10 Plant Palettes to Perk Up Your Late-Season Containers and Borders

10 Plant Palettes to Perk Up Your Late-Season Containers and Borders

10 Plant Palettes to Perk Up Your Late-Season Containers and Borders
10 Plant Palettes to Perk Up Your Late-Season Containers and Borders

From the vibrant reds and oranges of autumnal foliage to the sunny yellows and rich purples of summer blooms, plant combinations are a playground for your creativity, where each garden bed and container becomes your masterpiece. 

We've used stunning color combos, long-blooming summer flowers, and dynamic fall foliage to put together 10 fresh plant palettes to inspire confidence and creativity for your summer and fall garden projects.

(Above) Late-season showstoppers FloralBerry® Chardonnay St John's Wort and La Barbe Bleue™ Bluebeard make a stunning combo summer through fall. Find them both in our "Summertime Blues" plant palette featured below. 

Whether you're refreshing your containers or adding some oomph to your borders, you can use these ideas to inspire new, unique plant combinations the next time you go to your local garden center. Remember to share your creative combos with us on social media @MonroviaPlants!

Love plant palettes? See our free Shades of Beautiful digital guide for more. 

1. Lakeside in Fall

Sirens' Song™ Orange 
Delight Heuchera

A Monrovia exclusive with lively peach and orange tones that brighten up partly shaded containers and borders. Large leaves create a full, mounding plant that is exceptionally heat tolerant. Dainty flowers appear on spikes above the foliage in the spring. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 18" tall, 15" wide. Zones 4-9.

JeanGenie™ Colorado 
Blue Spruce

The beauty of a classic Colorado Blue Spruce on a slower-growing plant, perfect for smaller landscapes. A handsome pyramidal form with a denser growth habit and brighter blue needles. Partial to full sun. Up to 15' tall, 8' wide. Zones 2-8.

Butterscotch Baby™ 

This exceptionally compact variety provides three seasons of color. Foliage is a beautiful, deep caramel color when first emerging in spring, and again in fall. In between, pink summer blooms attract pollinators. The petite size is perfect for containers and narrow borders. Full sun. Up to 18" tall, 24" wide. Zones 4-9.

2. Rustic Raspberry

Karley Rose 
Fountain Grass

Graceful, upright, smoky rose-purple flower spikes that nearly glow when back lit by the sun, with a longer bloom season and greater cold tolerance than other varieties. Forms a tufted mound of deep green, arching foliage. A great landscape or container accent. Full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zons 5-10.

Evolution™ Chocolate 
Fountain Sedum

A Monrovia exclusive bred for strong basal branching with compact stems that do not fall open, this delectable sedum produces a dense mound with multiple crowns of attractive, dark chocolate-colored, succulent foliage that is salted with pretty rose-pink blooms in the summer. Full sun. Up to 15" tall and wide. Zones 4-9.

Strawberry Shake™ 

A summer show-stopper for containers and borders, this gorgeous new and compact panicle hydrangea has sturdy stems that support big, full flower heads. Flowers start out white and mature to a delectable pink. Partial to full sun. Up to 5' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-8.

3. Modern Neutrals

Summerlasting™ Coconut 
Crape Myrtle

Fill your summer with the dramatic contrast of pure white blooms on black foliage. Flowers hold over an exceptionally long season and will rebloom if spent flowers are removed. This compact, dwarf variety is perfect for smaller landscapes, or plant en masse for a dramatic statement. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 7-10.

Northern Exposure™ 
Sienna Heuchera

Long lived, hardy, and rust resistant, with leaves that emerge green, then transform in summer to burnt-orange with yellow edges. Bright pink flowers and stems dance above the compact foliage in spring. Keeps looking great longer than other varieties. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 13" tall, 21" wide. Zones 4-9.

Big Bluestem

A dramatic vertical accent that changes color throughout the growing season. Foliage emerges green, then develops red-bronze hues towards the tips in summer. The color continues to darken to deep purple until almost black in fall. Purple plumes appear in late summer. Full sun. Up to 8' tall, 2' wide. Zones 3-9.

4. Juicy Jewels

orange flowers on orange king bougainvilla

Orange King 

A strong vining habit that provides quick cover and beautiful, showy masses of bronze-orange flowers. Use for a lush tropical effect on arbors and trellises, and as a summer annual for patio containers and hanging baskets. Full sun. Up to 30' tall with support. Zones 10-11 (grow as annual).

Orange Pekoe 

Vibrant red-orange buds open to bold tricolor blooms with an array of red, orange, and yellow petals. The spectacular flowers appear on long stems above an upright clump of narrow, sword-like, green foliage, adding dramatic color to the late-summer garden. Partial to full sun. Up to 26" tall and wide. Zones 5-9.

SuperCal® Hybrid 

A super hybrid with large vibrant flowers that bloom continuously from spring into fall until the first hard frost. Exceptional garden performance in spite of late spring frosts, rain, or summer heat. Superb for containers and loved by hummingbirds. Partial to full sun. Up to 14" tall, 18" wide. Zones 10-11 (grow as annual).

5. White Gold

FloralBerry® Champagne 
St. John's Wort

Buttery yellow cup-shaped flowers produce clusters of lovely creamy white berries on well-branched, rust-resistant plants with handsome dark green foliage. A fuss-free deciduous shrub ideal for borders and containers. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 5-9.

Blonde Ambition 
Blue Grama Grass

This rugged, cold hardy, native grass features blue-green foliage and striking, flag-like, golden summer flowers on stiff, weather-resistant stems. Provides cool-season interest, as the long-lasting blonde seed heads remain through winter. Partial to full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.

Nitty Gritty™ 
White Rose

This very durable, own-root, fuss-free groundcover rose produces an abundance of lovely blooms while offering excellent disease resistance and a self-cleaning, easy-to-care-for habit. The white double blooms provide exquisite warm-season color, adding great low-maintenance curb appeal to the landscape. Full sun. Up to 3' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-9. 

6. Summertime Blues

Seaside Serenade® 
Cape Cod Hydrangea

A new classic for small spaces! A hardy, repeat blooming machine with big, mophead flowers, extra-dark green leaves, and a neat, mounded form. Perfect for foundations and borders. Harvest blooms for long-lasting cut floral arrangements. Blue florets in acidic soils, or pink in neutral to alkaline soils. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.

FloralBerry® Chardonnay 
St. John's Wort

Sunny yellow flowers produce clusters of bright-yellow berries on well-branched, rust-resistant plants with handsome dark green foliage. A fuss-free deciduous shrub ideal for borders and containers. Stems of fall berries are a wonderful accent in cut flower arrangements. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide.  Zones 5-9. 

La Barbe Bleue™ 

Fragrant shiny yellow foliage adds a warm glow to the summer landscape. An abundance of deep blue flower spikes provides a rich contrast to the foliage in summer and early fall. The neat and compact habit makes it a great container plant and garden specimen. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 5-9.

7. Cool it Down

Tectonic™ Pangea

An exotic specimen from the forests of Northeastern India. Deep, dark green leaves have a halo of lime-green. The highly textured, shiny surface appears to shimmer. Adds bold texture and contrast to any lightly shaded setting. An extraordinary specimen for containers, a large terrarium, or as a houseplant. Partial to full shade. Up to 18" tall and wide. Zones 8-11 (or grow as annual).

Blue Angel 

The largest of the blue hostas with pointed, silver-blue leaves forming a lush, dense, cascading mound. White, bell-like flowers on tall stems adorn the huge clump in summer. Sure to attract attention in the dappled shade garden. Full shade to partial sun. Up to 3' tall, 6' wide. Zones 3-9.


A gently-spreading evergreen groundcover from the Dan Hinkley Collection with exceptionally shiny, green to gunmetal blue, heart-shaped leaves. The foliage creates a handsome backdrop for the pretty star-shaped spring flowers. This fuss-free filler thrives in dappled shade, perfect for a narrow bed, tree understory, or woodland garden. Full to partial shade. Up to 18" tall, 24" wide. Zones 6-8.

8. Sun and Sangria

Ruby Tuesday 

Exceptionally ruffled leaves emerge ruby red, aging to a deep merlot frosted with silver. Prolific amounts of petite white flowers are held above the foliage in early spring. Striking as an accent or massed in a woodland border, and provides great color contrast in mixed containers. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 9" tall, 14" wide. Zones 4-9.

Stormy Skye™ 

A reblooming daylily with dramatic color. Large pink flowers feature bold, burgundy eyes and burgundy-lined ruffled petal edges. This easy-care compact plant tolerates a range of soils and can be tucked into nearly any garden to add reliable summer color. Full sun. Up to 18" tall and wide. Zones 4-11.


Big dark purple, almost black, foliage provides wonderful contrast in the garden. The well-branched, compact plant features white flowers in summer, followed by attractive red fruit. A wonderful way to add variety to shrub borders. Partial to full sun. Up to 5' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-8.

9. Blue Harvest

Bountiful Blue® 

An award-winning variety with the bluest of foliage! Pink-blushed flowers produce a big crop of large, sweet, juicy berries on a compact, mounded shrub. Perfect for hedges or planting in large tubs. Self-fertile, though planting with another variety may increase yields. Needs only 150-200 winter chill hours. Full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 6-10.

Blue Passion 

This stunning vine clings by graceful tendrils that wind around a trellis or arbor, quickly creating a deep green screen with ornate, lightly scented flowers that bloom from summer through early fall. Ruffled outer petals and sepals surround an intricately arranged center ring of blue, white, and purple. One of the hardiest of varieties. Partial to full sun. Up to 15' tall. Zones 7-10.

French Lavender

Elegant, sweetly fragrant mounds of silver foliage yield purple-blue flower spikes in summer and again in fall. The flowers have outstanding ornamental and edible qualities. This cold-hardy lavender does not die back in the winter like other varieties and is notable for its disease resistance and heat and humidity tolerance. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 4-8.

10. Late-Summer Pollinator Purples

Grape Crush New 
England Aster

Deep purple flowers are densely packed on a nicely rounded mound. A fantastic way to keep your garden blooming beyond summer, providing continuing bright color and a nectar source for butterflies. Perfect as the middle layer of a cottage-style perennial garden bed. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 3-8.

Firecracker Sedum

Brilliant burgundy-red sedum clusters all season long with soft pink flowers that bloom from late summer through early fall. Perfect in shallow containers or tucked into rockery or a green wall, where it will gently cascade. Full sun. Up to 8" tall and wide. Zones 4-10.

Boulevard® Sacha™ 

Stunning, frilly, mauve-blue blooms provide spectacular color summer through fall on this well-behaved, compact, free-flowering vine. Perfect for containers. Supplies beautiful vertical interest to any garden fence or trellis. Partial to full sun. Up to 5' tall. Zones 4-9.

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2023-07-11 20:53:00