplants purchased in spring, they will be likely to bloom in mid to late summer unless you pinch off all buds and keep the shoots pruned back. If you stop pruning in early July, the plants will likely flesh out and begin blooming in September.
Although they are perennials, mums are more typically grown as annuals, discarded after blooming ends with the frost of late fall. But potted mums can sometimes be overwintered if you cut back the shoots and place them in a sheltered location over the coldest months. Put the pots back into a warm sunny location in spring, and keep them closely pruned again until mid-summer.
USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9 Color Varieties: Lavender, white, yellow, red, and orange Sun Exposure: Full sun Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil
Although not a flower, this ornamental grass makes a good centerpiece for large mixed containers, presented best when surrounded by cascading plants. The stalks are topped with attractive bristling seed heads in late summer, which last well into fall. The plant has an arching, clumping growth habit and grows up to 5 feet tall. Purple fountain grass is a warm-weather perennial often grown as an annual, since it grows quickly from seeds.
USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11 Color Varieties: Burgundy red Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Soil Needs: Medium-moisture, well-drained soil
To keep your garden interesting even in winter, choose plants like sedum that can overwinter with continuously interesting flowers and foliage.
Taken from https://www.thespruce.com/five-great-plants-fall-container-gardens-
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell phone 641-903-9365