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5 Tips for Getting Your Planters Ready for Fall

fall annual containers ted lare design & build

It’s time to give your flower planters a bit of sprucing up for the glorious fall season. With a few touches, you can embrace the rich jewel tones and cozy feelings of fall and harvest season, and get several more weeks of beauty from your porch pots or planters.

Here are 5 tips to get your planter pots looking beautiful just in time for fall in Des Moines.

Coleus for fall landscape at Ted Lare

1. Out with the Old, In with the New

Many flowers in planters are starting to look rough and have reached their limits now. Dig them all out, toss them on the compost pile, and replace them with something bold. Think rich colors, like the bright purple or red leaves on coral bells, purple oxalis, purple sweet potato vine, coleus, or ornamental kale. Don’t forget a little greenery, though, with plants like creeping jenny or sedums.

Change up the texture, spiky plants with wide leaves like dracaena are tough and beautiful, while short blue fescue adds a hint of cool blue and a softer texture.

2. Add Some Height

Add some tall ornamental grasses to your planters for height and structure. Consider colorful options like New Zealand flax and purple flame maiden grass, purple millet, or ones with interesting seedheads like Ravenna grass or pampas grass.

Pansies in fall container at Ted Lare

3. Replace Old Annuals with Cool-Season Ones

You don’t have to ditch flowers yet completely. There are a few options that prefer the cooler temperatures of fall and will last beautiful for many weeks yet. Pansies are easy to care for and are available in a rainbow of gorgeous colors, and they like cooler temperatures. Chrysanthemums are another fall container classic, usually available in all the best shades of color. Miniature sunflowers are also a wonderful seasonal addition to planters. Million bells, or calibrachoa, will also last well through the fall if planted now.

4. Incorporate Dried Flowers and Colorful Twigs

Dried elements, like strawflowers, bunches of lavender, dried hydrangea seedheads, allium seedheads, and groups of colorful twigs, like red dogwood, add texture, and a visual reminder of the harvest season. Dried Chinese lantern flowers are perfect for a fall theme; they look like a bunch of tiny little pumpkins in a planter.

Pumpkin and fall container at Ted Lare

5. Pop a Pumpkin In and Add a Flourish

What’s a more perfect symbol of fall than pretty pumpkins and gourds everywhere? Add some gourds to your planters for a pop of color and a different texture from the plants. You can’t beat a classic orange pumpkin, but some of the more interesting gourds with unique textures look just as amazing.

Finish off your fall planters with some seasonal flourishes like burlap bows, and maybe a string of warm white twinkle lights to keep your planters look cozy and welcoming even after the sun goes down. 


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Swing by the garden center for some gorgeous fall container inspiration, and pick a few new plants, planters, or decor items for your fall planters.



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