Both warmth and sunlight are in short supply as we enter late fall…. But that doesn’t mean your porch or patio has to be cold and colorless. When the temperature drops, each of these standout shrubs can serve alone in a container as the perfect anchor for holiday décor – from cheerful pumpkins around Halloween and Thanksgiving to twinkling lights at Christmas!
Nothing adds end-of-year color like a holly! Oakland Holly’s dense and distinctive oak-shaped leaves, bright-green color, and upright shape can be used as an accent plant in a container or when planted in multiples, can provide a useful screen. Used in full sun or part shade, Oakland Holly needs little pruning. Grows to 15-20 ft. tall and 12-15 ft. wide. Hardy to Zone 6a.
Golden Oakland Holly gives your landscape two glowing colors, lighting up your early sunsets. Its green and golden cream tones set it apart from your typical holly décor. Maxing out at 20 ft. tall, it can be pruned in a container to your desired size. Use it as a privacy hedge, a lovely accent with year-round interest, or an easy-care container plant. Hardy to Zone 6.
This full-sun shrub is the perfect choice for a formal ball-shaped evergreen container flanking your front stoop. Clocking in at just 18 in. tall and 2-3 ft wide, Pancake adds structure without the annual pruning. Bonus: Beautiful deep sage green foliage transitions to eye-catching blue in winter. How lovely! Hardy to Zone 4a.
Glossy, deep olive green leaves fancifully frame scarlet red, fully double blooms that abound in the fall months. Its dense, compact—nearly semi-dwarf—habit brings it to just 3-4 ft. tall and 4-5 ft. wide. Prized for its soft appearance in the landscape, it makes for a lovely greeting for visitors on your porch. Hardy to Zone 7a.
The semi-feathery evergreen foliage of Southern Living Plant Collection’s four varieties of nandina makes these plants well-suited for patio pots by adding structure, texture, and movement to a porch or patio. Blush Pink™, Flirt™, and Obsession™ are decked out in holiday colors, while Lemon-Lime, with its glowing green wispy leaves, is your own illuminating porch light. Hardy to Zone 6.
Ditto those same “structure, texture, and movement” comments for this cadre of carexes! All six Southern Living Plant Collection varieties add brightness to a porch deep in shadows during the season’s waning light. Growing to be at most 18 inches tall, all six offer evergreen foliage that can be planted in containers of different sizes and heights. Hardy to Zone 5a.
The months ahead can be cold, but thanks to these varieties, your porch can look really, really cool!