Fall Planter Idea with Lanterns & Mums

In this post: An easy fall planter idea using lanterns, copper mums, ivy, and Creeping Jenny. This planter idea is super simple and quick to assemble!

black planters with mums and lanterns on porch

*This post was originally published in 2018. It’s been updated with more information and fresh source links.

Now that it’s officially September, let’s welcome autumn…and there’s no better place to start than on the front porch. I already shared how to make the lamb’s ear and cotton boll wreath pictured below. Next up is a fall planter idea that is easy to adapt to your space, and even to whatever pots you have on hand.

I’m going to be honest…I wasn’t sure this idea was actually going to work. After I finally found small mums and got them planted, they promptly dried up and died! I have no idea what happened, but I had to start all over again. My second batch of mums actually look much better than the first, and are the prettiest copper color. So in the end, it all fell into place.

blue front door with lambs ear wreath on porch

Fall Planter Idea Supplies Needed for One Pot

  • Planter or pot
  • Potting soil
  • Lantern
  • LED Candle
  • Small mum
  • 4 ivy plants
  • 2 Creeping Jenny (or other trailing plant)

Sizes and sources for everything I used are listed at the end of the post.

fall planter idea with lantern assembly diagram

Planter Assembly

The first thing to do is fill your container almost full with potting soil. I had impatiens in mine, so I pulled those out and just added some fresh soil. Water it well so the soil compacts a bit. This helps to steady the lantern.

Fall Planter Idea Tip

  • Place the candle inside the lantern BEFORE the plants are added. Once the plants are in, it’s hard to open the lantern door. That’s also why I chose LED candles that have a remote. It would be impossible to turn the lantern on and off without a remote. 

Refer to the picture above for placement of the lantern and plants. The lantern is flush against the back of the pot instead of in the middle. This allows for a little more room in the front to place the mum. The photo shows just the right side of the planter...use the same placement for the left side. 

planter box with mums ivy lantern

If you have a larger planter with a big opening, it would work to place the lantern in the middle and surround it with plants. Use two mums instead of just one for better symmetry. It would also be really fun to fill the lantern with little pumpkins and/or gourds. 

mums in fall planter box with layered doormat fall planter idea

I actually love the way these planters turned out. When the first set of mums dried up, I thought about leaving them out entirely. I’m glad I didn’t, because the added color looks festive and very fallish. You could also add color with little pumpkins, baby gourds, or bunches of mini Indian corn.

front porch with fall decor

Fall Planter Idea Sources

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

*If an item I used for these lantern planters is unavailable, I’ve linked to a similar source.

Planter box (16 in. x 16 in.)| Lanterns | LED Pillar Candles & Remote ControlLamb’s Ear WreathFront Door Color | Porch lights | Address plaque | Mailbox | Door hardware | Wreath hanger | RockersBuffalo check rug | Hello doormat | Black & white buffalo check throw blanket 

I’ll be back in a few days with more photos of the rest of the porch, along with all the details.

*Update: see the fall front porch HERE.

I’m ready to add touches of fall inside the house as well, so watch for those in the coming days and weeks. I’m looking forward to sweater weather, shorter days, pumpkin bread, and soup on the stove. Let’s greet the season together!

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  1. Ann,
    What a great idea. I will definitely plan on creating the lantern planter as soon as I begin my autumn planting.

  2. I love this idea, and I’m going to do it!

  3. Hi Ann, What a great idea! I just bought a galvanized lantern….not because I needed it, I just liked it. Now I know what to do with it! Thanks for all your great, easy-to-do (for those of us who are not super crafty) ideas!

  4. 5 stars
    love. Love. LOVE your fall planter ideas; thanx SO much for sharing!

  5. Betsy Dean says:

    Love the painted door, porch looks great!! Can you please let me know the paint color you used & manufacturer?
    I have been searching for just the right color blue for my front door. Our brick is similar to yours.

  6. Nicole Linville says:

    I love this so much and am trying to make something similar. I found a similar lantern but am having trouble finding that size candle. Can you tell me where you found LED candle in 4×12 with remote? Thanks

  7. Nicole Linville says:

    I absolutely love the planters!! I want to try to make something similar. I love the lanterns but can’t find exact ones.can I ask where you found them? Thanks

  8. Are your shutters the same color as your door? I’d love to change my door color but didn’t because I didn’t want to paint everything

  9. Hey! It looks like there’s a little wicker table between the rockers, do you have a link for that, and can you take some pics from the front there all from the side.

  10. NancyLisa says:

    I love your art and love using your planner pages and am really looking forward to your 2020 calendar!! When do you think you’ll have it out? Fall ideas from you are so elegant. thank you for sharing.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi NancyLisa! I have the calendar scheduled to go out on September 15th!

  11. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    Ann, your porch just seems to welcome folks to sit and sip! Maybe when it cools off a bit, and the gnats go away, we can enjoy being outside again. It is just horrible here in south Georgia!! Have a great weekend!!

  12. I loved the outdoor lanterns placed in the planters idea so I added it to my newly updated front porch. At night, the glow from the new porch chandelier and lanterns is amazing.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I love this! This is beautiful and I pinned your picture to my Porches board. Thank you very much for sharing!

  13. I just love this and doing the same thing but wondering how you stablized the lantern. Did you just set it on thr dirt or anchor it with something? I’m worried a good wind will knock it over. 😫

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Dianne…a few things. First, make sure to water your planter dirt well before adding the plants and lantern. This packs the dirt down and makes for a more firm base. Once you add the plants, the lantern is nestled inside and it doesn’t really move. My planters are on a covered porch and don’t get much wind. I hope this helps!

  14. Kelle Evans says:

    I used this as inspiration, using what I had on hand as well as purchasing the lanterns and a buffalo check throw. Threw in my grandson’s red rain boots he outgrew and baskets of white faux pumpkins. Thank you for this inspiration!!!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      That sounds wonderful…thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!

  15. Linda Young says:

    Hi Ann…I love your fall planter! Do you place the lantern on anything so it isn’t sitting on damp soil? Are the led candles outdoor candles? I get some pretty intense morning sun on my front porch. Thanks! Linda

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Linda! No…I didn’t put anything under the lanterns. I watered the soil in well and it was very packed down. The LED candles are not technically labeled outdoor. My porch also gets morning sun and they have been fine so far. I hope this helps!

  16. These are so pretty! Did you fill up the entire planter with soil?
    I’m also curious how you will transition these to winter…
    Thank you!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Lauren…I did not fill the entire planter with soil. I used packing peanuts to take up some of the space in the bottom of the pots. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to transition them to winter, but I’d like to try wrapping the ivy around grapevine trees. Stay tuned!

  17. Jenny Marie molina says:

    Absolutely gorgeous decor and ideas. Thank you for the inspirations 💕

  18. Your fall porch looks amazing. Love the ivy in the planters with the lanterns too. Just in the process of decorating the inside of our home for fall. My husband grew corn in our garden and pumpkins. Using both for our fall porch. By the way, the corn was ever so delicious. He will again add corn, but nix the pumpkins. Their vines take over too much property.

  19. Very pretty, love the lanterns and mums together with the trailing plants. Fall is in the air!

  20. I love your blog. Last weekend I made your Natural Fall centerpiece (with a few minor changes) and it turned out beautifully. Thank you!

  21. Thanks, Ann, for the door wreath ideas. I used yours from last year with a variation of color since HL only had orange not gold stems. I like it!

  22. Looks lovely, you’re ready for fall.

  23. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    When you break these planters down to prepare for Thanksgiving/Christmas will you plant these plants in the ground? If so,, I would like to see how you plan to use them. Also, when you do the rest of the porch, please give us an update on your hydrangeas .

    Looking forward to your next post!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Nan…honestly, I probably won’t plant anything in the ground. It will be mid November by the time I break the planters down and that’s too late for me to be digging around. I’m not sure about the kale but if you wanted to, you could definitely plant the mums.

  24. Ah, fall is coming. Love your front porch. Very welcoming ..thx for sharing.

  25. Ann…your photography is amazing! Thanks for the fall inspiration! Happy Sunday :)

  26. I always enjoy seeing how you decorate your planters for the season——-Happy Fall ya’all!

  27. If we get past this very September I will be ready to decorate for fall. Great idea