Don’t let your property go dormant as cooler temperatures make their way to Washington DC this fall. Instead, bring some lively color to your commercial landscape with bright container plants.

Some plants hit their stride during the fall months, helping to extend your site’s color. Plus, the container itself can add some visual interest to your property with a variety of colors, sizes and designs to choose from. They are especially useful for sites that don’t have much green space.

Keep your landscape in season by installing some of these 26 container plants for fall color in Washington DC.


Adding containers with colorful flowers near entrances, walkways or other high-traffic areas can really help enhance your landscape well into fall.

Add these container plants for fall color to your Washington DC commercial landscape

Pansies and violas have similar looks and qualities, and they are both good color options for cooler months. They are both available in a variety of colors and are a hardy option. You can mix and match them in a container for a stunning look.

Ornamental cabbage and kale are other good options for the fall season and into winter. The cabbage has a leafier look, while the kale will appear more ruffled. You can choose from green, green with a white or pink center and red color options. They will become more compact as the weather gets colder.

Some of our other favorite flowers are mums and snapdragons.

Trees And Shrubs

Containers aren’t just reserved for smaller flowering plants. You can add some height and texture to your outdoor space with tree and shrub planters.                  

The Japanese cutleaf maple has clearly defined leaves (hence its name) in both green and red. This tree reaches 3 to 9 feet in height and has a slow growth rate, especially in the beginning.


To give your site some bright color, add the red twig dogwood (deciduous). This shrub has coral-red branches and also creamy-colored blooms during the summer. It can grow up to 9 feet tall.

Here are more of our shrub favorites:


  • Winterberry holly
  • Itea virginica
  • Oakleaf hydrangea
  • Dwarf nandina domestica


  • Boxwood
  • Arborvitae
  • Alberta spruce
  • Hinoki cypress

Ornamental Grasses

Give your containers height, texture and movement with ornamental grasses.

Fountain grasses are a popular option for their showy plumes and color. Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’ (dwarf fountain grass) and pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ (purple fountain grass) are two we use a good bit because they are low-maintenance and provide good fall color. They both require full-sun conditions and can create some stunning contrast when combined with other plants.

Enjoy bright, dramatic yellow color with Carex ‘Bowles Golden.’ This spreading grass reaches 1 to 2 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Just remember to keep this one well watered because it does best in moist soil.

Check out some of our other favorite grasses:

  • Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather Reed Grass)
  • Variegated Miscanthus
  • ‘Aureola’ Japanese Forest Grass


Want something that will keep coming back? Try some of these perennials that provide great fall color.


Creeping jenny is a good addition to your container gardens and will creating a low mat of yellow leaves and bright flowers. The plant will flow over the sides of the container, almost giving you an English-garden look.

Also known as coral bells, heuchera will have the biggest color impact when they are grown in partial shade. Its flowers sprout out from the purplish-gray leaves, giving your container more visual interest and texture.

We also like Hedera Helix ‘Glacier’ and Silver Falls Dichondra.

Extend Bold Fall Color With Container Plants

Spring and summer are known for new growth and color. But why should these be the only seasons your commercial landscape looks lively? Incorporate colorful fall container plants to keep your property looking inviting even with cooler temps.

Are you ready to reposition your commercial property with some bright additions?

Contact Level Green Landscaping for a free consultation to see how we can enhance and maintain your DC landscape.

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