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Fun Fall Planters

Planter gardens are both beautiful and practical. They're great for small spaces or paved areas, and mixing them up is easy as the seasons (or your tastes) change. 

Fall is an especially fun time to decorate your planters with gorgeous colors and cute embellishments.

You can start by choosing a container. There are plenty of options to consider, each with pros and cons. Some of the most popular choices are explained below.

Plastic Affordable, easy to move, but can crack unless you opt for heavy-duty pots
Clay Heavy but durable. You will need a dolly on hand to move these around
Ceramic These come in gorgeous glazed combinations and can be left outside
Wood A great choice for window boxes
Metal Durable, but susceptible to rust if you don't have a good drainage
Stone/Concrete Like clay, these are durable but very heavy
Repurposed Some ideas include boots, wine barrel, wheelbarrow, rocking chairs, toy dump truck, wagon, wood crate, bird bath, bikes, paint cans, and old tires

When selecting your plants, you'll need to consider location, color, and height. Will your plants thrive in the sun, or do they do best in shade? Are you looking for bright colors, or do you want to match a specific color palette? Will the planter be viewed from just one side, or will it be a central feature?

There are many options to choose from. Some common fall plants that do well in St Louis include:

Sweet potato vine (spiller)
Millet (thriller)
Aster (filler)
Pansy (bright)
Snapdragon (thriller)
Coleus (filler)
Dianthus (bright)
Lobelia (spiller)
Mums (palette pick)
Coreopsis (bright)
Coral bells (palette pick)
Black eyed Susan (palette pick)
Creeping Jenny (spiller)
African daisies (palette picks)
Nemesias (bright)
Ornamental cabbage & kale (filler)
Mustard greens (filler)
Rudbeckia (filler)
Pigsqueaks (bright)
Stonecrops (filler)


Fall Planter Options

The go-to formula to create a statement planter is thriller, filler, and spiller. This balanced design works by starting with a thriller plant to bring height and drama to your planter.

The thriller should be placed in the center of your pot. Or, if your planter is located against a wall, positioned at the back. Next, you will want to add the filler plants. The filler plants are a step down in height from the thrillers and fill in the pot's midsection. Typically, these are full and rounded plants.

Finally, spiller plants are tucked in around the edges to spill over and trail down the side of your pot.

Design by Donna Dowell



To create the planter design shown here, we used:

  • Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Rubrum), thriller
  • Intenz Dark Purple Celosia, filler
  • Twisted Orange Celosia, filler
  • Halloween Mix Pansy, filler
  • Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia), spiller

We embellished the planter with a Captain Jack pumpkin to finish the look. 


Design by: Donna Dowell

Other embellishments include gourds, Indian corn, decorative metal stakes, and solar lights. You can paint your pumpkins or stencil on a monogram to match your theme. Finish dressing up your porch by adding an autumn wreath to your door, lanterns filled with mixed gourds, or a harvest scarecrow and hay bales.

We have found the variety and supply of fall plants limited, so we typically special order in the spring. But don't fret, there's still time to add some seasonal appeal to your porch. To find out more about cool season planter arrangements, contact our design team today at (636)-532-9192 or dowco@dowcoinc.com.


Topics: Seasonal Yard Maintenance Dowco Specific

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