Transitioning Your Planters and Flower Garden to the Fall

As Labor Day comes and goes, we all begin to settle in with the realization that seasons are beginning to change. As the weather begins to shift, we may start to lose some of the great summer color that our flowers have given us throughout the last few months. So maybe it’s time to bring some fall colors into your planters and landscape to help brighten the transition.

Cool season annuals are for the cooler season:

As we look to add color to our planters, it is important to remember that we do not need to force the issue. Many of the great fall annuals are cool season plants which means they prefer the damp cool days of fall over the hot days of summer. So if you see mums for sale in the first week of August and you can fight the urge, just hold off. The high temps of our hot days can cause these plants to undergo a lot of stress and not make it through the entire season. If you want to see your mums last through the fall, hold off! A generally safe date for mums and cool season plants is Labor Day.

Mums… and then what?

We all know mums are the staple of fall plants. To be fair they are a very low maintenance plant, they come in all sorts of colors and they tend to be eye-catching with all their symmetrical blooms. So we know we want some mums – what else should we add to our planters? There are so many great options. You can get great color with different celosia, mona lavender or asters. If you are looking for some striking blooms, try gazanias, annual rudbeckia or snapdragons. Another great choice for color and something that can really withstand the elements are pansies. The nice thing is they come in so many colors that they play nice with anything!

Striking foliage

The best part about planning your containers or landscape in the fall is all the striking foliage that is available. They have a great mix of unique colors and different foliage that really makes it feel like fall. There are some awesome ornamental kales and cabbages that can be a real showstopper with their size, color and unique looks. Other options are using dusty miller for some stark white to play with the other colors or if you are looking for some color play in the foliage there are always some awesome Swiss Chard varieties that really pop!

Dig one hole for two seasons!

Don’t forget the spring color when you are planting this fall. Many of our favorite Spring blooming flowers like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are bulbs best planted in the Fall. So, when you’re getting the fall plants, and you go to dig a hole for the beautiful new mum you can easily just drop a bulb in there as well. The mum will also ward off any critter that is looking to snack on the bulbs. Plus, it makes for quite a lovely surprise when April roles around and we are thawing ourselves out of winter!


Just because summer is wrapping up doesn’t mean we can’t get one more pop of color in the garden before winter! What kind of plants are you looking forward to getting your hands on this Fall?