19 Annuals For Fall Containers (Easy To Grow!)

Today we are sharing 19 annuals for fall containers that will add beauty + color to your porch!

A fall container garden will fill up your patio with color, texture and whimsy.  Luckily, there are a lot of plants to choose from!  

pink and yellow lantana growing in an autumn flower container

There is nothing quite like the air turning crisp and the leaves changing color. Autumn stirs my soul, but there’s a part of me that always longs to cling to summer.  Perhaps because summer is so very short in our part of the world. I try to get as much out of my flowers as I can before cold nights settle in for the winter.

Many flowers that bloom in your summer garden will continue to flower all fall until the first frost sets in.  

These fall-flowering plants can be moved from the summer garden to the porch. Then accented with ornamental grass, gourds, and pumpkins!  Get more fall aesthetic ideas here.

snapdragons growing in a container in fall

Depending on your zone, some of these plants can be easily over wintered and treated as perennials.  To overwinter, put your fall containers in a dry, warm spot like a garage or shed, and add some insulation around the outside of the container with cardboard.  

Types Of Annuals That Thrive in Fall

The autumn months of September, October, and November bring cooler temperatures and shorter days.  

Many plants can continue to thrive during these weather changes if given the proper care.  And there are specific flowers that actually love cooler weather (like snapdragons and pansies).

These summer annuals will carry over to fall with a little loving care. If you deadhead your flowers and give them flower fertilizer they will keep blooming until temperatures drop and frost hits.

19 Annuals For Fall Containers + Pots

These fall annuals will grow well in container gardens and brighten up your porch steps or patio all fall!  

Make sure your container has drainage holes to avoid root rot and other disease.

Please note that many of these plants need to be purchased PRIOR to autumn!  You may need to take notes and plan for the next season. Some plants, like mums, anemones and pansies, can be purchased during the fall.

1. Coral Bells

red coral bells in a fall container garden

Coral bells feature gorgeous foliage with elegant blooms on long stalks.  Also known as Heuchera, these mounding plants bloom until late fall and grow well in pots and containers.

These unique plants are available in many vibrant colors: red, purple, green, amber and yellow!

Coral bells need soil that drains well and is kept consistently moist soil.  The leaves will change throughout the colder temperatures of autumn: often morphing into a deep crimson color.

2. Snapdragons

Snapdragons growing alongside pansies in a fall container garden

Snapdragons love cooler temperatures and they thrive in spring, late summer and fall.  These vibrant bloomers have unique flower heads shaped like dragons and make excellent cut flowers.  

For best results, choose a dwarf variety for pots and containers.  

Snapdragons are a great choice for partial shade.  They love moist, well draining soil.  When given proper care snapdragons that bloom in the spring will re bloom in the fall!

Learn how to grow snapdragons in pots here.

3. Pansies

blue pansies for fall container garden

Pansies are the perfect fall flower and one of our favorite annual plants.  They are available in many rich jewel-toned colors and are a great addition to window boxes, containers and flower beds.  

Pansies are easy to grow.  Give them well-drained soil, about 6 hours of sunlight per day, and consistent watering. Keep pansies out of full sun on hot days!

Pair pansies with sweet potato vine + ornamental cabbage for lots of texture and visual interest.  These low-maintenance flowers will add a gorgeous pop of color to your autumn displays!

4. Ornamental Peppers

ornamental peppers for fall container gardens

Ornamental peppers will bring lots of spicy color to your autumn patio.  They come in many colors from yellow and red to black and purple.  

Ornamental peppers need to be set out in spring in order to develop their vibrant colors in autumn (they can often be purchased in fall as well, however).  

These festive plants are easy to care for: keep the soil consistently moist and place the pot in full sun.  Give them fertilizer when the peppers first sprout.

Shaped like light bulbs, ornamental peppers give a nod to the coming of the holidays- all while keeping the vibrant spirit of fall.  As an added bonus, these beautiful plants are edible!

5. Black-Eyed Susan

black eyed susans

With vibrant gold petals and rich black centers, it’s easy to see why Black-Eyed Susan are a popular autumn plant.  They are often grown as a low maintenance perennial in the flower beds, but miniature varieties can thrive in containers.  

Check out Little-Gold Star for a mini variety that grow well in containers.  

Black-Eyed Susan need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight in order to thrive.  Check the soil daily and water when the top two inches of soil are dry.  Make sure to fertilizer your potted Black-Eyed Susan with a quality flower fertilizer.  

6. Ornamental Grasses

ornamental grass grown in a fall container

Adding texture and interest to the patio, ornamental grasses are low maintenance and easy to grow.  Many ornamental grasses bloom in autumn, adding beauty to the fall landscape.  

Layer a variety of container sizes to add interest, then add in cascading plants like sweet potato vine and petunias. Try Purple Fountain Grass for a rich display of mauve hues or Evergreen Autumn Sedge for a vibrant bronze color.  

These fall-blooming perennials will come back each year if you keep them protected from a hard freeze.  But, they can also be used as annuals.

Adding movement to the fall landscape, ornamental grasses seem to wave a cheery good bye to the summer season.   They also add texture and interest with their seed pods and flowers, making them a good option for a fall bouquet!

Get more fall aesthetic ideas here.

7. Sweet Alyssum

Small and charming, Sweet Alyssum is the perfect dainty bloomer for the fall container garden. This cool season flower blooms once in the spring but will often bloom again in the fall.

Sweet Alyssum is incredibly easy to grow and is perfect for the busy gardener.  Their tendency to spread makes them an excellent flower for containers- they will cascade down the edges of the pot in a beautiful display of color.

Sweet Alyssum is available in pink, lavender, purple and white flowers.

8. Sweet Potato Vine

sweet potato vine growing with lantana and petunias

A neon green plant that cascades magically down the sides of containers, Sweet Potato Vine adds color and texture to containers. This gorgeous annual adds dimension and vibrancy to planters.

Accent Sweet Potato Vine with snapdragons and pansies for a multi layered show of floral beauty!

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Choose small, compact varieties for containers and give the vine at least six hours of full sun. Like all our plants listed here, sweet potato vine needs rich, well draining potting soil in order to thrive.  

This elegant mounding plant will look lovely up until the first frosts.  Take a cutting or two and grow a plant indoors over winter!

9. Chrysanthemums

red chrysanthemums growing in fall

Mums are the belle of the fall ball and make perfect container plantings.  

In fact, fall is the time of year to pick up these small shrubs when out running errands. Chrysanthemums can be found in abundance at nurseries and big box stores in the fall.

Famous for their bright colors, chrysanthemums are available in a wide variety of colors: white, red, purple, pink, yellow and more!   One of our favorite fall plants, we love to accent our porch with pumpkins, mums and pansies.  Add in a few stalks of corn and colorful gourds for a perfect fall display!

Make sure to water mums with a gentle stream of water underneath the flowers and foliage. The flower buds are prone to rot if they get wet.  

10. Swiss Chard

red and green swiss chard

Featuring rich green leaves with red veins and a tolerance for cold temperatures, Swiss Chard is one of our favorite ornamental plants for fall.  

This low-maintenance plant does not attract insects and is often found growing alongside pansies and snapdragons.  As an added bonus, you can add Swiss Chard to your fall bounty and enjoy it’s nutritious leaves in your salad.  

Give Swiss Chard full sun and fertile, well draining soil.  Water regularly.

11. Ornamental Cabbage

Ornamental Cabbage boasts saturated hues of purple and green that light up the fall garden. These biennial plants have been bred specifically for their appearance and add a lot of texture and vibrancy to the fall garden.  

Ornamental cabbage are easy to grow in containers and prefer the cool temperatures of fall (they will bolt in the heat of summer!).  These plants are perfect for autumn as their best colors burst forth after a fall frost.

12. Marigolds

marigolds make excellent annuals for fall

Marigolds will illuminate your porch with their vibrant tone of orange, red and yellow.  These attractive annuals are an easy summer flower to grow, and if deadheaded regularly they will bloom well into fall. 

Marigolds are often grown next to the garden because their strong scent repels deer and rabbits.

These eye-catching flowers need full sun and fertile, well draining soil.  They are somewhat drought tolerant and should be deadheaded regularly.

13. Petunias

orange and yellow petunia flowers make a great container plant for fall

Petunias are one of our favorite annuals: their cascading flowers bring JOY to any summer garden.  And did you know that petunias will keep blooming well into autumn, up until the first frosts of fall?

Keep petunias deadheaded for a lovely splash of color in your container gardens.  And make sure to fertilize these flowers regularly: if you do so they will produce abundant blooms!

14. Japanese Anemone

With perky flower heads perched atop elegant stems, Japanese Anemone will brighten up your fall container garden with their colorful elegance.  

Use a larger container for Japanese Anemone so the plant can establish itself and thrive. Then add Sweet Alyssum to cascade over the edges of the container for a colorful fall display.

Japanese Anemone love rich, well drained soil and need partial shade in order to thrive. 

These quaint flowers have a charming cottage garden feel and will add a touch of whimsy (and dare we say joy) to your container garden.

15. Toad Lily

Toad Lily sport unique flowers that resemble orchids.  Blooming in late summer to early fall, these shade loving plants can thrive in containers.  

Give them fertile, well draining soil and make sure your container has drainage holes.  Fertilize Toad Lily in the spring to ensure abundant blooms in the fall!

16. Dahlias

Dahlias begin to bloom in mid summer and will continue to bloom for a long time, making them the perfect season-bridging plant.  

Choose dwarf varieties for pots and containers, and make sure to give your dahlias plenty of fertilizer to keep up the bloom production. 

Deadhead dahlias regularly to extend the bloom time well into fall (these vibrant flowers will bloom up until first frosts!). 

Give dahlias lots of sunlight and good soil drainage.  Dahlias in pots need regular watering in order to thrive, but make sure not to drown your plants.   Winter over your potted dahlias when cool temperatures set in by putting them in a sun room or garage.

The perfect autumn bouquet:  Dahlias, ornamental grass, and a few snapdragons!

17. Fuchsias

Did you know that fuchsias will bloom beautifully until the first frosts of autumn?  These delicate flowers are available in bold colors of pink, purple and even white.  

Fuchsias are a famous shade plant and are often seen cascading from hanging baskets, but you can plant them in pots and containers as well!

18.  Lantana

If you love cheerful color that lasts all autumn than Lantana is a good choice for you.  This beautiful bloomer attracts bees and butterflies and is easy to grow.  

Plant Lantana in full sun with nutrient rich, well draining soil, and make sure your container has drainage holes.

​Lantana is one of our favorite plants: it’s perky flowers come in every color of the rainbow and they make a great flower for both autumn and summer containers! Plus, this lovely bloomer is low maintenance and easy to grow.

​19.  Dusty Miller

Reliable and hardy, Dusty Miller features silver foliage and vibrant yellow flowers.  

Feature the silvery toned Dusty Miller alongside vibrant colored pansies for a rich play on fall colors. Give them full sun and slightly acidic, well draining soil.

Fall Container Annuals Ideas

Here’s a few quick tips on how to put together annuals for fall containers:

  • Choose a container appropriate for the size of your plants.  Don’t try to squeeze too many into the same pot!
  • Feature fall container gardens with lots of autumn colors:  gold, yellow, deep blue, orange and crimson reds are some of our favorites!
  • Layer your container size for visual interest.  Set large containers behind smaller pots, and scatter containers around your garden beds as well.
  • Be sure to fertilize your flowers regularly.  It takes a lot of nutrients for plants to produce flowers in both summer AND fall, so be sure to support your flowers with a quality flower fertilizer
snapdragons, pansies and petunias make a beautiful fall container display
Snapdragons, pansies and petunias make a beautiful fall container display

Are you looking to buy plants for fall in late summer?  Be sure to check local nurseries for in season stock for your autumn container garden.   While you’re at it, check out perennial options that are often on sale at end of summer!

Final Thoughts On Annuals For Fall Containers

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best fall annuals for containers and pots.

As cool weather sets in, you can still enjoy vibrant foliage plants and dazzling flowers well into fall.  Choose plants with a wide range of colors and feature your fall pots where you can see them- you’ll be enjoying your autumn plants until frosts hit at the end of the season!

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