I have a mild infatuation with chrysanthemums in the fall and normally all I want are mums, mums and more mums for my outdoor planters this time of year. They're colorful, festive and pretty much shout "Hey, it's fall!"
Plus they are so easy to find. You can grab one while picking up a box of wine at the local grocery store.
But this year I decided to go outside my comfort zone and do an entire container planter for fall with ONLY foliage plants. I know, I'm getting wild here!
Plants Used In My Fall Foliage Planter
Chidori Red Flowering Kale (Brassica oleracea) - I have to admit, it was hard to not add a traditional mum in these pots, so the next best thing was a flowering kale. The colors on the chidori red variety are beautiful.
Purple Baron Ornamental Millet (Pennisetum glaucum) - To me, this plant looks like a cross between field corn (the huge leaves) and cattails (the spikes). You may just possibly have to find this at a nursery, because it is not as commonly found at grocery stores and big box stores. But well worth the extra effort!
Mega Caramel Coral Bells (Heuchera villosa) - LARGE caramel colored foliage with purple undersides!!! This is the larger variety of the regular sized (non-mega) caramel coral bells and are a little bit "showier" in pots than their smaller cousins.
Sugar And Spice Foamflower (Tiarella hybrid) - The foliage on this plant is to die for. Its bright green foliage with a burgundy center area works so well when used in combination with plants in any of the traditional fall colors - reds, purples, yellows.
How To Make Your Fall Foliage Planter
Fill your urn or other planter with potting soil.
I bought my urn at Lowe's a few years ago, but Amazon has similar urns you can buy HERE.
TIP: You can make your planter lighter and use less potting soil (that stuff gets expensive) by putting some of the plastic nursery pots in the bottom to take up room.
When taking your plants out of the nursery plastic pots, slide the plants out of the pots and then cut the bottoms of the root balls if they are heavily snarled. This allows them to absorb nutrients easier and does not hurt the plants.
I used a razor blade knife to make vertical cuts on the bottom and sides of the plants to free up the roots a bit.
Plant your ornamental millet in the back of the container.
Add the flowering kale in front of that. I tilted mine somewhat to make it look as if it is growing up and out of the urn.
Place your coral bells to one side
and your foamflower to the other side.
Water the plants in well and stand back and admire your colorful fall foliage.
And the best part of this planter is after you are done with it for fall, you can replant the coral bells and foamflower in your flower beds for next year. They're perennials!!!
No such luck on the millet and flowering kale as they are both annuals. Why can't everything be perennials!
I created a few lists for you of different plants that are good to use in your fall containers.
10 great foliage plants to use in container gardens this fall:
- Grasses and millet
- Ornamental peppers
- Creeping Jenny
- Swiss Chard
- Flowering kale and cabbage
- Coral bells
OK, I understand that people love their mums! And their moms, but we're talking mums here.
You can always mix up foliage and flowering plants if you want. I'll allow it as long as you promise to use at least one new-to-you foliage plant this year!
10 great flowering plants to use in container gardens this fall:
- Million Bells
- Flowering stock
Click here to get a FREE printable copy of the fall plant lists.
Are you strictly a mum lover or are you branching out into the colorful foliage plants for fall?
View the web story version of this article HERE.
Other posts you may enjoy:
How To Make Fall Outdoor Planters
How To Make Outdoor Christmas Planters
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy here.)
Kris @ Junk Chic Cottage
Good Morning Pam. You crack me up. I love seeing your fun personality and sense of humor in your posts. Just make me smile.
Your fall porch decor is beautiful. The outdoor planter is amazing and beautiful. I hope we start to get our fall weather back. It has been in the 80's and soooo humid here the last few days. They are saying this weekend in Illinois we will be back to normal temps in the 70's. I hope so. Happy New Week.
Ah, thank you! Fall will get here eventually I guess!
I love the green pumpkin. I have not seen them in the stores in California. I am counting the days till fall begins so I can decorate my porch for fall. I am inspired by your decorating style.
I love all the quirky colored ones, although I have heard it was a weird year for pumpkin growing. The weather around here was odd and the pumpkins aren't as large as they have been in other years.
I think with technology they are playing with weather, and other things in the air, that’s what I have found out
Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
That is so beautiful, Pam! And I love the green pumpkin with it...brings out the purple even more!
Thanks Linda. It was fun to do something a little different this year!
LOve the planter. sweet pumpkin too.
Thank you! Normally I can't get enough mums, but this year I was feeling a little adventurous 🙂
I love flowering cabbage plants! for the fall, very festive and adds so much lovely fall colors.
I've used every one except the foamflower - so now I'm on the hunt. Love your arrangement, I've always loved the millet/coral bell combo. Cheers to a happy fall to you and yours!
This is so beautiful! Every year I buy the kale or cabbage plant to decorate with and I kill it almost instantly so I gave up on those! Pinning!
Hi, I'm featuring your fall foliage planter at #merrymonday tonight and hope you will check it out when you get a chance. Thanks for linking up with us!
The planter is beautiful! My favorite is the purple cabbage. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!
Ooooohhh...beautiful! It might be kind of late this year, but I will try something like this next year! Just gorgeous!
You've been PINKED! Your post was a hit on the Classy Flamingos Blog Party. Come by and pick up a badge this week at poinsettiadr.com You rock!