Create a Gorgeous Winter Container Garden

Table of Contents

Winter-interest containers add uplifting color to your doorstep. Mix, match and combine the fresh plant materials from the three categories below to create a personalized decoration for your home in less than an hour. If you don’t already have some of these plants and materials on hand, then consider planting them so you’ll always have supplies to redo your winter-interest containers every year.

1. Features

To start, select a large plant pot and decide if you prefer a living plant or a grouping of branches as the upright, central feature. Your feature plant or branches should be up to four times the height of the pot.

Pro Tip: Live or fresh-cut, keep in mind that a variety of heights, textures and colors from the following filler and finishers selections will help your arrangement stand-out.

Living Dwarf Plant

A live plant should be planted in the container using potting soil, which is best done in fall. Top the soil with bark mulch for an attractive finish and to help protect roots from the cold.

Winter Heath (Erica carnea)

Dwarf English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

False Cypress ‘Kings Gold’ (Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera aurea)

Dwarf Globe Arbovitae ‘Hetz Midget’ or ‘Little Giant’ (Thuja occidentalis)

Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus squamata)

Sweet Box (Sarcococca)

Dwarf Norway Spruce ‘Pumila’ (Picea abies)

Dwarf Japanese Euonymus ‘Microphyllus’ (Euonymus japonicus)

Branches or Limbs

Feature branches should be firmly zip-tied or wired together and stuck securely into the leftover soil of a previously used planter. If the soil is frozen, drench it with boiling water to insert bundled stems easily. You may want to use a hammer to tamp down the bundle.

Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Birch (Betula)

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Harry Lauder’s Walkingstick (Corylus avellana)

Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)

Features - Living Evergreen Plant or Branches & Boughs

2. Fillers

Next, decide on which fillers are best to spill over the edge of the container and disguise the base of your central, upright feature. Push the stems of each filler a few inches into the soil to secure them in place.

Evergreen Boughs


Holly (Ilex)

Colorado Blue Spruce (Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens glauca))

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Juniper (Juniper (Juniperus))

Smooth Cypress (Smooth Cypress (Cupressus glabra))

Golden False Cypress (Golden False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera))

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri)

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)

Silver Dollar (Eucalyptus)

Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Harry Lauder’s Walkingstick (Corylus avellana)

Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)

Grapevine (Vitis)

Fillers - Boughs, Twigs, Sticks

3. Finishers

Lastly, select materials from this list for a decorative finishing touch. Arrange berries, pinecones, fruits and non-plant items in groups atop your bed of fillers.




Additional Items

Holly (Ilex)

Arrowwood (Viburnum)

Rowan (Sorbus)

Juniper (Juniperus)

Firethorn (Pyracantha)

European Cranberry Viburnum (Viburnum opulus)

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika)

Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri)

Black Hills Spruce ‘Densata’ (Picea glauca)

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Rose Hips






Finishers - Vibrunum Berries, Pinecones, Ribbon

Once you’ve finished your winter container garden arrangement, we’d love to see what you created. Share a picture on our Facebook page!


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