Porch Delights

BY DEB ACORD ON AUGUST 24TH, 2017

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Creating a container of fall-friendly plants for your porch or doorstep is an easy way to celebrate the harvest season. Hardy chrysanthemums can serve as an anchor for a pleasing fall display, but don’t stop there. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Choose the Container

For smaller pots, choose a 4-inch to 6-inch chrysanthemum or other flower plant to keep from overwhelming the display. Larger pots will accommodate larger-size mums.

Dominant Color

The color of the flower you start with will direct the palette for the resulting display. Plants you add should work with your first color.

Monochromatic Displays

Using plants from the same color family – all white, all yellow – creates a strong display.

Multicolor Displays

Choose an assortment of plants with different colors of blooms and foliage to create an active, vibrant container.

Consider Height

Most often, people choose to vary the height of plants in the container to help create visual interest. Grass can be a great way to add a simple vertical element. Carex “Toffee Twist” is a cinnamon-colored option that’s great for fall.

Fall Bloomers

There are many plants that will bloom for months in the fall that would be great to add to fall combinations

• Breacteantha (Strawflower)

• Diascia

• Nemesia

• Osteospermum

• Phlox

• Pansy

Fall Foliage

The colorful leaves of these plants make them great components in a combination planter:

• Huechera comes in purples, silvers and even amber colors

• Helichrysum comes in silver tones

• Acorus “Ogon” is a yellow-foliaged very short grass

• Lysimachia “Goldilocks” is chartreuse

• Salvia officinalis

Be Consistent

If you plan to display a group of planters in the same area, consider repeating one or more of the plants in all of the pots. Coordinating the color or style of the pots will help create a pleasing effect.

Care

Your container will do best in full sun to partial shade. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the container when you pot it. Water your planter when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. With the cooler temperatures, fall planters will not dry out as quickly as planters do in summer. Be careful not to water too much, since soggy soil will hurt the roots of the plants and weaken their ability to withstand cold temperatures.

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