Stunning Winter Planters

Easy To Create & Enjoy All Season Long!

The leaves have fallen, the days are colder and shorter, and most plants have entered their dormant cycle, but your planters can still flourish this winter!

Using fragrant evergreen branches and interesting woody twig accents, your winter planters can provide beauty throughout the entire season. You can dress them up for the holidays by adding themed décor and simply remove to enjoy for the rest of the wintery months.

There are a few things to consider when first approaching a new planter design:

Container – What size/shape is the container? What color? Is your container ceramic?
Color Scheme – Are you coordinating a theme with any additional outdoor décor? (wreaths, garland, etc.)
Placement – Do you plan on using lights and need to be close to electricity?
Materials – Which plant or ornamental materials interest you?

  • Balsam: rich dark green needles, spicy fragrance
  • Juniper: scale-like leaves with blue berries, fragrant
  • White Pine: light blueish-green, soft, straight and long needles
  • Cedar: green scale-like leaves, strong fragrance
  • Magnolia Leaves: smooth, leathery, dark green oval-shaped leaves
  • Winterberry: bright red berries on a grayish-brown stem
  • Red Huckleberry: small, bright green oval leaves
  • Variegated Boxwood: dramatic green and creamy white foliage
  • Red-Twig Dogwood: bright red branches
  • Curly Willow: curly, contorted golden branches
  • Birch Poles: smooth, white branches with peeling bark
  • Spruce Toppers: Light green, short needles, light fragrance
  • Pine Cones: textured, brown or painted white
  • Ribbons, ornaments, lights, etc.

Once you have considered your container, materials, theme and placement, it is time to start designing! If you are using a ceramic pot, it is best to empty the pot of all dirt and use a liner pot (usually a black plastic pot). This will help prevent the ceramic from cracking from freeze and thaw throughout the winter. You’ll want to fill the liner pot about ¾ full of peat moss and then top it off with planting soil. This will help to keep the planter light in case you need to relocate it, while also providing an anchor for the branches. You could also use floral foam if you prefer, but make sure you put some weight in the bottom of the container to prevent it from toppling over.

The next step is to add your desired materials. We like to start with the evergreen branches first and use a mixture of different textures – balsam, juniper, white pine and cedar. When you start with the evergreens first, it helps to establish the size and balance of the planter. From here, you can then add the accents – magnolia leaves, winterberry, red huckleberry, variegated boxwood, red-twig dogwood, curly willow, birch poles, spruce toppers or pine cones. We recommend having a decent height in the middle of the planter, which can be achieved by using a spruce topper, birch poles, red-twig dogwood or curly willow branches.

If decorating for the holidays, you can use ribbons or bows, string lights and ornaments to add some festive flair – get creative! Stop by our garden shop to get materials to make your own stunning winter planters!

TIP: If the outside temperature is still relatively warm (50+ degrees) you will want to keep the soil moist until it freezes. Ideally you want the branches to freeze in the moist soil to help aid in the longevity of the fresh materials throughout the winter. If you are using floral foam, you will want to make sure that you follow the same rule with keeping it moist until it freezes.

BONUS: Winter planters can attract birds to your landscape. They offer cover and the berries on the juniper and winterberry branches provide a nice winter snack.