With autumn upon us, it’s time to think about what you can plant now that will give you greenery and colour in your garden throughout the cooler months. We take you through 5 autumn flowers for containers and how to plant them up to keep your space looking bright and colourful all year round.

It’s also a great time to plant up a container, which can be put on the patio to brighten up the garden, or placed by the front door to welcome guests.

Autumn flowers for containers
Autumn planters provide a warm welcome (Squire’s Garden Centres/PA)

Sarah Squire, deputy chairman at Squire’s Garden Centres, advises: “The key things to remember are to choose a container that you like the look of, add good quality compost, and above all, choose plants you love.

“Think about colour combinations – make sure you include some evergreen plants and then add either vibrant reds, oranges and yellows for an autumnal feel, or choose pinks, purples and whites for a softer, more romantic look.”

5 great autumn flowers for containers

1. Asters

Autumn aster
Autumn aster.

These little flowers are great for adding a pop of colour to your autumn flower container! Most often they come in purple, but you can also find them in shades of pink and blue. They like full sun or partial shade and will bloom until October.

2. Heather

Autumn flowers for containers - Heather
Heather makes for an attractive autumn display.

Hardy heather will help add some height to your container. You have the option to choose a brightly coloured flowering heather, or something a bit more subtle to complement the colours you already have. They don’t mind sun or partial shade, and their flowering season depends on the cultivar you buy – anything in the gardening centre you can find at this time of year will work perfectly.

3. Cyclamen

Blooming Cyclamen persicum in a clay pot outdoors
Blooming Cyclamen persicum is a riot of colour.

Cyclamen will also help add some colour to your autumn flower container. From white to deep burgundy, you can get some beautiful autumnal colours into your arrangement. They prefer a slightly shaded spot and will bloom through autumn and winter.

4. Festuca

Festuca Elijah Blue in a terracotta pot
Festuca Elijah Blue.

This plant will add a nice backdrop to your more colourful flowers. In autumn it is past its flowering season, meaning you are just left with the beautiful blue long grass. They make a great ornamental plant all year round. Festuca likes lots of sunlight and will continue to grow through winter before producing new flowers in summer.

5. Winter pansies

Autumn flowers for containers - Winter pansies
Winter flowering pansies are a delight in a container.

Winter pansies are the perfect finishing touch for your autumn flower container and perfect autumn flowers for containers. Use them to fill any gaps you may have leftover for a final burst of colour. Winter pansies like some direct sun, but they can also grow well in partial shade.

How to make a container for autumn flowers

1. Choose a container

Autumn flowers for containers
Wooden barrels are a good choice (Squire’s Garden Centres/PA)

A wooden barrel is an attractive choice but you could choose anything you like. Make sure the container has holes at the bottom for drainage or your plants may get waterlogged, especially if left outside.

2. Fill with compost

Autumn flowers for containers
Add compost (Squire’s Garden Centres/PA)

Squire’s recommends Westland Multi-Purpose Compost With Added John Innes, which encourages stronger plant development and longer plant life.

3. Select plants to extend the season

Try using some of the plants suggested above, or take a trip to your local gardening centre for a selection of seasonal plants to use.

4. Position carefully

Autumn flowers for containers
Larger plants create a focal point (Squire’s Garden Centres/PA)

Put the largest plant, such as the skimmia, in the middle of the container. Carefully place bulbs two to three times their depth and one bulb width apart pointed end up. Then put smaller plants around the outside.

5. Water and feed

Autumn flowers for containers
Plants will thrive if you water and feed them (Squire’s Garden Centres/PA)

Water every few days if it hasn’t rained or if using as an indoor planter. Additionally, use a feed such as Miracle-Gro all-purpose continuous release plant food, which will encourage bigger, lusher plants with noticeably more blooms.

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