Containers for Late Fall

It’s not yet winter, but your summer plants are toast. What can you add to your containers, window boxes and planters to get you through? Try these tough mid-season plants to get you through to winter, or if you're in a more temperate climate, you can use these plants all the way through to spring.

In times of cooler temperatures, planters still require lots of sun and water but often do not grow much without heat.

Give these tough planters a try in any combination:

Lemon Cypress is an evergreen shrub in zones 7-10. It can grow up to 8 feet tall while remaining very narrow. Small sizes of this shrub are very popular for planters and containers, mostly due to their cheerful, chartreuse foliage and excellent fragrance. Colder climates may have continued success with this plant in more protected environments. Do not allow Lemon Cypress to dry out.

Cabbages and kales are always tough-winter winners. Many kales and cabbages are bred to be beautiful, in shades of pink, purple and white, but even the more utilitarian, edible types are quite pretty in containers. Types to try: Lacinato Kale, Ruby Ball Cabbage, Osaka White Cabbage and Nagoya Red Kale.

In cold weather, foliage is king and the king of all foliage plants is easily Coral Bells (or Heuchera). Coral Bells are a tough, evergreen perennial that’s known for growing in shade, although most varieties are quite versatile. Grow them in your autumn or winter pots, then move them to the shade garden for summer. It’s a practical problem solver!

Mini conifers are sold this time of year and look fantastic clustered together in a trough or container. Scaled for miniature railroad gardens, these tiny trees are young specimens of slow-growing evergreens that can stay in containers for years before eventually needing to be moved. These fun options come in a wide array of colors and textures as well. You’d be surprised at the rainbow “evergreen” can be!

Other evergreens, like Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Sky Pencil Holly and small Arborvitaes, work beautifully in pots to bridge between the seasons. Once they outgrow their pots, you can transition them into your landscaping very easily.

Pansies are masters of foul weather, flowering cheerfully under whatever nature throws at them. Choose a burgundy shade that says “autumn” as much as it says “winter” and watch them coast into spring.

You can add planters and try on plants for any season using iScape. Just snap a photo, choose a planter, and play around with plants until you find the right combination for you. It’s so simple, so easy with iScape.