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Container Gardens That Span The Seasons

Don’t let winter stop you from having beautiful greenery at your home. Simple fall containers can thrive through the winter months, adding color to your landscape until the weather warms up.

winter container garden ideas
This classic container features autumn fern, heuchera, vinca, violas, and fox red curly sedge.

Container Planting Basics:

Make sure that you choose pottery that is frost-proof for your winter container garden. It is also important to use quality potting soil. Since minimal growth occurs in winter conditions, it is crucial that the soil is well drained to avoid root rot and freeze. Using EarthMix® Proganix-O™ potting mix will ensure that your plants stay healthy all season long.

For eye-catching container gardens, you typically want to incorporate three elements—thriller, filler, and spiller. Thrillers are tall plants that bring attention and height to your containers. Fillers are mounded, ground-cover style plants that make your container look abundant. Lastly, spillers creep over the side of the container, merging the pot and plants to create a seamless aesthetic.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some of our favorite plants for container gardens that span the seasons. Plant them in the fall, and enjoy color and beauty all winter.

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This colorful container features boxwood, vinca, and violas.


Cornus sericea (Red Twig Dogwood)

Cornus sericea have beautiful fall foliage ranging from bright orange to red. When the leaves drop, you’ll be rewarded with an unobstructed view of the bright red branches, a striking addition to any container garden.

Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo)

Nandina boasts a kaleidoscope of color from bright yellows to deep reds. It keeps its foliage through the winter months, adding a burst of color to any container garden.

Any Dwarf Evergreens

The options are truly unlimited here. Think dwarf boxwoods, hollies, arborvitaes, or spruce. Most dwarf varieties of evergreen trees and shrubs do well in pots. They can add beautiful textures and height to any container garden, and they keep their leaves year-round.

Ornamental Grasses

Any carex (sedge) grass will add some elevation to your container garden. Carex ‘Standing Ovation’ and ‘Red Rooster’ are great for their intriguing reddish brown color. You could also use Acorus ‘Ogon’ or Juncus ‘Blue Arrows’ as a central interest.

EarthMix garden soil
Heuchera come in a wide range of colors, making them a great filler plant for potted arrangements.


Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo Grass)

Is Halloween your holiday? Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’ is a low-growing grass with striking black leaves. The dark colors are great for fall planters, but also offer a high-contrast palette for your winter container.

Heuchera (Coral Bells)

Broad leaves and colorful, low-growing foliage make heuchera the ultimate filler plant. Colors range from bright greens to deep reds, and most heuchera keep their color through the cold winter months. Try mixing a few varieties in your pot to create unique color combinations.

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

Another colorful addition to your fall/winter garden is this showy perennial. The leaves are variegated green with bright red tips, and they add a pop of color and texture to any container.

Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern)

Ferns add beautiful texture to any container planting. This variety is beautiful in the fall and winter, with green and bronze foliage.

Earthmix garden mix
This festive fall container features nandina, pansies, heuchera, and ajuga.


Wave pansies

Despite their name, pansies are actually quite hardy. Cool Wave pansies have creeping stems that spill over the sides of containers, adding blooms to your fall/winter display.


Vinca has deep green foliage that creeps and spills, great for potted arrangements. It’s perfect for blending the lines in your container garden.


Though quite traditional, you just can’t beat the simplicity of Ivy paired with boxwoods and pansies in a front porch display.


Ajuga is another ground-cover style plant, with deep green and burgundy leaves. Plant it on the sides of your pot to bring the entire arrangement together.

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