How to Choose Plants for Your Fall Landscape

Fall is here and you may be ready to refresh your porch pots for a festive seasonal look. Here are some of our favorite planting ideas to add to your established pots transforming them for the season.

Project Difficulty


Mosser Lee
Products Needed

What You Will Need

  • Plants from your local Garden Center or Nursery


Fall is a favorite time for gardeners. It’s a time where our hard work of nearly a year really pays off. No matter if you have acres to work or a modest container garden, fall is a great time to reflect and celebrate your garden no matter if it was a successful or possibly a growth year. Here are some of our favorite Fall planting ideas for your containers and landscape. Don’t forget to refer to our post on How to Make a Sweet and Spicy Porch Pot for more tips on extending the lift of your pots.

Just as with container gardening it’s important to choose plants that will either thrill, fill, or spill and ideally all three. But as always feel free to color outside of the box. We love seeing what you come up with so make sure to upload to our Your Creations Page. You always thrill us year after year.

Thrill Plants for Fall Plantings

As fall is often called a celebration of harvest it’s no surprise that many “Thrill” elements of fall plantings include showy vegetables. Take a look at some of our favorite vegetables to thrill with below.

Pumpkins and Squash – Many people have strong opinions on fall gourds some people are pumpkin people and some aren’t but don’t let that stop you. There are so many different types of squash to choose from you are sure to find a variety that fits your aesthetic.

Kale – I love adding decorative Kale to porch pots and window boxes. Kale plants offer stunning foliage adding texture and interest to your plantings. Kale is a great way to break up large cluster plantings and anchor the overall design. Some of our favorite varieties include: Emperor Red, Emperor White, Coral Queen, Pigeon Kale, Red Russian, and Red Chidori

Cabbage – Decorative Cabbage and Kale have a similar look, but planting cabbage you can add that at a much larger scale. If you are in the midwest it’s a a great time to plant as they thrive in cooler temperatures. Some of our favorite decorative varieties include:

Fill Plants for Fall Plantings

Black Eye Susans – Also called Rudbeckias, these beautiful flowers are native to North America and flower from June through September. This perennial is a wonderful staple for early fall planting and in many locations will stay vibrant even through October.

Chrysanthemums – Mum’s are a sure symbol of fall just like Pumpkins. These are wonderful plants for containers and for beds. The chrysanthemum has a rich and iconic botanical history not unlike the tulip and is a staple of the season. This plant comes in many colors and makes and excellent fill plant. The mum is a perennial so make sure to plant in the ground before the first frost if you would like it to return next year.

Zinnias – Easy to grow from nursery stock or from seed zinnias are wonderful annuals to incorporate into your plantings. They bloom summer through fall and have a variety of petal patterns to incorporate beautiful texture into your garden space. These large blooms add fun pops of color to any garden bed or container.

Coral Bells – Known for showy foliage and dainty flowers these heucheras are great for adding texture to your fall pots and beds. These plants are very versatile and very hearty.

Spill Plants for Fall Plantings

You may have noticed that many fall planters tend to lack spill plants. If you choose not to use spill plants in your Fall pots make sure that your pots have a nice identifiable shape to them, usually triangular or spherical.

Sweet Potato Vine – These vines are know for their bright chartruce or deep purple foliage and can grow up to 10 feet in a single growing season. These are not the same varieties that we

String of Pearls- These beautiful plants are wonderful for indoors and outdoor plantings depending on the weather. They prefer indirect light and don’t do well when temperatures dip below 30F. Use them in hanging baskets for for your spill plants

Stonecrop- a type of succulent called Sedum, this plant has many varieties and comes in lots of different colors. Plants in the stonecrop family are identified by their large and low growing trailing plants with tall spiked flowering plants that my grow up to a foot or more in heights. All stonecrop plants have thick and glossy leaves that have a rosette form. Ideally Stonecrop make wonderful fill plants in garden areas but can be found in planters and other arrangements in more adventurous gardens.

Nasturtium- These lovely plants, with their uniquely shaped greenery and vibrant flowers, grow well in containers or as ground cover around vegetable gardens. Nasturtiums make great trap crops for companion planting, drawing aphids and other garden pests away from the more valuable vegetables. 

Creeping Jenny- Unlike Jenny’s well know cousin Charlie, Creeping Jenny is a great spill plant with only the occasional volunteer. Creeping Jenny is a great spill plant with bright green-yellowish foliage and yellow flowers. This plant can be invasive and is best planted in container gardens.

Find More Gardening Projects:

Mosser Lee Living Wreath with Herbs planted

How to Make a
Herb Wreath

Living wreaths are easy to make when using Mosser Lee’s Long-Fibered Sphagnum Mossed Wreaths frame. Mosser Lee wreaths are ready to plant, are not messy and don’t require soil.

How to Plant Seed Stock

How to Plant Nursery Stock

Many Gardeners choose to plant Nursery Stock Seedlings when growing vegetables like tomatoes, and peppers.  Often the journey from seed to soil for Nursery Stock Seedlings can be stressful. 

Finished terrarium

How to Create a Terrarium

Planting a terrarium is ideal for gardening indoors where space is limited for potted houseplants.  Terrarium gardens also are great for those who would like to try their hand at first time gardening.

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