Autumn Harvest Container Gardens: Fall Planter Ideas with Pumpkins

Looking for some no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas? Try sprucing up your fall planters with the bright colors of fresh pumpkins and fall plants! Making your Autumn Harvest Container Garden is easy with a stunning selection of fresh fall color, herbs, and even succulents! The options are endless! Spend some time enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend and de-stress with the perfect fall planting project.


fall planters

STEP 1: Supplies

To get started, you will need the following supplies for this fall gardening project:

  • Pumpkins or Gourds
  • Autumn Harvest Plants like Matrix® Pansies, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, Herbs, Ornamental Grasses
  • Succulents
  • Calloway’s Premium Container Potting Soil
  • Pottery from Calloway’s or Cornelius
  • Calloway’s Premium Flower Food
  • Calloway’s Premium Tropical Plant Food (for succulents)

STEP 2: Soil and Pottery

The soil you use is very important to the health and success of your container garden. First, never use the native soil from the ground, as it does not contain the nutrients and moisture-retaining properties of a proper potting soil.

Calloway’s Premium Container Potting Soil helps your plants get the best start for healthier, continued growth. It contains water saving ingredients like Hydrogel water holding crystals, Expanded Shale and Coconut Coir for added moisture control. Additional ingredients include sphagnum peat moss, composted rice hulls, composted pine bark, earthworm castings, Dolomite lime, and trace elements. Our soil is Silicon Enriched™ to provide container plants with the same benefits as those grown in the Earth’s soil! Plus, our .2-.05-.1 professional formula contains a slow release fertilizer to help feed your plants for up to 6 months.

pottery in store

Choose the perfect pottery for your container garden. Select a size that will be big enough to fit your selection of plants. Have fun exploring all the different styles and colors to find the best container for your garden!

STEP 3: Adding Your Plants

Pick your plants in vibrant colors to design a visually pleasing container garden. When it comes to the design, use the “Thriller, Filler, and Spiller” method. Choosing your plants based on “Thriller, Filler, and Spiller” selections will create an exciting creation with dimension and color.

Select plants with similar sun and water requirements to ensure your plants stay happy and healthy.

First, add your “Thriller” plant. Choose selections with big, bold blooms or try a dynamic choice like ornamental grasses from Monrovia®.

ornamental grasses

Remember, the “Thriller” plant will be a large, dramatic, and taller option. It is the focal plant in your container. Depending on where your container will be displayed, you can either plant your “Thriller” in the center, if your container will be viewed from all sides, or plant towards the back of the container.

ornamental grass in container

Then, add your “Filler” plant. The “Filler” plants are plants that tend to be a more rounded plant to make the container look full. Place your “Filler” in front of your “Thriller” plant. In our design, we selected some fantastic plants for this time of year, Ornamental Cabbage or Kale and Matrix® Pansies!

ornamental kale

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale are fall favorites. They add rich colors and gorgeous seasonal color to any landscape. They grow best in full sun during the cooler months and the cool temperatures create strong pigments of vibrant colors in the leaves.

ornamental cabbage

Matrix® Pansies are known for their large blooms and consistent growth during the cooler season. They come in a variety of bold and vibrant colors in blotch or clear styles. Place next to your Ornamental Cabbage or Kale, leaving room to add pumpkins!

yellow pansy

Finally, add your “Spiller” plant. The “Spiller” plants are trailing plants that hang over the edge of the container. They should be planted close to the edge of the container, in front of, or surrounding the “Filler” plant.

fresh herbs

For our creation, we selected fresh seasonal herbs! Oregano, Chives, or Thyme make for great “Spiller” plants, plus they provide a lovely fragrance.

Now that your plants are set up. Water in thoroughly, letting the water drain through the drain hole. Then, get ready to add pumpkins!

STEP 4: Adding Pumpkins

fall container garden ideas with pumpkins

Depending on the size of your container, that will determine the appropriate size of pumpkins to use. Smaller pumpkins like Pie Pumpkins, White Pumpkins, Mini Pumpkins, or even Ornamental Gourds will add a splash of seasonal hues to your creation.

no carve pumpkin ideas

Place your pumpkins within the open spaces of your container for a beautiful Autumn Harvest display!



Want to make a beautiful Autumn Harvest Container Garden for the indoors? Try using succulents! Succulents are low-maintenance and add darling foliage to any space.

Have fun with the varieties of succulents we have to offer and try using the same “Thriller, Filler, Spiller” method for your creation.


For our container garden, we found the perfect plant to use to create a strong focal point. This large succulent easily resembles Ornamental Cabbage or Kale!

succulent in potting soil

Plant your succulent in the potting soil and then add your smaller or “Filler” succulents.

fall planter with succulents

Once all the plants are ready to go, finish your container garden with Mini Pumpkins.

mini pumpkin

Simply, fill in the areas between the plants with your pumpkin selections.

pumpkins and succulents

Your Autumn Harvest Container Gardens are now complete! Add these beauties to your front porch or tabletops, depending on the plants you have used.

autumn havest planters

fresh from florida


To keep your plants bold and beautiful, give them the best food for proper nourishment. Calloway’s Premium Flower Food is great for all blooming flowers like Begonias, Cyclamen, Pansies, Petunias, Periwinkle, and more.  Our 12-4-8 specialized formula contains nitrogen, Fx Iron®, phosphate, and other key ingredients to help your flowers bloom with big, bold color!

premium flower food

For your succulents, give your plants Calloway’s Premium Tropical Plant Food. Our Tropical Plant Food is ideal for Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Indoor Plants, and more. Our 15-5-10 special formula contains a controlled release nitrogen, Fx Iron®, calcium, and other key components to help your tropical plants have healthier growth.



Shop with ease for your Autumn Harvest Container Garden! At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have convenient ways to shop for your home and garden! Our open-air stores are here for you to enjoy, try shopping online, or you can call our store nearest you and place an order over the phone for Curbside Pickup!

curbside pickup

Plus, stop by this Saturday or Sunday (October 10th and 11th) and bring your kids for our FREE pie pumpkin pickup!

Please limit 1 pie pumpkin per child. While supplies last!

Questions about plant care, availability, or quantities of plants? Call our store nearest you! Our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals are here to help with your planting needs!

Share your Autumn Harvest Container Gardens with us on our Facebook page or Instagram and use hashtag #CALLOWAYSNURSERY or #CORNELIUSNURSERY! We love to see what you grow and create!