Pretty Fall Window Box and Container Ideas

September 20, 2023

Helpful tips for creating gorgeous fall window box and container displays!

These beautiful fall foliage suggestions for your containers and window boxes will carry you through to Thanksgiving. 

I usually wait just a tad longer to change out our window boxes and planters, but some of them were looking awful, so I decided to get started on the fall versions. 

Our window boxes never took off like usual this year. We had a deep freeze one night late in the spring and even after covering them, they were zapped. The potato vine never did well and the petunias didn't grow much at all. 

I gave up on them a couple weeks ago and stopped watering because they looked so bad: 
Transitioning to fall window boxes

The petunias filled in much better than this most of the summer, but overall it was nothing like usual. 

This is how they usually look: 
Spring/summer petunia window boxes

Since our temps are looking great for at least the next two weeks, I decided to start working on the fall window boxes. 

When it comes to exterior planters and containers, keep in mind filler, spiller and thriller.

For fall, filler would be your more compact plants like mums and ornamental kale. Thriller plants are usually taller options like grasses (which I don't usually use in the window boxes). Spillers are typically vine plants like asparagus fern, ivy or sweet potato vines. 

Green and purple kale

I have a few standards for the planters this time of year, but I found some new favorites as well! You can't go wrong with different varieties of kale: 
Green and purple kale for fall planters

They also come in green versions, but I love the deep purple tones in these. I grabbed these two versions for our window boxes. Cabbage/kale are GREAT because their ruffled leaves make them so full. 

You'll want plants that take up a lot of space to help save money!

Colorful and full fillers 

Mums are a given, of course! Chrysanthemums are perfect for the pops of color you'll want in your planters. Make sure to water them like crazy, mums tend to dry out easily when in containers. 

I also love Coleus -- there are so many beautiful options in fall shades: 
red coleus planter

I couldn't find any Coleus small enough for the boxes unfortunately. 

Add in some "thrillers"

For containers the thrillers are usually taller plants like ornamental grasses. But for window boxes, I think anything with colorful foliage works well. 

I loved these ornamental pepper plants that would have worked well for the thriller as well -- great pops of color and tall enough to stand out!: 
Peppers for fall planters and boxes

Vines or asparagus fern are great for the spiller, but I don't find they do as well in the cooler months around here. 

This time I went for these gorgeous "hot pops purple" peppers -- they are so full and spill over the boxes beautifully: 
Orange and purple peppers fall planters

The little peppers start yellow and orange and turn into the dark purple. I saw some that turned bright orange as well. 

Here are a few more great fall flowers that would add some color: 
  • Yellow marigolds are so pretty and can withstand the drier conditions of a window box. (These do great in full sun!)
  • Violas and pansies have gorgeous color and do well in cooler temps. 
  • I also like to tuck in a few small gourds and pumpkins for some added color!

I combined those with the kale and orange and purple mums: 
Purple peppers for fall window boxes

Kale varieties for fall planters

The purple mums haven't opened yet, which is a good thing! I'll have to dead head all of them to keep them blooming throughout the season. 

The pepper plants will serve as my "spillers," but herbs like thyme and creeping rosemary are other options that would do well in the cooler months. 

Here are all of the plants I used for these fall window boxes: 
Plants for fall window boxes planters

 They don't have a ton of color just yet, but they look SO much better than before!:
Early fall window box ideas

I plan to add some mini pumpkins here and there throughout soon as well. 

They will all open up and fill in well -- I'm excited to see the color combo blooming together: 
Ideas for fall window boxes

I've gathered a few more window box and fall planter ideas for your front porch! These beautiful ideas from fellow bloggers will give you plenty of inspiration.

Carli added some beautiful fall touches using plants from around her yard:  
Fill fall window boxes for less

This autumn planter is a perfect example of filler, thriller, spiller!: 
Ideas for fall planter/boxes

And I loved the height and fullness of this one from House of Hawthornes: 
ideas for gorgeous fall planters

I LOVE the dried hydrangea blooms in this gorgeous fall planter!: 
fall filler, thriller, spiller ideas

I may have to add some to our fall containers and boxes -- and cross my fingers they don't blow away!

If you have a covered window or porch, you can combine faux with your real plants: 
combo fake real plants fall planters

If you're looking for something a little softer than a traditional planter, I love this idea of using a basket for your fall porch: 
basket instead of planter fall porch

Beautiful ideas, right? 

Do you have a favorite addition for fall planters or boxes? 

Pin these fall window box ideas for later with this image: 
Fall window box ideas

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  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas and inspiring us for fall. I have a large planter along my house, so I need to use lots of plants. I like to use cabbage but they can be hard to find and expensive. Mums are nice but don't last very long so I will use small plants for color and replace them with blooming plants throughout the fall. I like the look of ornamental peppers in fall displays. Pumpkins are pretty, usually last through Thanksgiving and fill the space economically. I have planted pachysandra, which stays green all year, and then fill-in with cabbage, pumpkins and other fall plants as the impatiens get leggy.

    One of the posts shows pussy willows a spring branch with fall items. I usually like to decorate with seasonal plants. I mix pussy willows with pansy plants in the early spring.

    Thanks for your posts.

  2. Your fall decorations are always so lovely! I'm decorating for fall even though we're still in "feels like" temps in the triple digits here on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Ugh!!

    You probably already know this, but coleus are extremely easy to propagate. You can break off a piece of a stem, remove bottom leaves and place in water until they develop roots (this happens quickly) or you can put the stem in good soil and wait for it to root.

    Please send us some of your great weather! Enjoy the fall!


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