It’s time to change out your containers!

November 11, 2014

I was recently having a conversation with someone who said that there was no point in planting containers now since we are approaching winter…

What?!? I had to bite my tongue. Because as I see it winter is the time we need the most color. In summer bountiful plants and color surround us, but in winter we are blanketed in a gray mist and rain for months on end. Sigh…I am already dreaming of spring.

Fragrant Daphne in Container (600x800)

Changing out your containers now is a great way to replenish pots that have faded from their bright summer colors with evergreens in rich bronzy colors and textures that will look stunning from fall until spring.

There are some great cold-hardy plants that will positively thrive in your containers. Consider using interesting color combinations, bright pops of color, and of course interesting textures that can add some great dimension and character. You should start with selecting a few key plants…the ‘bones’ of the container if you will.

Winter Container (600x800)

Some plants that you should consider as a part of your basic design include the following:

  • Grasses
  • Conifers
  • Small evergreen shrubs
  • Evergreen ferns and perennials

Evergreen grasses are a great addition; particularly for layering plants of different heights and textures. Black Mondo grass, and many varieties of Carex (actually a sedge, not a grass) are two examples that will work beautifully in your containers.

Heuchera and Eupohorbia Mixed Container (600x800)

Dwarf conifers can also add some great depth to your design, so be sure to pick some out that stand out in your containers. Because they are so slow growing dwarf conifers can be expensive, which makes them a great option for containers since you can buy them small now and plant them in your garden in a couple of years when they have outgrown the container. Not only do they provide rich color and year-round structure, but they are largely maintenance free.

Fall container garden in Snohomish

Opting for evergreen plants that boast interesting shapes and colors is of course a great option. Some that you might want to consider include Pieris, Osmanthus, Lonicera, Heucheras, Heaths and Heathers, Euphorbia, Vaccinium, Nandina, Pieris, Daphne, evergreen ferns and trailing plants. Your garden local center should be able to offer you a great selection of plants that will meet your needs.

Pieris Winter Container Garden (600x800)

Planning ahead…

Just because you are planting your fall containers does not mean you can’t look forward to the spring months now and make a plan to continue adding to the aesthetic appeal of your containers.

Consider just how beautiful it is to welcome spring with some stunning bulbs that burst into bright yellows, reds, purples, and more. Pick out a good collection of tulips, daffodils and other bulbs that will provide you with some great spring color and texture.

When spring does roll around, you can easily spruce up your evergreen plants with vibrant flowering annuals or a splash of extra color with Coleus, Fuchsia, Begonia, Verbena, Lantana, Calabrachoa, and trailing sweet potato vines.

Bold Contrast Container Garden (532x800)

Your fall and winter containers are your opportunity to add a bit of additional color and texture to your outdoor spaces. If you want a sense of instant gratification fill them up with lots of colors and texture, or you can leave them a plenty of room so that they can remain in the pots for a couple of years. The most important rule is that there are NO rules…just have fun with them!

We’d love to hear what are some of your favorite plants for fall containers. Drop us a line below!




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