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Cool-Season Annuals for Fall and Winter Window Boxes

What are some “cool-season annuals” I can grow in my windowboxes as we head into the fall season?

pansy flower

Answer: Beautiful, intriguing blooms are not only found in the warmer months of spring and summer. You can still have gorgeous flowers blooming throughout your flowerbeds, borders and containers well into fall and, if you're in a mild-winter climate, through winter.

Here are a few great annuals perfect for enhancing window boxes with a touch of delightful color:

Chrysanthemums (mums): These are classic additions to the garden whether grown during spring or fall. They're perennials, but often treated as annuals. These colorful flowers can fill your fall window boxes with a variety of delightful shapes and an abundance of radiant colors of striking hues ranging from whites, yellows and oranges to pinks, reds and purples. Choose cultivars according to desired bloom time; make sure to water frequently, space correctly and allow for at least 4 hours of direct sun.
Pansies bloom in a staggering range of gorgeous hues in nearly any shade of the rainbow, perfect for adding a pop of vibrant color to borders, flower beds and window boxes. Pansies thrive in humus-rich, well-drained soil with regular watering. Do not overcrowd, and remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
Alyssums (Lobularia maritima) with their bursts of fragrant, delicate flowers in soft shades of whites, pinks and purples, are perfect for fall window boxes—adding a touch of delicate splendor. These easy-to-grow flowers thrive in full to part sun in well-drained soil. Can tolerate drier soils, however they should be watered around twice a week and fed a general fertilizer monthly.
Snapdragons have eccentric, eye-catching flowers that bloom with bright and also soft pastel colors—reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, purples and white. These chill-loving flowers will be happy if you allow for lots of sunlight and plant them in rich, moist but well-drained soil. Snapdragons should be deadheaded and fertilized regularly.
Other great fall options include purple fountain grass, ornamental kale and cabbage for foliage, and asters, sedum, petunias, marigolds, gazanias, lobelias and verbenas for flowers.

Image: Aftabbanoori
Try out the Fabulous & Unusual Annuals Collection for great, easy-to-grow old fashioned cottage garden favorites that include: Marble Arch Salvia, Bells of Ireland, Monarda Bergamo, Pride of Gibraltar Cerinthe, and Pink & Purple Agrostemma.

In The Nonstop Garden you will discover all the information needed to create a productive, beautiful garden with smart plant choices and four-season designs.

Download the Smart Gardening Techniques: Fall Tasks and be prepared for the fall season.

Be ready for fall with the Garden How-To University: Fall Gardening Tips & Spring Planning.

Spice up your window boxes with this beautiful Wrought Iron & Oval Copper design.