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Today I am sharing the simplest fall container garden guide. We always think of mums as the ultimate fall flower, but there are so many more that give beautiful autumn colors.
Fall flowers, mixed in with beautiful pumpkins equals the perfect combination for your backyard, patio, front porch, or any place you want!
That is the beauty about container gardens!
Since the summers are so long and hot here in Texas, I start dreaming of fall weather around August. Fall is mild, sometimes warm, but much more enjoyable than summer. It is the time of year you can actually go sit outside, read a book, do yard work, hang out, or take a long walk without dying of heat!
So, fall is my favorite!
Let’s talk about the simplest fall container garden guide so you can create the perfect spot this season.
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Step One. Pick Your Plants
Obviously, you need to find the perfect plants. I don’t worry as much about longevity for fall flowers. I just want something simple, affordable, with a punch of color.
The number one choice. I love mums of all colors! They are the perfect fall plant for most zones and usually do well in the winter too. Check out my mum care tips here.
This may not seem like an obvious choice, but these are great fall flowers. When I took horticulture in college, we sold Dahlias in the fall and they were popular. Then, I went to the Dallas Arboretum last year and saw hundreds of beautiful Dahlias (I took the picture below there last fall!). I am convinced they are the perfect fall flower!
These come in so many different shades of color. The picture below shows the red shade which is my favorite!. They are very hardy in colder zones too which is why they are so popular in the fall. These also do well mixed with other fall plants in a container.
Check out these care tips.
Asters do well in places with cool, wet summers. We definitely DO NOT have that in Texas, but they bloom well into the fall. I have planted this in the fall before and they produce really pretty flower colors that go well with all the golds and browns of autumn. These do best with well-drained soil! I know that these have a tendency to get powdery mildew. See note below on my natural chemist tips for treating that 🙂
I bought one of these earlier in the summer. Our extreme Texas heat almost killed it, but I put it in the shade, fed it some homemade plant food, and kept the soil damp. It bounced back and looks pretty again. These are a great flower for additional fall blooms too. You will see these mixed in with many fall containers.
Heleniums are a perfect color of fall. There are actually many different breeds of heleniums for all over the US and also Europe. The only I always find in Texas is a native wildflower and produces a pretty yellow orange color. I have put these in pots and they do well with good drainage!
I know many who grow these form bulbs. They do really well in containers. From my own experience, they don’t like very wet soil. Other than that, they are pretty easy to grow!
Step Two. Caring for Fall Containers
Typically, fall container plants will start needing less water once autumn weather sets in. You have to be cautious not to water like you did in summer.
In the autumn, the days are shorter, so it is important to make sure your fall containers get enough sunlight. I like to place them where they get some good afternoon sun especially when the days cool down.
When you plant your fall plants together in one pot, make sure they have the same type of sun needs!
Before it freezes, plants still need good nutrients. In the fall, I like to add a little homemade plant food to the soil around the plant.
I also, use egg shells crushed up for calcium and coffee grounds for added nitrogen. Mix this up together and sprinkle it lightly around the soil. This will deliver nutrients for a few weeks and the blooms will be awesome!
In my climate, I have more trouble with disease in the fall than I do in the summer. The weather is rainier and cooler which can promote fungal diseases of plants.
Even though we didn’t talk about this, I always have to treat my roses for black spots in the fall. If you have black spots on any other plants, this treatment works great.
The powdery mildew I mentioned above can be treated with some natural homemade remedies. baking soda, oil mixture. This mixture has 1 tablespoon of baking soda plus 2 1/2 tablespoons of horticultural oil per 1 gallon of water. It seemed to be really effective for that mildew!
Another option for all types of disease control is this organic fungicide that won’t harm anything beneficial.
Step 3: Preparing for Winter
Most of the potted plants I purchase, are just for the fall. Some, like the mums, I will keep through the winter.
I have actually had a mum plant that I left outside in a pot all through the freezing cold temperatures and it came back in the spring!
Now, I do a little more to keep them healthy in the winter.
- Cut back the stems and foliage after the first freeze. I usually cute it back a few inches.
- I bring it into the garage during the winter months. Always keep the soil damp, but don’t over water while it’s dormant. It will kill the roots.
- After the freeze chance is gone in the spring, bring them back outside into the sunshine. I will feed them some plant food and water lightly until it starts growing again!
Make sure to check out this fall check list for busy people for the rest of your home this fall!