When early season snow starts to fly, some plants in fall container gardens won’t survive. Ornamental or flowering kale and viola sail through even a dusting of snow. As snow melts, wilted violas bounce right back, while the ornamental kale just keeps looking good. In pots, garden mums and nandina don’t recover from snowfall like this.
Fill a pot with flowers and plants that thrive in autumn’s cool air. Sweet alyssum, pansy and snapdragon all blossom strongly during chilly days. Many grasses and grass type plants (like Carex)—both the perennial and annual types—hold their own as temps start to tumble. Count on grasses to add texture and/or an upright element to cold weather container gardens.
This hanging basket of sedums, dunce caps and those rubbery roses known as sempervivums can take the cold all winter long and the heat all summer long. Suspend it from your porch so you see color when you look out at the winter grays. RECIPE: Variegated Creeping Blue Sedum (Sedum sieboldii variegatum, Zones 6-8), 2 plants; Chinese Dunce Cap (Orostachys iwarenge, Zones 5-10), 2 plants; Dunce’s Cap (Orostachys malacophyllus, Zones 5-10); ‘Royanum’ (Sempervivum tectorum ‘Royanum’, Zones 5-10), 2 plants; ‘Quintessence’ (Sempervivum ‘Quintessence’, Zones 4-10), 2 plants; Blue Boy’ (Sempervivum ‘Blue Boy’, Zones 5-10), 2 plants; ‘Blue Spruce’ (Sedum reflexum ‘Blue Spruce’, Zones 4-10), 2 plants
We've got your summer succulent container right here, with a mix of foliage colors, textures and shapes that can take as much heat as the summer can dish out. Give ‘Sea Glass’ echeveria room to grow into the star of the show, and surround it with fillers like Pink Moonstone and jade plant, and let graptoveria ‘Bashful’ handle the job of spilling over the sides of the container. RECIPE: Echeveria ‘Sea Glass’ (Zone 9); Pink Moonstone (Pachyphytum oviferum, Zone 10); ‘Blue Burrito’ (Sedeveria ‘Blue Burrito’, Zone 9); Graptoveria 'Bashful' (Zone 9); Jade Plant (Crassula ovata 'Tricolor', Zone 9); Sedeveria 'Pink Granite' (Zone 9)
This simple mix pairs sedum with hens-and-chicks for a container of plants that can stay outside all winter in most places. There’s a mix and match of foliage texture and color, with the glossy chartreuse leaves of one plant contrasting with the spikey ruby red ones of the other. Use a wide dish to accommodate the spreading habit of each plant. RECIPE: Golden Japanese Stonecrop (Sedum makinoi 'Ogon', Zones 6-9), 3 plants; ‘Pacific Shadows’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum ‘Pacific Shadows’, Zones 5-8), 4 plants
An artful array of colorful plantings burst from vessels large and small, creating a peaceful spot to relax in the midst of the city. Woven seating has a stylish rubbed gold finish, and a modern accent table is a functional spot to set a drink while enjoying this urban oasis.
This container is packed with hot oranges, reds and burgundies and balanced with cool limes. The echeveria, stonecrops and kalanchoe will keep their color in the heat, giving you a spring and summer of nonstop color. RECIPE: Coppertone Stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum, Zone 10); Six-Angled Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sexangularis, Zone 9); ‘Sorrento' (Sedeveria 'Sorrento', Zone 10); Sedum adolphii X (Zone 10); 'Frank Reinelt' (Echeveria agavoides 'Frank Reinelt', Zone 9); 'Melaco' (Echeveria 'Melaco', Zone 9); 'Black Prince' (Echeveria 'Black Prince', Zone 9)