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Winter Wonderland at your doorstep: Outdoor Christmas Planting Ideas

Chelsea Clayfibre Planters with Margot

Christmas is around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about decorations! Immediately, my mind goes to indoor Christmas decorations like my Christmas tree, tinsel, fairy lights and more. However, I also enjoy putting on a coat and boots and going to outdoor winter wonderlands with lights and plants and Christmassy colours! When I think about the outside of my house, I want it to inspire passers-by to feel the holiday spirit and an easy way to do this is through festive planting. Having various plants and winter flowers growing in a garden is the perfect way to enhance curb appeal and create a welcoming atmosphere before stepping into a house. Not to mention Christmas is all about plants! Christmas trees, holly bushes, ivy are all key elements of creating a festive area that truly enhances a space.

What type of plants should I look for?

Now, we all know Christmas is usually cold, so a key thing to look for when doing your festive planting are plants that can withstand frost.

Virbunum Tinus ‘Gwenllian’ – Grow from deep pink beds into beautiful white flowers, perfect for a Christmas colour scheme and are able to withstand the cold.

Skimmia Japonica ‘Rubella’ are a must have when festive planting, with their little red berries they emulate baubles on a Christmas tree. They can be accompanied by various shrubs to enhance the festive feel of your doorstep.


Buxus Sempervirens ‘Common Box’ look great when planted in our Chelsea Clayfibre Cube Planters as decoration either side of a doorway. The deep green colours give a really festive feel and look great when paired with rubella or mulberry wine shrubs.


Calocephalus Brownii add an icy appearance to a planting scheme. They create the wonderful illusion of a shrub touched with frost, keeping to a wintery aesthetic.

Cyclamen can tolerate frost to about -4 degrees Celsius and are therefore still a good contender for winter planting. I chose to plant white ones to contrast with the rubella in my winter planting scheme.


Helleborus niger ‘Christmas Rose’ are classic and seasonal, the perfect flower to brighten up an outdoor display. They’re a must have for a winter wonderland- it’s in the name!

Hedera Helix ‘Ivy’ are self-supporting climbers and perfect for filling gaps in a presentation. They are also generally resistant to pests and diseases. Please keep in mind that they may be toxic if ingested so keep them away from children and pets.

Cornus Sanguinea ‘European Dogwood’ is a beautiful shrub with gorgeous red stems to add a pop of colour to a winter wonderland. They create a stunning contrast to snow and even to other greens.

Should I plant in containers?

Containers are extremely helpful when winter planting as the roots of each plant will be kept well insulated. This keeps your plants happy and healthy. We have a variety of container planters at FloraSelect and love helping our customers decide which ones to pick.


Chelsea Clayfibre Cube Planters are one of my favourites at the moment, their antique lead finish are perfect for a classy Christmas. The deep grey of the planters really contrast to the colours of the green, red and white plants that I love adding in to my winter wonderland. Clayfibre planters also have a bit more weight to them than other planters, this means I don’t have to worry about the wind knocking them over and I know my outdoor arrangement will stay in place.

Black Zinc Cube Planters provided a perfect minimalist base for an arrangement with various colours. A plainer look means that I can go crazier with my Christmas decorations! They’re also very lightweight which means before I plant I don’t have any trouble moving them about and thinking about my plan for my winter wonderland.


Fibreglass Carrez Cube Planters by Adezz seemed to be a good option as I needed a bit more size for my plants. I was thinking of putting a couple of Christmas trees out the front, and then next year I could move one inside. This meant I had to think of a long term solution for my trees and the pots I was going to plant them in. I needed a lot space for my Christmas tree to grow as I like having my Christmas tree up to the ceiling. Fibreglass cube planters were ideal as they suited my size requirements and they are durable and frost proof.

When I had decided on fibreglass containers the next step was to think about what colour I wanted. I thought about maybe RAL 3027, which is a raspberry red to keep with a festive theme. Then I thought it was a bit bright to be outside my house for the whole year and I thought maybe I should just go with a minimalist colour. This lead me to RAL 9016 Traffic White, which actually turned out to be more convenient because the lead time was only 7 working days. As I was so excited about my winter wonderland, I wanted to plant up quickly!

Corten Steel Planters are another great choice, due to their durability and rustic appearance. The only reason I didn’t go for these and chose the fibreglass was because I was leaning toward a festive red colour. For those who are leaning towards corten steel for their winter wonderland scheme, I would recommend planting a creeping ivy down the side for a stunning contrast between the green and deep orange colour. These planters are not just for a Christmassy look but have an industrial element to them and look great all year round.

Planting decoration

Festive planting would not be complete without some planting decorations! I’m always thinking about the ‘spiller, filler, thriller’ rule when planting outside, especially around the holidays. So, our spiller is typically going to be a trailing or cascading plant that upholds greenery in our planters. Next, the filler, this will be the main event with a substantial piece like a shrub, maybe with some winter berries to add a touch of red. The next part is the best part- the thriller! Thrill passers-by and delivery drivers with pine cones, lanterns, fairy lights and maybe some biodegradable eco-friendly glitter. Watch your winter garden turn into a wonderland before your eyes.


Winter maintenance tips

The next part is keeping the plants alive. So we need to add a layer of mulch around the base of plants, which insulates the soil and protects them from being too cold. It’s true that our plants do not need as much water in the winter as the summer but don’t neglect them! Soil may dry out in the winter, which may lead to plants suffering from dehydration. If you’re feeling really attached to your plants you could cover them with a frost cloth or burlap to shield them from freezing cold temperatures (but not if you’ve decorated with fairy lights or a lantern- although a fire would really warm them up!).

Merry Christmas!

And there you have it! A selection of plants and planters to choose from with a guide to make your outdoor space an extended festive feature of your home. We would love to see your own winter wonderlands if you would like to share them- if so message us on Instagram @floraselect. If you have any further questions or just want general advice then don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team at 01245 422 353 or on our email [email protected].

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