Autumn presents us with a glorious show of color and joy in both flower and foliar form. Discover trending fall decor and planting ideas that show off the season’s unique beauty. We have so much to recommend to set you on the fast track to a beautiful autumn glow. Tim Pollak from the Chicago Botanic Garden notes,

“As your summer flowers begin to fade, extend the season as long as possible by adding more color to your garden wherever you can, there are many plants that are their best in the fall, and thrive in the cooler nights of autumn.”

We’ve compiled a few home and garden fall decor trends to consider this year.


Fall Decor Trends


Traditional fall decor collage image

Traditional Fall Decor

Traditional decor tones are in the orange, yellow, red, and brown families and may incorporate straw bales, dried corn stalks, and other delightfully nostalgic items. Decor colors can blend in with the natural tones of autumn for beautiful harmony.

Plants that work well with this theme include:


Traditional Plant Feature: Annual ornamental grasses

Great in both the landscape and containers, annual grasses pack a punch. They add lots of height and help balance the proportions of other fall plantings. Millet is a grass that provides both structure and food for birds and wildlife. Ornamental grasses like purple fountain grass or a caramel colored sedge grass look particularly nice when paired with classic fall annuals. Try purple fountain grass (highlighted here) for an extra color, texture, and movement. Triple win for your garden and fall decor!


Jewel-toned fall decor collage image

Jewel-toned Fall Decor

Newer trends encourage us to branch-out (pun intended) into cool colors or jewel-toned hues. Try plants featuring deep or bright purples and pinks, light blue pumpkins, brightly colored heucheras, or cooler-toned orange pumpkins. These colors might not be ones we typically consider for fall, but are appealing to contrast the warmer tones found in nature at this time of year.

Plants that work well with this theme include:

  • Gomphrena in bright pink
  • Asters in deep purple
  • Celosia in deep pink or gold
  • Dusty miller
  • Heucheras in deep pink, purples, even bright green
  • Hydrangeas in deep pink, blue, or purple
  • Mums in white, red, deep pink, or gold
  • Ornamental corn
  • Ornamental kale
  • Ornamental mustard
  • Ornamental peppers in purple or black
  • Pansies in royal purple, bright blue, or black
  • Petunias in royal purple, bright pink, white
  • Sunflowers in deep red

Photo of Citronelle Coral Bells

Jewel-toned Plant Feature: Heucheras

Discover the saturated foliage of heucheras, which can add a beautiful pop of color with little effort. They prefer a more shaded spot in the garden, but certain varieties can manage well in dappled or part sun. They’re quite versatile plants and can even add some color indoors during the holidays. From bright green to deep purple, these babies can match with many decor and garden planting combinations. Heucheras also make great additions to fall planters. Use them as an annual in containers. Or, be sure to bring them indoors or plant them in your garden bed by early October as a perennial.



Muted modern fall decor collage image

Muted Modern Fall Decor

Similarly, black, white, and green is a contemporary and sophisticated decor scheme and helps to transition between the lush summer and the more muted fall colors. Think of black and white hearty buffalo plaid, paired with white or deep, dark green pumpkins, lush ferns, white snapdragons or petunias.

Other plants that work well within this theme include:

White Cyclamen

Muted Modern Plant Feature: Cyclamen

While this plant may be new to novice gardeners, it’s rapidly gaining in popularity. They produce bunches of white or pink flowers in the fall. It’s a great pick for containers or planting in either full sun or dry, dense shade in the landscape. Though frost-tolerant, bring these plants indoors through the coolest parts of winter.




Halloween & Fall Decor

Some gardeners or home decorators may not want to maintain fall decor for a mere month before ripping it out in exchange for Halloween decorations. Never fear! It’s easy to add to any of these themes to switch from seasonal to spooky. Once your plantings are in, it’s easy to add a few ornamental decorations. Here’s a few examples of how it can come all together:


Fall decor ideas - how to transition black and white fall to halloween

Keep the black and white and muted tones going by adding creepy black spiders, ghosts, bats, and skulls. For some extra flair, try out the succulent pumpkin sculpture. Pumpkins and gourds offer lots of fun ways for both kids and adults to decorate. Paint the rinds or deploy other no-carve techniques like mod-podge and lace. Or, equally as fun: carve them up into spooky faces for Halloween. Go wild! What’s more: once Halloween is over, you can repurpose the succulents in indoor arrangements.


Fall decor image, how to transition jewel tones into halloween

In the case of jewel-toned arrangements, add a little spark with some bright orange. Add pumpkins, drop bland fall planters into decorative ones. Or, add a little shimmer with a sparkly decoration or a shimmery purple wrap on your latest plant purchase.


Halloween Decor Plant Feature: SucculentsPurple Beauty Hens and Chicks Image

Succulents offer lots of fun and creative ways to decorate with living things for Halloween. For example, decorate indoors or out with naturally “webbed” succulents like or Cobweb Hens and Chicks (non-webbed version called Purple Beauty at the right). These are hardy succulents that can survive year to year outdoors in well-draining soil and they happen to make fun Halloween decorations. Indoors, try your hand at growing your favorite houseplant in a fun skull shaped or open-head container. In this case, we recommend trying a fuzzy-looking Old Man Cactus.



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