10 Inspired autumn plant pot choices for your home
Summer’s over. Which means it’s the perfect time to refresh your containers. Here’s how to create awe-inspiring autumn plant pots to add colour and texture to your garden.
Summer’s flowers may be fading, but that doesn’t mean that autumn has to be dreary. There are heaps of ways to add interest to your pots this season, whether you’re big on container gardening or have a few planters on the patio.
Pots for autumn container displays
Before you pot up your plant, sure you pick the perfect planter. Think about the size and shape. If you’re planting a tree or a shrub a large plant pot will be in order. For mixed containers, go for a medium-sized planter. Terracotta pots are classic and these orange planters go with all sorts of garden aesthetics. Hanging baskets and windox boxes are a great way to play with levels, and square or rectangular containers can have a formal or modern vibe.
The colour of your autumn plant pots is also key. Green containers will add lush tones as other colours fade and change. Blue pots will offer a cool, calm feeling. Black plant pots and grey planters will offer drama and strong silhouettes, whereas pale planters in pink, white or pastel shades will add cute cottage garden feels.
10 autumn plant ideas that are perfect for pots
So many plants are at their peak in autumn. Here are some inspired ideas for seasonal containers that will keep your garden looking swell all season long.
There’s nothing quite so spectacular as the fiery tones many trees take on before their shed their leaves in autumn. Embrace the spectacle in your own garden by grabbing a deep and roomy pot and bedding in a small acer with flaming foliage. Or go for a show-stopping cornus, for colour-changing leaves which give way to bright red or vibrant yellow winter stems.
Try: Acer palmatum 'Skeeter's Broom', Cornus alba Sibirica or Hamamelis 'Amethyst'
Fabulous autumn flowers
Autumn is a blooming wonderful season, packed with gregarious colour and some seriously impressive flowers. Think larger-than-life, frothy dahlias in jewel tones, perky yellow rudbeckias, late alstroemerias and salvias, and colour-popping chrysanthumums. Pot them up in a patio planter and put them in pride of place while they’re in bloom. The bees will enjoy them as much as you, especially as forage gets harder to find.
Try: Dahlia hybrida 'Dahlegria', Chrysanthemum Orange or Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Beautiful, bright bedding
The quickest way to make your autumn garden shine is with an injection of seasonal bedding. Violas and pansies and cheap and highly cheerful. Pack them into pots and add a few ferns or some miniature, trailing ivy plants to make the display look full and fabulous.
Try: Viola cornuta 'Honeybee', Viola 'Purple Face' or Pansy ‘True Blue’
Winning autumn foliage
Ferns and ivy are just two plants with fantastic foliage in autumn. Heuchera is always a winner at this time of year too, with different species providing orange or purple leaves as an alternative to good old green. Cineraria’s silvery leaves will add low-growing contrast to container displays, phormium’s spiky leaves will offer height and a colourful, eye-catching accent….or you could go all out and play an ornamental cabbage as a wildcard. Evergreen plants like euonymous, hebe and holly are also strong contenders for autumn pot parties.
Try: Cineraria ‘Silver dust’, Brassica oleracea 'Round Rose', Heuchera ‘Champagne or Phormium ‘Evening Glow’
One pot herb garden
Fill an autumnal planter with fragrant and delicious herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary or mint to create your own one pot herb garden. Sling it by the back door and nip out with a pair of scissors to snip what you need while cooking.
Try: Sage’ Icterina’ or Thyme ‘Wine and Roses’
Harvest a haul of tasty delights from your own back garden in autumn by potting up some containers with edible veg and salads. If sown earlier in the year, crops like chard, beetroot, tomatoes and courgettes will still be productive. And you may still get some late sown lettuce coming through to fill up your plate.
Try: Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ or Tomato ‘Moneymaker’
Add some autumn architecture to your container garden by introducing a few ornamental grasses. Miscanthus and tufted penisetum will provide rustling, swaying height, whereas silver or bronze-coloured carex will kit your pots out with low-lying form and froth.
Try: Miscanthus sinesis, Carex ‘Frosted Curls’ or Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum'
Why complicate things when, sometimes, a statement plant is all you need? Shrubs like skimmia and euonymous are popular for a reason, providing alluring foliage and helping your garden to feel more plentiful. Looking to smarten things up? A smartly clipped buxus by the front door oozes sophistication.
Try: Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ or Buxus Pyramid
Autumn plants may be stunning on their own, but as part of a mix they can become so much more. Try planting two or three varieties together, combining textures and clashing or complimenting colours to great effect. Underplant dahlias or rudbeckias with coloured heucheras or heather, and add a fluffy ornamental grass to set the whole thing off…or come up with your own display.
Try: Calluna vulgaris 'Starlight Trio', Festuca glauca 'Intense Blue' and Rudbeckia Gloriosa Daisies
From dainty cyclamen, colchicum and crocuses, to eye-popping pink nerines, autumn is when many fabulous flowering bulbs come into their own. Plant them up in a containers or troughs in late summer to enjoy a beauteous, bountiful display later in the year. Let them naturalise and they’ll spread and reward you for years to come.