Annuals · Container Gardening · Garden Musings

Planting Pink & Purple in a Season of Orange


The colors most often used in fall containers mimic the seasonal hues found in nature – brilliant yellows, glowing oranges, and rich reds. I like these colors just fine and appreciate them in the flamboyant leaves of trees and shrubs in the landscape, but what’s a gardener to do when she loves pink and purple?

I have always been a bit of a rebel, not one to follow the rules. When replanting containers for fall, I don’t search out traditional tints. Instead, I opt for shades of pink and purple. There are plenty of cool-season flowers in these colors.

Chrysanthemum 'Jacqueline'

Mums are the quintessential flowers of fall and are most often seen in autumnal tones, but there are also several pink and purple varieties.

Aster 'Judith'

Asters bloom in shades of pink, purple and white. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators love them, too.

Gaura 'Pink Cloud'

The flowers of Gaura ‘Pink Cloud’ float like butterflies atop their sinewy stems.

Snapdragon 'Snapshot Merlot Mix' &Alyssum 'Clear Crystal Lavender'

Need more choices on your pink and purple palette? Consider million bells, snapdragons and alyssum.

We all understand the importance of foliage in container schemes, and there is an abundance of plants donning rosy-pink and purple foliage.

Flowering Cabbage & Flowering Kale

Flowering cabbages and kale add color and delightful texture to container gardens. Their colors intensify as temperatures drop. The cooler the temperatures, the more colorful they become.

Alternanathera 'Purple Knight'

Alternanthera ‘Purple Knight’ brazenly trails over the edges of containers.

Purple Sage & Tricolor Sage

Don’t forget about herbs. The fragrant, fuzzy leaves of purple and tricolor sage are ideal choices to include in pink and purple plantings.

Including plants with blue and silver foliage add a touch of elegance to these container designs.

Artemesia 'Powis Castle', Sage 'Bergartten' & Helichrysum 'Icicles'

In addition to the silvery benefits of these selections, Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’ and Helichrysum ‘Icicles’ are fine-textured and partner beautifully with flowering cabbage and mums. Sage ‘Bergartten’ has leaves so soft it is impossible to resist stroking them.

Dinosaur kale, Kale 'Lacinato'

Dinosaur kale is not for pint-sized pots. Big and bodacious, the blue-foliage adds coarse texture to large containers.

Dare to be different. If you prefer colors other than those expected by seasonal norms, who cares what the neighbors think? Choose plants that make you happy and garden with me!








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