How to Transition Flower Pots From Summer to Fall

Updated: Apr. 18, 2024

Follow these expert tips to keep your flower pots vibrant as summer changes to fall.

Transition Flower Pots From Summer to Fall

Summer is prime time for flowers, but that doesn’t mean your flower pots have to fade away come fall. You can transition your flower pots from summer to fall — and even later, if you want! Here’s how.

Cut Out Spent Flowers

Take a look at your container plants. What’s looking good and what’s seen better days? Keep the former and cut out the latter. Just removing some of the spent plants with garden scissors can make a container look better.

Some plants, such as coleus, are more susceptible to light frost, so start thinking about what you can replace them with. No worries with the marigolds. They’ll go bonkers right up until a hard frost, so leave them be.

Trim and Prune Flowers

As long as you’re removing spent plants, also remove spent flowers to keep plants producing new flowers. Deadhead flowers, cut back lanky growth and trim any stray stems that look out of place in your late-summer container garden.

Fill the Gaps with Fall Flowers

Now is your chance to put in some fall bloomers like mums, asters, sedum, pansies and flowering kale. Small ornamental grasses could also work nicely and they will keep their form into winter, giving you extra time to enjoy them.

Fertilize Plants

With the new mix of plants in place, you should fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer, following package directions. Follow up with another shot two weeks later.

Move Pots Before Frost

What’s nice about flower pots is they’re portable — you can move them out of harm’s way when frost is due. Take them to the garage or a covered porch, then return them outdoors when temperatures rise again. This can gain you weeks of extra bloom-time late into fall. You may even find time to add miniature pumpkins, gourds, dried corn cobs and other fall garden container accessories.

Winter Flower Pots

You’ve just bought yourself a few extra weeks of time for your flower pots. Care to go for more? You can keep things going with winter plants, ornamental grasses and evergreens. Or try decorations such as cut evergreen boughs, red- or yellow-twig dogwood branches, white birch logs, pine cones and anything containing berries. Overwinter perennials by bringing flower pots indoors for the season.