It’s very possible that by now those pots and hanging baskets that were so beautiful in June and July may be looking a little “tired” and not so energetic. Well, all is not lost! There are things that you can do now to rejuvenate those containers and have them looking great for the fall! While deciduous trees and shrubs may “steal the show” in the fall some things you can do to help your containers compliment if not compete with these “stars” in a few weeks.

The first thing you can do for your containers is to give them a haircut! There is still time to trim back plants such as petunias, calibrachoa and sweet alyssum. Give them another shot of fertilizer every two weeks and you’ll find that in no time these plants will be revitalized and start blooming again. If you continue fertilizing the containers through the end of September they should continue to look great right up until frost.

Another way to have beautiful containers this fall is too just “freshen “them up a little bit. You may find that your containers have some plants that continue to look great and some that are spent without a real chance to be revived. This means you can keep the plants that are doing well and replace the ones that are worn-out. The good news is that there are plants that flourish in the fall that are available now. Pansies are a great choice in containers as are asters and chrysanthemums. If you are looking for plants that are a little more upright than try some taller snapdragons or maybe you have some zinnias already growing in your garden that you can transplant into the container. If you are looking for foliage more than flowers try to plant some ivy, sedum or even lettuce in the container. The only limit is really your imagination!

If these options aren’t the best for you there is no reason you can’t start new containers or remove plants from existing ones and replant them. You’ll want to use soil that is made specifically for pots and don’t forget to add drainage holes to new containers! Starting from scratch has its advantages as you can get creative with the containers themselves. For example, when I think of fall I think of pumpkins. How about some purple pansies or a white chrysanthemum growing in a pumpkin? Don’t want to carve out the pumpkin? How about placing some smaller pumpkins or gourds on the soil surface of a larger pot and planting around them? 

While pansies, asters and chrysanthemums are probably the most popular fall plants there are some others that you may want to try. Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is great in a container as is ornamental kale.  Why not plant some herbs such as chives or rosemary? Creating a beautiful container for the fall is a great DIY project. Choose a container that appeals to you and then find plants that spill over the edges and have eye-catching flowers or foliage and you’ll have beautiful containers in no time.

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