- The 5 Types of Christmas Trees
- Fir Tree Varieties:
- Pine Tree Varieties:
- Spruce Tree Varieties:
- Cypress Tree Varieties:
- Cedar Trees:
- Asiatic Lily
- Baby’s Breath
- Bird of Paradise
- Calla Lily
- Cymbidium Orchid
- Dendrobium Orchid
- Oriental Lily
- Peace Lily
- Petite Rose
- Phalaenopsis Orchid
- Spray Rose
- Star of Bethlehem
- Stargazer Lily
- Tea Rose
- 1. How to use a variety of evergreen plants and cuttings, colorful berries, seed pods, and branches to create winter planters and gorgeous Christmas outdoor decorations which last for weeks and months!
- 2. How to add other decorative elements such as ribbons and ornaments in winter planters to create beautiful Christmas outdoor decorations.
- 1 & 2. Best plants and cuttings for winter planters and Christmas outdoor decorations.
- 3 & 4. Choosing containers for outdoor winter planters.
- 5 & 6 . How to make a Christmas planter arrangement.
- 7 – 10. Add festive details to your winter planters and Christmas outdoor decorations.
- 11 – 16. Other decorative elements for a stunning Christmas planter.
- 17 & 18. Artful mix of colors and textures.
- 19 & 20. Let it glow .
- 21 & 22. Window box planters.
- 23 & 24. Fall and winter planter transitions.
- 1. Evergreen Trees
- 2. Holly And Ivy
- 3. Evergreen Wreaths
- 4. Mistletoe
- 5. Christmas Cactus
- 6. Poinsettia
- 7. Christmas Rose
- 8. Pear Tree
- 9. Frankincense And Myrrh
- Holiday Gift Plants
- Caring for Your Plant
The 5 Types of Christmas Trees
For families who choose to put up a real Christmas tree (instead of a store bought tree), it’s about this time of year when they start the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. Not all Christmas Trees look the same; some have soft, flexible needles while others have firm. Trees can even vary in color, height and width. Depending on your your space, decorations, and other factors, there are a variety of different trees to choose from.
Here are the most common varieties of Christmas Trees:
Fir Tree Varieties:
* A Fraser fir tree has dark green needles 1/2 to 1 inch long with excellent needle retention and a nice scent.
* A Douglas fir tree’s cones hang downward and the tree grows into a cone-shaped naturally. It has 1 to 1-1/2 inch needles that are persistent with a sweet scent. (This tree is found in nearly every tree lot in the Unites States).
* The Balsam fir is a beautiful pyramidal tree with short, flat, long-lasting, aromatic needles.
* The White fir has long blue-green needles that are 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long (sometimes mistaken for a pine). The fir has a nice shape with a pleasing aroma and good needle retention.
Pine Tree Varieties:
* A Scotch pine tree has stiff branches, two bundled dark green needles 1 to 3 inches long that are retained for four weeks. The aroma is long-lasting and lingers through the entire season. Scotch pine does not drop needles when dry – excellent retention.
* A Virginia pine is dark green to gray in color and the limbs are stout with woody branches. It has only recently been used as a Christmas tree but is one of the most often purchased Christmas trees in the Southeastern United States.
* The White pine is the largest pine in United States and the state tree of Michigan and Maine. The tree retains needles throughout the holiday season but has little or no fragrance and not a good tree for heavy ornaments. The tree is sought by people who suffer from allergic reactions to more fragrant trees.
Spruce Tree Varieties:
* A Colorado Blue Spruce has dark green to powdery blue needles, 1 to 3 inches long and a pyramidal form when young. Colorado blue spruce is very often sold “living” and with an entire root ball – to be planted after the holidays.
* A White spruce has green to bluish green needles but has poor needle retention and they have an unpleasant odor when crushed. It is a regional favorite because it grows into the best shapes in the wild. The tree is excellent for heavy ornaments.
Cypress Tree Varieties:
* The Arizona cypress has become a valued Christmas tree. It’s a steeple shaped tree with a pale-green to gray-green color. The leaves are extremely tiny and quite plentiful. They lay close to the branchlet surface in a scale like arrangement and are about 0.1 inches long.
* The Leyland Cypress is dark green – gray in color and has very little aroma. Because it is not in the Pine or Fir family, it does not produce sap, so that those with an allergy to sap can still enjoy a Leyland as their Christmas Tree.
* The Eastern red cedar branches are light but compact and form a pyramidal crown as a young tree. It’s not a true cedar but in fact a juniper. The needles are aromatic and a dark, shiny, green color and sharp and prickly to the touch. It’s been a traditional Christmas tree of the South.
What is your favorite variety of Christmas Tree? Do you prefer a real farm raised tree or a reusable artificial tree?
Find out which type of Christmas Tree is right for you ….check out photos and descriptions of commonly available tree types below. But don’t be surprised as many Christmas Tree Farms offer even more varieties of trees!
Colorado Blue Spruce
Colorado blue spruce, or blue spruce, is an attractive tree often used for Christmas trees or as ornamentals, particularly in the eastern United States and Europe. It is the official state tree of both Colorado and Utah. The species generally reaches a height of 65-115 feet at maturity with a diameter of 2-3 feet. It has a narrow, pyramidal shape and cone-shaped crown. As trees become older, they often take on a more irregular appearance. While blue spruce grows relatively slowly, it is long-lived and may reach ages of 600-800 years.
Canaan (pronounced “Ka-naan”, with emphasis on the last syllable) is a relative newcomer to the Christmas tree market. It has many similarities to both Fraser and balsam firs in growth and appearance. Unfortunately, this similarity which has led to a great deal of confusion. In 1909, a variety of balsam fir was described in the literature as having cone scales extending from the bracts. This morphology was a deviation from typical balsam fir cones where the scales are not extended. This variety was then named “phanerolepis” which actually means conspicuous scales. The scientific name of Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis was assigned. The common names most often used were “bracted balsam fir” and “Blue Ridge fir”. Canaan fir had not, at that time, been described separately.
White fir, also commonly called concolor fir, is native to the western United States and may reach sizes of 130-150 ft. in height and 3 to 4 ft. in diameter. The oldest white firs may occasionally reach 350 years of age. It produces a spire-like crown with a straight trunk. Leaves (needles) are small and narrow and occur in rows. On upper branches, needles tend to be thicker and more curved than those on lower branches. Needles are usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long, pointed or notched at the tip, bluish-green when young turning dull green with age. Typically, they are flat, without stalks.
In many respects, Fraser fir and balsam fir are quite similar, although the geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. Some scientists even suggest that because of the many similarities, the two species were once a single species which has since evolved into the present-day forms. Leaves (needles) are flattened, dark-green with a medial groove on the upper side and two broad silvery-white bands on the lower surface. These bands consist of several rows of stomata (pores). Leaves are 1/2 to one inch long, have a broad circular base, and are usually dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the lower surface. On lower branches, leaves are two-ranked (occurring in two opposite rows). On upper twigs, leaves tend to curl upward forming a more “U-shaped” appearance.
Norway spruce is one of the most important species on the European Continent. More than 100 forms and varieties have been named. Although not native to the Western hemisphere, the species and a number of its varieties are commonly planted here, particularly in southeastern Canada and northeastern United States. Originally, a number of plants were established as ornamentals, with Christmas tree plantings being established more recently. It has escaped cultivation in several localities and is considered naturalized in some of these areas. Leaves (needles) are 4-sided (rectangular in section), 1/2-1 inch long, and sharp or somewhat blunt at the tip. At the base of each needle is a twig-like projection (sterigmata) which remains after the needle is lost. Although sometimes confused with true firs (Abies), spruces in general have 1) rectangular rather than flat needles, and 2) cones which hang down rather than stand erect on the stem.
Douglas-fir is not related to the true firs. This wide ranging species grows from 70 to 250 feet tall. The branches are spreading to drooping, the buds sharply pointed and the bark is very thick, fluted, ridged, rough and dark brown. The needles are dark green or blue green, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, soft to the touch and radiate out in all directions from the branch. They have a sweet fragrance when crushed.
Eastern White Pine
Beginning with the British colonists, eastern white pine (or white pine) has proven to be one of the most important and most desirable species of North America. It is a truly magnificent tree attaining a height of 80 feet or more at maturity with a diameter of two to three feet. White pine is considered to be the largest pine in the United States. Leaves (needles) are soft, flexible and bluish-green to silver green in color and are regularly arranged in bundles of five. Needles are 2 1/2-5 inches long and are usually shed at the end of the second growing season. Both male and female flowers (strobili) occur on the same tree, with pollination occurring in spring. Cones are 4-8 inches in length, usually slightly curved and mature at the end of the second season. Cone scales are rather thin and never have prickles. Cones also have exudations of a fragrant gummy resin.
In the wild, the trees are tall, beautifully symmetrical and grow to over 200 feet in height. The bark is smooth with resin blisters when young and changes to brownish-gray plates with age. The needles are roughly 4-sided (similar to spruce), over 1 inch long, bluish-green but appearing silver because of 2 white rows of stomata on the underside and 1-2 rows on the upper surface. The needles are generally twisted upward so that the lower surface of branches are exposed.
Scotch or Scots pine is an introduced species which has been widely planted for the purpose of producing Christmas trees. It is an extremely hardy species which is adaptable to a wide variety of soils and sites. As a Christmas tree, it is known for its dark green foliage and stiff branches which are well suited for decorating with both light and heavy ornaments. It has excellent needle retention characteristics and holds up well throughout harvest, shipping and display. The needles of Scotch pine are produced in bundles of two. They are variable in length, ranging from slightly over 1-inch for some varieties to nearly 3-inches for others. Color is likewise variable with bright green characteristic of a few varieties to dark green to bluish tones more prominent in others. The undersides of Scotch pine needles are characterized by several prominent rows of white appearing stomatal openings.
White spruce is a medium-sized conifer found in northeastern United States and throughout Canada. It is the state tree of South Dakota. White spruce has a cone-shaped crown, and when grown in the open develops a conical crown which extends nearly to the ground. This habit along with the spreading branches give it a nice appearance for use as an ornamental. Trees often reach 80-140 feet in height and 1.5 to 3 feet in diameter. The oldest white spruce may reach 300 years of age. Leaves (needles) are needle-shaped, and are often somewhat crowded on the upper half of the branchlets. Needles are usually 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, blunt at the tip and green to bluish-green in color. Typically, needles are 4 angled (4-sided) and are present on short twig-like structures on the stem (sterigmata). The bark is thin, light grayish-brown and is produced in irregular, thin, scaly plates.
Red and white make a great colour combination in the garden. Vibrant reds, just look so much better when they have a bit of white near by to really show them off. As Canadians we seem to have a natural affinity to this colour combination out of our national pride. So if you are thinking of showing your true colours in your landscape, you might like to consider a few of our top choices for red and white plants for the HARDY Canadian Garden.
Royal Red Maple
Royal Red Maple
Royal Red Maple is a faster growing tree with maroon red colour that turns brighter purple in fall. This splendid shade tree has a rounded, symmetrical growing habit. It is hardy and easy to grow. A magnificent lawn specimen for great colour. Grows to about 50’ high and 25’ wide at maturity.
Silver Leaf Dogwood
Silverleaf dogwood has bright white and green variegated leaves on red stems that provide excellent contrast. A perfect shrub for year-long interest in the garden. Very hardy and easy to grow, this striking shrub looks best in mass plantings or combined with dark-leafed shrubs. Grows to 6’ high & wide at maturity.
Rose Glow Barberry
Rose Glow Japanese Barberry has attractive and interesting pink-variegated burgundy foliage which emerges red in spring. The small oval leaves turn an outstanding burgundy in the fall. It features tiny clusters of yellow flowers hanging below the branches in mid-spring. The fruits are showy scarlet drupes carried in abundance from early to late fall. And the bark is brick red. Grows to about 5’ high & wide at maturity.
Pee Gee Hydrangea
Pee Gee Hydrangea
Pee Gee Hydrangea features bold conical white flowers with rose overtones at the ends of the branches from mid-summer to late fall. The flowers are show-stoppers in the garden and are excellent for cutting. It also has green foliage throughout the season. Pee Gee Hydrangea is a multi-stemmed flowering shrub with an upright spreading habit. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.
Crimson Queen Japanese Maple
Crimson Queen Japanese Maple
Crimson Queen Japanese Maple has attractive deep purple foliage which emerges crimson in spring. The deeply cut ferny palm-shaped leaves are ornamentally significant and turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. This Japanese Maple is an open deciduous dwarf tree with a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone. Grows slowly to 8’ high and 10’ wide at maturity.
Diana Rose of Sharon
Diana Rose of Sharon
Diana Rose of Sharon features bold white large flowers from summer to fall. Forest green foliage covers multi-stemmed, stiffly upright branches. A vigorous grower, this flowering shrub does best in full sun. Grows to 10’ high & 8’ wide at maturity.
Scarlet Flowering Quince
Scarlet Flowering Quince
This exquisite old-fashioned favourite flowering shrub blooms profusely over a long season! Fiery red apple blossom-like flowers cover the densely branched thorny stems in spring and are replaced by lustrous dark green foliage later in the season. An ideal for shrub borders and as a background plant. Very hardy and easy to grow. Grows to about 4’ high & wide at maturity.
White Ball Butterfly Bush
White Ball Butterfly Bush
White Ball Butterfly Bush features showy panicles of fragrant white flowers at the ends of the pendulous branches from mid-summer to mid fall. Flowers attract butterflies and are excellent for cutting. This shrub has grayish green foliage throughout the season and can be cut back like a perennial in early spring. Grows to 5’ high & wide at maturity.
Maroon Swoon Weigela
Maroon Swoon Weigela
Don’t let the name fool you! This weigela flower is as red as they come! Rich red trumpet shaped flowers bloom on deep green foliage from summer to fall. This shrub has a compact rounded habit and is an excellent accent for shrub borders or perennial gardens. This flowering shrub has incredible red colour and attracts hummingbirds too. Grows to 4’ high and 3’ wide at maturity.
Samaritan Chinese Dogwood
Samaritan Chinese Dogwood features showy clusters of white flowers with white bracts held atop the branches in late spring. It has attractive white-variegated green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves are ornamentally significant and turn an outstanding pink in the fall. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from early to mid-fall. The peeling gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape. Grows to 20’ high & wide at maturity.
With a full table of red perennials at Canadale to choose from you’ll have no trouble finding something to suit your Canadian Garden! From Coral Bells to Coreopsis and Dinnerplate Hibiscus (pictured) to daylilies, striking red perennials add a bold pop of colour to any garden!
White perennials can add contrast to any garden. Combined with the red, they create an especially Canadian effect! With a table full of different white perennials available there are several different shades of white – from ivory to pure – to add a Canadian touch to your garden.
While getting ready to decorate and hang the flag high for the Fourth of July, think of your garden. Show off your patriotic colors with red, white and blue plants for your garden or containers.
Don’t worry though, patriotic colors stay in season all year long. Red hues will make your garden look bigger, white plants are perfect for a moon garden and blue plants bring a peace of mind for relaxation.
Plants for Fourth of July
Rocket’s Red Glare – picks for red plants:
Photo courtesy of Star® Roses and Plants
Red roses are one of the most traditional plants to grow in the garden. They either become the statement plant or are a fine complement to a focal point. You can use roses to cover up an unsightly area or add fragrance. Feed regularly with Rose-tone to ensure bright colors and thriving blooms.
Red Gerbera Daisies
With a bright and cheery demeanor, gerbera daisies have quite a bit of flair. They will have single, double or even multiple petals, which can add some texture and contrast to your garden. They will withstand the summer heat with their sturdy stems and big blooms. Feed regularly with Flower-tone to give their stems a boost.
Broad Strips and Bright Stars- picks for white plants:
Ox-Eye daisies’ will be in full bloom by the Fourth of July. With their white rays and yellow centers, they will be sure to brighten up a patriotic space. They grow 1-3 feet tall so they will not take up too much space. Feed regularly with Bloom! liquid plant food for vibrant whites and beautiful fragrance.
With a variety of sizes and varieties, dahlias can add a lot to a garden. As one of the most popular summer flowers, dahlias live up to their reputation. Whether you choose a ball or a collerette, the dahlia will be the talk of the neighborhood. When planting, feed with Bulb-tone for full, bulbs that will last all summer.
Twilight’s Last Gleeming – picks for blue plants
Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries
Large, beautiful blue hydrangeas are a great addition to your patriotic garden. Their bold blooms make them perfect for freshly cut or dried flowers. Getting off to the right start in the right location is key to keeping your hydrangeas blue. If you are having a little trouble keeping your blooms blue, feed with Holly-tone to keep the soil acidic.
Photo courtesy of Bushel & Berry
A quirky take for your patriotic garden, but perhaps one of the most American fruits, blueberry is another great choice. With their red insides and blue exteriors, they would be perfect with red and white companions. Plus when you are itching for a holiday snack, head right outside and pick one off! Be sure to feed with Holly-tone to give it the nutrients it needs.
Our planet supports more than a thousand species of flowers. How many different types of flowers actually exist is still unknow, but we’ve put together a list of some of the more popular flower types found in gardens, in decor, and given as gifts:
See Peruvian Lily
The amaryllis is a popular bulb plant with large lily-like blooms and long, thick stems. Its fragrant flowers can be found in several colors. It is also known as the belladonna lily.
Commonly known as the windflower, the anemone is a poppy-like flower with small colorful blooms. They can be found in many colors, including red, blue, pink and white.
A popular lily variety found in a range of colors, including brilliant yellows and oranges. Asiatic lilies are less fragrant than many other lily flowers. They are sometimes referred to as Tiger Lilies.
Small daisy-like flower often used to accent floral arrangements. Asters are typically found in shades of white or light to dark pink. New larger varieties such as the matsumoto aster can also be found in reds, purples and yellows.
A flowering plant with thick clusters of blooms, usually in shades of pink or white. Azaleas are typically planted outdoors or potted for indoor display
Clusters of small white blooms which are most often used as a filler flower in rose arrangements. Baby’s breath is also known as gypsophilia.
A blooming plant often used in gardens or potted for indoor decoration. There are a variety of begonias available, which are appreciated for their brightly colored leaves and flowers.
Bird of Paradise
An exotic flower named for its resemblance to a tropical bird. The bird of paradise has a unique appearance which consists of a colorful “beak” and fanned petals.
An elegant, bell-shaped flower consisting of thick petals and stems. Calla lilies are a long lasting flower which originated in Southern Africa. They are often used to represent beauty.
Campanula flowers are known for their small bell-shaped blooms, which can often be found in shades of lavender. They are also known as bellflowers or canterbury bells and are traditionally used as a sign of gratitude.
A long-lasting flower available in a wide variety of colors. Also known as dianthus, carnations have a long history of cultivation and are traditionally associated with fascination and distinction.
A brightly colored flower distinguished by its large blooming heads consisting of densely layered petals with a fuzzy texture. Celosia is also commonly known as cockscomb.
Chrysanthemums are brightly colored flowers available in many varieties. They are commonly known as mums, and are typically used to express cheerfulness.
A flowering plant consisting of colorful rounded petals and grassy leaves. The crocus is a traditional symbol of cheerfulness.
The cyclamen is a blooming plant which is popular as a potted flower. Its blooms are most often pink in color, and its leaves are typically variegated with silvery highlights.
A tropical orchid variety characterized by their long narrow leaves, and large showy blooms. Cymbidium orchids are available in a variety of colors and are popular both as potted flowers and as cut flowers.
The common name for flowers in the Narcissus family, which consist of trumpet-shaped blooms and are often yellow or white in color. Daffodils are traditionally associated with chivalry. See also: Jonquil, Narcissus
A variety of flower originating in Mexico and Central America, which consists of colorful multi-petaled blooms. Dahlias are available in an assortment of colors and are often used to represent elegance.
Daisies are identified by their disk-shaped, multi-petaled blooms. They most often consist of white or pink petals surrounding a yellow center. See also: Gerbera Daisy
Named after the dolphin for the long pointy shape of the bloom’s base, this field flower comes in shades of blue, white, purple, and sometimes pink. It is related to the Larkspur and used to symbolize levity and light-heartedness.
Dendrobium orchids are distinguished by their long stems with clusters of many small butterfly-shaped blooms. They are often used in cut flower arrangements, and are usually seen in shades of purple or white.
A fragrant flower consisting of many small and colorful blooms. Freesia is a relative of the iris and is often kept as a potted plant.
A flowering plant distinguished by its delicate white blooms and dark green leaves. Gardenias are prized for their especially pleasing fragrance.
A popular daisy variety originating from South Africa and distinguished by their larger flower heads. Gerbera daisies are available in many colors and are used to represent innocence.
Noted for its sword-shaped leaves and long flowering stalks, the gladiolus is available in a variety of colors. They are also commonly referred to as sword lilies, and are traditionally used to represent strength of character.
A unique evergreen plant with tiny, thickly-clustered pink blooms. Heather is traditionally used to represent admiration and good luck.
A tropical blooming plant with bell-shaped flowers, which can be found in several colors. Hibiscus makes a wonderful potted plant, and is often regarded as a symbol of beauty.
A fragrant flower identified by its narrow leaves and short floral spikes with thickly clustered blooms. The hyacinth originated in the Mediterranean and is associated with ancient Greek mythology.
Unique flowering plant with large round clusters of small blooms. Hydrangea can be found in many stunning colors, including blue, pink and purple, as well as bi-colored varieties.
This hardy green foliage is used for it’s clusters of ornamental berries in shades of red, peach, and green. Hypericum is also commonly known as St. John’s Wort.
Six-petaled flower predominantly found in shades of blue or purple. Yellow and white are also available. Iris are grown in many parts of the world and generally symbolize faith and wisdom.
A vine-like flowering plant with many small blooms, most often white or yellow in color. Jasmine is very fragrant and is often used to make perfumes.
A member of the narcissus family of flowers, distinguished by its small and fragrant yellow blooms. The jonquil is associated with affection and desire. See also: Daffodil, Narcissus
A blooming succulent plant with small flowers found in a variety of colors. The kalanchoe is a popular indoor plant which is easy to care for.
A silvery, woody shrub that enjoys seaside weather. These fragrant plants bloom in spikes of purple, or sometimes white flowers. Lavender is often associated with love and devotion.
Tall purple spiky or feathery flowers somewhat resembling a bottle brush. Liatris is often used in mixed flower bouquets as a filler flower.
Small woody trees or shrubs that produce beautiful, fragrant clusters of purple, lavender or white flowers in the Spring. Lilacs traditionally symbolize innocence or first love.
A family of often fragrant flowers characterized by their large, bell-shaped blooms or curled open petals. Lilies are a classic symbol of purity. See also: Asiatic Lily, Calla Lily, Oriental Lily, Peace Lily, Peruvian Lily, Stargazer Lily
Purple or white flower, also known as sea-lavender, which is part of the statice family. Limonium is often used as a filler flower, or dried for use in preserved arrangements. See also: Statice
A small rose-like flower with multiple blooms per stem. Lisianthus is available in a variety of colors and is used in many types of mixed flower arrangements.
A flowering plant known for its large and fragrant blooms. These delicate flowers are typically found in shades of pale pink or white and are often used to represent nobility.
An aromatic flowering plant with large orange or yellow blooms. There are several marigold varieties available. The pot marigold, also known as calendula, is commonly used as a culinary herb.
A variety of carnation which consists of multiple small blooms per stem. Like other carnations, they are available year-round in many different colors.
Family of flowers which includes the daffodil and jonquil. The white flowers in this family, which are commonly called narcissus, are also known as paperwhites. See also: Daffodil, Jonquil
A diverse family of ornamental flowers prized for their exotic appearance. Orchids are available in many colors and varieties and are often used to symbolize rare and delicate beauty. See also: Cymbidium Orchid, Dendrobium Orchid, Phalaenopsis Orchid
A fragrant variety of lily often found in shades of pink or white. Oriental lilies typically consist of multiple large blooms per stem. See also: Stargazer lily
A relative of the violet, with soft velvety petals. Pansies are available in several colors, including popular bi-colored and tri-colored varieties.
The peace lily is a blooming plant which is often used to express sympathy. They are distinguished by their white flag-shaped blooms and dark green foliage, and are also known as spathiphyllum
Also known as sweetheart roses, these flowers are characterized by their smaller size relative to standard roses. There are many types available, including single bloom and multi-bloom varieties.
Also known as moth orchids, phalaenopsis orchids are characterized by their single long stems. They are most often found in shades of purple or white, and have become popular as a potted plant.
A unique flowering plant with colorful leaves, often red, which resemble large flower petals. Poinsettias are a popular decoration during the winter holidays, and are strongly associated with Christmas.
A small variety of flower, often in the chrysanthemum family, which is recognized by its round blooms consisting of many tiny petals or florets. Pompons are commonly used in mixed bouquets as a filler.
An exotic flower known for its unique cone-shaped blooms. Protea flowers originated in Africa and are available in several varieties and colors.
A small tulip-like flower with cup-shaped blooms available in a variety of colors, most often yellow or white. Buttercups are a popular flower in the ranunculus family.
A family of flowers which are distinguished by their layers of delicate petals, and strong, thorny stems. There are many varieties and colors available. Roses have been a symbol of love for centuries and remain one of the world’s most recognized and celebrated flowers. See also: Petite Rose, Spray Rose, Tea Rose
A long stemmed flower with clusters of small colorful blooms. They are so named because the flowers are said to resemble small dragon mouths.
Solidago is a small yellow flower often used as a filler in floral arrangements. It is also known as solidaster or goldenrod and is a member of the aster family.
A small variety of rose consisting of multiple blooms per stem. Spray roses are available in assorted colors and are sometimes called sweetheart roses. See also: Petite Rose
Star of Bethlehem
A spring flower with long grassy leaves and clusters of small star-shaped blooms. The star-of-Bethlehem’s blooms are typically white, with some green variegation
The stargazer is a popular oriental lily variety recognized for its large star-shaped blooms and distinctive fragrance. The flowers are usually found with dark pink centers, which fade to white at the edges.
A popular filler flower with multiple small blooms. Statice is typically found in shades of blue, pink or white and is used in many kinds of flower arrangements. See also: Limonium
A fragrant flower with thick clusters of small blooms typically available in shades of purple and white. Stock is also known as matthiola, and is often used as a filler flower.
A thick-stemmed flower with large, sun-shaped blooms. Sunflowers are typically comprised of bright yellow petals surrounding a dark center. They are traditionally used to represent warmth and adoration.
A variety of rose which originated in China, and has a tea-like fragrance. Its introduction to Europe in the 19th century led to the development of many new kinds of roses. Modern day long stemmed roses are often a form of hybrid tea rose.
A relative of campanula, which is typically found in shades of purple or white. Trachelium is also known as throatwort, and is often used as a filler flower in floral arrangements.
The tuberose is characterized by clusters of small lily-like blooms along tall floral spikes. The flowers are typically found in white and are very fragrant.
A popular bulb plant with colorful, cup-shaped blooms. Tulips are traditionally used to represent fame and love. Notable varieties include Dutch Tulips and French Tulips.
A small multi-petaled flower typically found in shades of purple. Violets are popular for their color, as well as their pleasing fragrance. One of the most common varieties is the Sweet Violet.
Small flowers consisting of multiple blooms per stem, and named for their waxy texture. Waxflowers are sweet-scented flowers, and are often used as a filler in mixed arrangements.
A small multi-petaled flower similar in appearance to daisies. Zinnias are available in a wide range of colors and are popular both as garden flowers and cut flowers.
Some of the most stunning Christmas outdoor decorations can be created easily, such as these winter planters! Most of us think that colorful outdoor planters are for spring and summer. There may be less flowers to choose from, but even in very cold climates, nature has plenty to offer.
In the following 24 inspiring and beautiful examples, we will look at :
1. How to use a variety of evergreen plants and cuttings, colorful berries, seed pods, and branches to create winter planters and gorgeous Christmas outdoor decorations which last for weeks and months!
2. How to add other decorative elements such as ribbons and ornaments in winter planters to create beautiful Christmas outdoor decorations.
The festive season will be upon us before we know it. These splendid winter planters will be such fun DIY projects to make for our Thanksgiving and Christmas outdoor decorations!
( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
1 & 2. Best plants and cuttings for winter planters and Christmas outdoor decorations.
Here are the most popular plants and elements used in some of my favorite winter outdoor planters: conifers such as Pine, Cedar, Spruce, etc. and evergreen trees and shrubs such as Magnolia, Eucalyptus, Boxwood, Holly, Privet, etc.
To add a splash of color, use colorful berries from red, yellow to purple, and bright colored branches such as White Birch, Red Twig Dogwood and yellow Twig Dogwood. ( Source: 1 | 2 )
Actually, you can create a mini version of these planters for a Christmas table decor centerpiece using the same elements!
Below is a super easy Christmas centerpiece I made, and tutorial here!
Make a gorgeous Christmas centerpiece in 10 minutes! Tutorial and video here!
3 & 4. Choosing containers for outdoor winter planters.
When choosing a container for an outdoor winter or Christmas planter, we need to consider the following-
Size: Is it the right scale for the space?
Material: Can it withstand the outdoor winter temperature, snow, rain, etc? For example, when we lived north of Seattle for 6 months, many terra cotta pots we brought from California cracked due to rain and freeze.
Materials like metal milk containers or half wooden wine barrels are all durable choices for outdoor winter conditions. The vintage milk tin original image source is lost. Please let me know if you find it!
Get Creative: If you can find something you absolutely love, such as a real or faux stone urn, go for it. There are also many possibilities by putting durable plastic pots inside something more stylish.
Pam at House of Hawthornes used a gorgeous harvest basket, you can check out her wonderful project here.
5 & 6 . How to make a Christmas planter arrangement.
Here is a wonderful tutorial on how to create your own outdoor winter planters with birch, magnolia and conifer branches.
To make it more festive for Christmas outdoor decorations, add beautiful accents like white birch branches, red berries, and big pine cones.
Another beautiful example of the birch – magnolia – conifer mixed planter.
If you love greenery in winter, you may also like to learn this fool-proof method on how to grow beautiful indoor plants easily in glass bottles and water!
How to grow beautiful indoor plants easily in glass bottles and water- the easiest thing ever!
7 – 10. Add festive details to your winter planters and Christmas outdoor decorations.
In addition to red berries such as Holly branches, you can add more festive style to winter planters using ribbons and big pine cones. ( Source: 7 | 8 )
Or even realistic looking Red Cardinals like these! ( Source: 9 | 10 )
Next, let’s look at some more creative elements to add to our winter and Christmas planters!
11 – 16. Other decorative elements for a stunning Christmas planter.
Kimberly‘s painted red branches are stunning alternatives to branches with red berries. Chartreuse green ornaments are gorgeous accents in this all green winter planter palette!
A classic urn planter filled with evergreens and berries is beautiful as Christmas outdoor decorations. (Source: 13 )
Mix pinecones with other accents like dried lotus pods and colorful Christmas ornaments to create festive winter planters. 14 & 15 – source lost, please let me know if you find them! |
There is so much variations even in evergreen branches. The above winter planter has cedar, pine, and fir all mixed together beautifully. ( Source: 16 )
Save this post for spring: 16 colorful container gardens for shade areas with plant list for each!
16 colorful container gardens for shade areas with plant list for each!
17 & 18. Artful mix of colors and textures.
From silver green Spruce to forest green Fir, from burgundy red Dogwood to bright red Holly, nature offers an infinite range of colors and textures for our Christmas outdoor decorations and winter planters! ( Source: 17 )
A great video tutorial below on how to make a gorgeous Christmas planter!
19 & 20. Let it glow .
Add magical glow in your outdoor planters with waterproof outdoor fairy lights such as these, or solar string lights like these. ( Source: 19 | 20 )
21 & 22. Window box planters.
Now you have beautiful winter planters by the door, it is time to decorate the window boxes for Christmas! ( Source: 21 | 22 )
23 & 24. Fall and winter planter transitions.
Ornamental cabbage, kale, pansies and daisies are cold hardy plants which are great to plant when the weather is transitioning from fall to winter, or winter to spring. They thrive all winter in warmer climates. ( Source: 23 | 24 )
Can’t get enough container gardens? Try these 24 stunning container planting designs with plant lists!
In addition to the planters, here are some more creative DIY outdoor Christmas decoration ideas for you!
Gorgeous Outdoor Christmas Decorations: 32 Best Ideas & Tutorials
Happy creating! See you next week!
Have you started decorating your house for Christmas? Hung a holly wreath? Dangled some mistletoe over the entryway, decorated a Christmas tree, and bought your poinsettia?
Are they all real? Or plastic?
Personally, I prefer real. There’s nothing like the smell of pine from a real tree to set the mood for the season. Or the look of glistening holly leaves and berries elegantly wrapped around the staircase railing (indoors or out). The wreath that graces the front door. The white and red poinsettias scattered around inside, and the Christmas cactus? Um. Well. Mine only blooms at Easter, so if I want a blooming cactus at Christmas, I have to buy a new one from the nursery.
All of these holiday plants create a feeling of life when everything outside is rather dismal, grey, and covered in snow.
But what does it all mean? Have you ever thought of the symbolism behind these living Christmas decorations? Every year, as I decorate the house, I ponder on what it all means.
1. Evergreen Trees
Gabriel Santiago / Unsplash
Like the Christmas tree. Evergreens symbolize everlasting life and life renewed (or so I’ve been told). Its shape is also significant because the top is pointing to the heavens. I have an elegant, crocheted angel that tops my tree every year. What about you? Do you put an angel on the top branch? Or a star? As a child, we had a special star to top our tree.
Decorating an evergreen tree for Christmas has been a tradition for centuries. Some historians believe that Prince Albert brought the tradition with him to England when he married Queen Victoria. In the 18th century, Queen Charlotte adopted the tradition from Germany, and so began the decorating of indoor trees.
Related Post: Try An Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree
It didn’t catch on as a tradition outside the British royal family until sometime in the 19th century. At age 13, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal (1832): “After dinner, we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room. There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees.”
Evergreens became a tradition in northern climates where they grew well. Other parts of the world developed their own traditions for decorating trees indoors. For example, in Central America, the Balmeastormiae, also known as an Ayuque tree (native to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico), is a popular choice for a Christmas tree. It’s conical in shape and produces brilliant red flowers. Unfortunately, its popularity as a Christmas tree is threatening its very survival.
2. Holly And Ivy
Annie Spratt / Unsplash
Holly, ivy, and even mistletoe are popular additions to indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations. The tradition and symbolism dates back much further than the Christmas tree. In fact, they date back to the celebration of the winter solstice celebration in pre-Christian times.
Related Post: Homestead Stories: The Holly And The Ivy
Ancient Britons believed that ivy protected them against evil goblins that prowled the land during winter. During the Roman festival of Saturnalia (in December), Romans gave holly branches as presents, and believed the prickly leaves kept the evil spirits away. The greenery was believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits while at the same time, celebrate new growth.
3. Evergreen Wreaths
Tim Mossholder / Unsplash
Evergreen wreaths that adorn doors at Christmas have an added meaning. Circular in shape, they represent everlasting life and eternity. Hanging a wreath on one’s door symbolizes the spirit of Christmas that dwells within.
There is a legend that suggests a young shepherd boy presented the newborn baby Jesus with a wreath of holly. Placed on the baby’s head, the young shepherd cried at the plainness of his gift, but when the baby Jesus touched the wreath, the leaves started sparkling and the white berries turned a brilliant red.
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Mistletoe has an added attraction as it has long been considered a symbol of love, peace, and goodwill. Perhaps this is due to the fact that mistletoe actually bears fruit during the time of winter solstice. The custom of kissing under a fresh clipping of mistletoe again pre-dates Christian traditions. It has survived since the Druids and perhaps even earlier. In fact, legend suggests that should enemies meet underneath the mistletoe, they would then be at peace with each other.
Decorating one’s home with evergreen trees or branches during the darkest months of the year is an act of reinforcing the belief that, yes, the sun will return, and, yes, life will renew itself.
5. Christmas Cactus
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The Christmas cactus is blooming again! #christmascactus #plantlady #christmastree #green #indoorplants #blooms #christmasiscoming #plantlife #christmascactusblooming #plantlove #katespadetablecloth #homesweethome #indoorgarden #instaplant #instablooms
It’s not just the ever-greenery that adorns our homes at Christmas. Flowering plants like the Christmas cactus and poinsettia have their place as well. Surprisingly, the Christmas cactus is not really a cactus. Native to tropical regions, it thrives as an indoor plant, and sports pink or red flowers.
Related Post: 12 Office Plants To Add Greenery To Your Workspace
A legend tells of a Jesuit missionary in Bolivia who struggles to teach his beliefs to the natives, and despairs when he believes he’s failed. On Christmas Eve, a joyful sound releases his burden as he watches the jungle come alive with people singing and carrying colorful branches of flowers: the Christmas cactus.
TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) / Flickr (Creative Commons)
Native to Mexico, the poinsettia has an equally interesting legend. Two poor children were distraught that they had nothing to bring to the Christmas Eve festival. So, they collected weeds from the roadside, and the other children teased them; when the weeds were placed at the manger, the plants burst into brilliant red blooms: the poinsettia.
7. Christmas Rose
brewbooks / Flickr (Creative Commons)
Though it’s more of a buttercup than a rose, the Christmas rose is another plant of the season that’s more common to European traditions than North American. Like the legend of the poinsettia, the legend of the Christmas rose has a poor shepherdess that looks for something to present the baby Jesus. Frustrated, the shepherdess cries, summoning an angel who brushes away the snow to reveal the dainty Christmas rose. Her gift for the newborn king.
8. Pear Tree
There are other plants of Christmas that hold significance. They may not be a decoration, but they serve their purpose. As oft-sung in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol, the “partridge in a pear tree” has its own association with the Christmas celebrations.
There is definitely more to the significance of the pear tree and its relationship to Christmas than its position of prominence in the carol. In fact, the pear tree, sturdy and proud, symbolizes longevity, justice, strength, fruitfulness, and salvation — good symbolism to attach to the Christmas season.
9. Frankincense And Myrrh
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Did you know that Frankincense comes from the milky-white resin of the Boswellia tree? Frankincense essential oil is a grounding and spiritual oil that can help relieve cold and flu symptoms, aid in meditation and even have anti-ageing benefits when used in skincare! Is Frankincense a part of your essential oils collection?
And let’s not forget frankincense and myrrh, two of the gifts brought to the manger by the wise men from the east. Frankincense is in fact, a tree, which grows in the coastal mountain ranges of Oman and Yemen. It’s the oil extracted from the gum resin and burned as incense that makes it so popular. Myrrh also comes from the gum resin of a small tree native to Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen. It had various important uses, mostly medicinal.
We might not all be able to use these trees to decorate our homes, but it’s interesting to understand their significance in the stories of Christmas. Plants, both living and harvested, have their place in our Christmas celebrations. Depending on where we live, we may or may not have access to these living plant symbols, but we can certainly enjoy what we do have. Holly is my favorite. Real holly, with dark, shiny green leaves and bursting with deep red berries.
I’m sure you all have your favorite Christmas plants, too. Have a merry, green, luscious, and living Christmas.
Holiday Gift Plants
Plants make wonderful holiday gifts; they bring a bit of nature indoors and many can be replanted in Florida landscapes.
If you’re looking for a gift that can be enjoyed long after the season of giving, there are a variety of plants to choose from. Small potted Norfolk Island pines, rosemary, or holly plants can be gifted as a miniature holiday tree to be enjoyed indoors. For the flower-favoring folks, paperwhite narcissus, amaryllis, cyclamen, and Christmas cactus make lovely holiday gifts. And of course no list of holiday plants would be complete without the ever-festive poinsettias.
When selecting a plant, make sure it has healthy foliage and that no roots are coming out of the pot. If you are purchasing a flowering plant, try to select one that hasn’t fully bloomed yet. Of course, always be sure to include care instructions. Further down you can find a bit of information on gift plants; be sure to follow the links for even more detailed care instructions.
You can make your gift plant even more special by taking it out of that plastic pot and giving it in a creative container; read more in Choosing a Container.
Norfolk Island Pine — These small trees are quite popular as decorative table-top holiday trees. While they will stay quite modestly sized as houseplants, on their native Norfolk Island these trees stretch to an impressive 200 feet tall! Read more on these interesting trees—which are featured prominently on the Australian territory’s flag—here.
Holly — While the other gift plants on this list can thrive happily in a container, hollies need a place in the landscape in order to survive. The good news is that holly plants do quite well in Florida gardens; just be sure that your holly recipient has a place for it in their yard. Learn more about the hollies you can grow in Florida.
Cyclamen — This cool-season bloomer is often used as an accent plant indoors and can also be grown as a winter annual in Florida. Dark green to silvery leaves coupled with recurved twisting flowers in shades of red, pink, or white make this little plant quite the lovely holiday gift. Learn more about this plant.
Amaryllis — These subtropical bulbs are popular gift plants because they can be forced to produce stunning flowers during the holiday season. Amaryllis is grown in pots indoors throughout the country, but Florida gardeners are lucky to be able to grow these beauties year-round. Learn how to care for your amaryllis in the landscape.
Paperwhite narcissus — These bulbs are great alternatives to the ever-popular amaryllis. This bulb is also quite easy to force to flower and can also be planted in the landscape by gardeners in north and north-central Florida. Learn more about these holiday gift bulbs.
Poinsettias — A classic holiday icon, poinsettias are another lovely potted plant that can be enjoyed either inside or in the Florida landscape. With a little love and care your poinsettia will survive the holiday season and thrive for years to come. Learn more about successfully caring for your poinsettia.
Christmas cactus — Thanks to its name, colorful blooms, and low-maintenance reputation, Christmas cactus is another popular holiday gift option. Most often grown as houseplants, Christmas cactus can be planted outside in warm areas, so long as it is protected from freezing temperatures. Learn more about Christmas cactus.
Rosemary — This wonderful perennial herb can often be found pruned as a holiday topiary. Rosemary plants can be enjoyed for their lovely looks and smells while being regularly clipped for use in the kitchen. This herb can live out its life in a pot in the kitchen long after the holidays pass if given good light, or planted in the garden. You can read more on growing rosemary here.
Caring for Your Plant
Poinsettias, amaryllis, and other gift plants bring welcome holiday color to the home. The trick to making them last is just to follow a few simple rules. Locate your plant in bright indirect light. Look for a spot in front of a window, but away from direct sun, drafts, and heating sources like vents or radiators. Check the plant’s moisture level every few days by inserting a fingertip into the soil. If it feels dry beneath the surface, take it to the sink and water thoroughly, letting it drain for a few minutes. Don’t let your plant sit in water. If cared for properly, gift plants can brighten your life for months—and even years—to come.
Also on Gardening Solutions
- Caring for Houseplants
- Choosing a Container
- Christmas Cactus
- Norfolk Island Pine
- Paperwhite Narcissus
- Rosemary Topiary
- Stromanthe ‘Triostar’