Garden with autumn flowers and plants in it.

What Plants to Use in Your Garden in Autumn

Patio planters need not fade away as summer comes to a close. There are lots of plants that will leap into action as the days shorten, filling your patio with colorful foliage and plenty of flowers.

When to plant: Late summer or autumn.

At their best: Autumn.

Time to complete: 4 hours.

You will need: Planters, broken clay pot or plastic pieces, all-purpose potting soil.

Selection of plants to use: Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’, Lamium galeobdolon, Carex conica ‘Snowline’, Sedum ‘Lemon Coral’, Aster dumosus, purple hybrid, Heuchera ‘Amber Waves’.

Prepare the pots

Add clay pieces to the base of each pot. If you are using tall planters such as these, half-fill with clay or plastic pieces, then fill with soil to within 4 in (10 cm) of the rim.

Position the plants

In autumn, plants don’t grow very much, so avoid leaving gaps as you would when planting summer bedding. Pack your plants in closely to make the planters look “finished.”


Densely planted containers can get very dry, even in wet weather, so water them regularly. These plants do not need feeding since they will soon become dormant and growth will halt over winter.