The 21 Best Fall Flowers You Can Grow in Containers

If you want a container garden that looks impressive in the fall, all you need to do is find the right plant varieties. There are more fall-flowering plants than you likely expected, and each one will surely improve your floral displays in the later parts of the growing season. This article will introduce you to a few of the best fall flowers for containers that you should grow in your garden.  

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Best autumn flowers you can grow in containters

21 Fall Flowers for Containers

The list of plants below includes both annual and perennial species. Each one has a distinct appearance that includes fall flowers that you are sure to love. The common trait of all these plant options is that they all will grow well in a container and will boast ornamental value in autumn. Read on to introduce yourself to 21 of the best flowers for fall container gardens.

Asters

There are several types of asters that you can grow in your container garden. Some options are perennials that will return year after year. However, there are also annual asters such as the China aster, which is one of the most popular varieties. Whether you select an annual or perennial aster, you can expect the plant to show fall flowers that resemble the shape of a daisy and often have a bright purple hue.

Autumn Crocus

Perhaps you are familiar with the famous crocus plant that emerges from the ground before nearly any other plant in early spring. What you may not know is that there is a plant that achieves a similar effect in the fall. Autumn crocus is a tiny plant with vase-shaped purple flowers that stand just inches above the soil. As the name suggests, these blooms arrive in the early fall.

Begonias

While begonias first show their flowers in summer, those blooms will last until the first frost arrives. These flowers come in shades of red, orange, and yellow. The leaves also have an attractive glossy appearance. What makes this annual even more valuable is that it maintains a compact size, making it ideal for container settings.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susans are popular perennial plants that have iconic flowers. Those flowers have a simple shape consisting of a black seed cone at the center with a set of yellow petals encircling it. You can enjoy those blooms from mid-summer through late fall.

Celosia

Finding an annual plant that is more impressive than celosia is a tall order. Although this plant reaches no more than a foot and a half at most, its flowers are nearly impossible to miss. Those blooms are upright and feathery and have vibrant colors. Those colors include red, purple, yellow, and more.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums, also known as ‘mums,’ may be the most popular fall annual plant for container gardens. This plant appears in countless fall garden displays for a good reason. It fits well in most pots and comes with copious amounts of flowers that seem to spill out of the container. Those flowers appear at just the right time to make this plant one of the most emblematic of the fall season.

Coneflower

Coneflower is a perennial plant with a prominent central seed cone that is the inspiration for its name. Around that large cone, you’ll find long petals that are typically purple, although there are cultivars with other petal colors. This plant is on the larger side for a container plant, but it remains a suitable option if you want a fall bloomer.

Coral Bells

This entry on the list is one of the smaller perennials that you can find at your local garden center. Coral bells grow to be no more than half a foot. Much of that height comes from the small flowers that stand on long stems above the foliage. The flowers appear in summer and may last until the fall. But whether the flowers are present or not, the leaves will give your container garden plenty of color and texture on their own.

Cosmos

If you want colorful fall flowers that stand on long stems, then cosmos are a great planting option for you. This plant comes in many versions, including two annual varieties that are most popular in the United States. Cosmos also come in different flower colors but usually maintain the same flower shape, which includes a bright yellow center and petals with frilly edges.

Globe Amaranth

A beautiful set of flowers is the reward that most gardeners look forward to when planting their favorite container plants. But a globe amaranth plant proves that such plants can add value in other ways. This plant will be a welcome addition for butterflies and other pollinator species in your area. To your benefit, the round, purple flowers of this species will please your eye too.

Goldenrod

In the wild, goldenrod will grow in groups that can spread to fill large meadows. However, you can also grow this plant in a container if you please. If you do, you’ll get to see small clusters of golden flowers every fall. As a perennial, goldenrod will continue to grace your garden with its beauty every fall season. As a native plant, this species will play a key role in supporting the wildlife in your region.

Helenium

Anyone who sees the fall as a time of year lacking in bright flowers has never come across helenium. These native perennial plants reach a mature height of three to five feet and have some of the most striking flowers you can find. The petals often show a combination of reddish-orange and gold that will make your fall container garden look more incredible than ever before.

Impatiens

Impatiens are an amazing annual flower option for those who like to use containers. This plant remains small and easy to manage. Unlike many other flowering plants, it enjoys more shade than you might expect. This gives you the chance to brighten up some areas of low sun exposure with a set of small pinkish fall flowers.

Marigolds

Another fall flower that you cannot neglect as you plant your container garden is the marigold. Marigolds have round flowers with petals that combine red hues with golden ones. The flowers will first appear in spring. However, if you deadhead this plant regularly, you can anticipate ongoing blooms that will last through the fall.

Million Bells

If you take some time to consider the name of this plant, you will soon understand what makes it such a popular container option. Million bells is a plant that blooms with countless bell-shaped flowers. Those flowers persist for the entire growing season and will encourage hummingbirds to visit your yard. Another astounding aspect of this plant is that the flower comes in many unique color combinations.

Pansies

For those who grow annual plants, pansies are some of the most familiar plants around. Fortunately, pansies are also an excellent option for those who won’t fall flowers as well. This plant has a recognizable two-toned flower that can show several different shades. They are also persistent, lasting for nearly the entire growing season, including the later months.

Petunias

With pleasant trumpet-shaped flowers that come in plenty of colors, petunias are another one of the most popular annual container plants. The broad array of color options for petunias includes pink, white, purple, and red. With full sun exposure, these plants will give you great blooms in the spring, summer, and fall. 

Salvia

Salvia plants create captivating bluish-purple spires that are sure to catch the eye of anyone visiting your garden in summer or fall. Those spike-shaped flower clusters grow directly upward and can be as much as three feet tall. They will appear in the summer, but with the right care, there is no reason why they won’t remain a fantastic addition to your container garden in the fall as well.

Stonecrop Sedum

For much of the growing season, stonecrop sedum does not offer much ornamental value. But in late summer and fall, this plant begins to shine. At that time of year, varieties such as ‘Autumn Joy’ start to show off their blooms. The flowers are small but form large clusters. They begin with a pale color before they take on the deep red tint that makes them so attractive.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Many clematis plants bloom early in the season, but the variety known as sweet autumn clematis is a bit different. Rather than sending out its flowers in spring or summer, this plant does so in the fall. When blooming occurs, the flowers of this climbing perennial vine are typically white and very fragrant.

Zinnia

There are many types of zinnias, some of which show single flowers while others have double flowers. What remains consistent across those options is the quality of those flowers when they are in bloom. Each flower has many small petals that form a nearly spherical shape. You’ll be happy to learn that these flowers bloom in the late summer and last into fall while also coming in many different color choices.

Sources:

Callistephus chinensis

‘Autumn Joy’ Stonecrop

Plant a Meadow: Grow Wildflowers for Butterflies

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