Cool Colors for Fall Container Arrangements
Fall has just arrived and it is time to change out spent outdoor summer arrangements with new cool weather plants. While bold vibrant colors usually take center stage in fall arrangements, consider trying a new color scheme of cool purples, silvers and deep greens.
There are plenty of plants in this cool, shimmery color scheme that will thrive in fall temperatures and look stunning throughout the season.
Kale has beautiful ruffled ornamental leaves that are full of dusky purple, green and rose colors. There are many varieties to choose from and they are all great for standing up to cooler temperatures. Kale will even tolerate frost. Better Homes and Gardens suggests the ‘Pigeon Red’ kale cultivar that has purple leaves with striking purple veins. ‘Redbor’ kale has very ornately ruffled purple leaves.
Chrysanthemums, also called mums, are the perfect fall container flower. While they often come in bright yellows and rusty reds, they can also be found in dusty purples and pinks. White mums also make an attractive accent for purple foliaged plants. Asters are also a flower that are very similar to mums in form. They come in purples and blues as well.
Ajuga is often used as a ground cover, but it is also a lovely filler for containers. It stays relatively low and has colorful foliage. It does offer blooms, but they usually occur in the springtime. During the fall it will be their deep colored leaves that are more desirable. Better Homes and Gardens suggests ‘Black Scallop’ and ‘Burgundy Glow’ ajuga cultivars for their rich purple colored foliage.
Purple fountain grass is a beautiful way to add height and texture to a container arrangement. Purple fountain grass has narrow purple tinged leaves that grow in thick bunches. In the fall the seed heads are also an attractive soft purple. Ornamental grasses in general are at their most beautiful in the fall and are excellent for cool weather container arrangements.
Silver Foliaged Plants
There are several plants that have beautiful silvery foliage that are excellent filler plants for fall container arrangements. These plants will complement the cool purples and blues of mums and kale. The licorice plant has bright silvery foliage. There are a number of different varieties of licorice plant and the leaves vary from small and rounded to very straight and thin. There are varieties that mound and heap and others that will trail and spill. Keep in mind that this plant prefers full sun and is slightly more sensitive to the cold than other fall plants.
Dusty Miller is another foliage plant with powdery silver leaves. The leaves are very ornate with deep rounded lobes. The plant can grow up to 18 inches tall and wide. It also prefers full sun.
If you are looking for something unique this fall, try these attractive cool color plants. Remember when you craft your container arrangements have a focal point, foliage fillers and trailing plants that spill out the side. Use a combination of the plants suggested above to make a stunning fall container. Also don’t forget about easy cold weather standbys such as pansies to add cool colors to your fall containers. What are your favorite colors to work with in the fall?
“Flowering Kale.” Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia. <http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/annual/flowering-kale/>
“Ajuga” Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia. <http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/perennial/ajuga/>
“Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’” Missouri Botanical Garden. <http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/c257/pennisetum-setaceum-rubrum.aspx>
“Licorice Plant.” Fabulous Foliage. <http://urbanext.illinois.edu/foliage/licoriceplant.cfm>
“Dusty Miller.” Garden Guides. <http://www.gardenguides.com/83-dusty-miller-garden-basics-flower-annual-senecio-cineraria.html>
Photo “Ajuga Black Scallop” courtesy of Serres Fortier.