Winter Containers For a Seasonal Statement

Your pumpkins are probably still looking good as we move into November, but it’s time to start thinking about how to make great looking containers for winter.

We scouted around and found a few examples to give you inspiring ideas. To make it easy, we’ve broken them down by zones so you’ll know what sorts of plants work best for your area. Each of these will dress up the porch or front door for the holidays, but still look lively after the glitzy glam is done. We think that’ll be a great thing in January when you’re ready to look at something pretty!

If you need specific advice for what to plant, please leave a comment below.

ZONES 4 - 7

In colder zones you don’t have a huge range of types of plants that can stand up to whatever winter throws your way. That said, with a bit of creativity, you can transform existing potted evergreen plants into magical vignettes that only look better with a bit of snow on them.

(Above) Transformed: The Toronto Botanic Garden came up with such a genius idea for transforming a potted up boxwood sheared into the shape of a cone. They added evergreen boughs including pine, cedar, Douglas fir, and southern magnolia leaves and then gilded it with a mix of dried organic materials and cold-resistant ornaments. Brilliant!

(Left) Add a Layer: The swirling shape of a topiary spiral is the perfect foil for an underpinning of cut greens and ornaments as created by Cording Landscape Design. White lights too, of course.

ZONES 8 - 11

In warmer zones you don’t have the natural drama that comes from a blanket of snow and the kiss of frost, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating containers that feel seasonal. Hew to a wintry palette of reds, whites, and purples.

(Left) Richly Hued: Groen van Bijons Doesn’t this festive pot of Loropetalum, Carex, and Gaultheria (wintergreen) feel seasonal without shouting “Christmas”?

(Right) Fuss-free: Designer Rita Randolph whipped up this shrub-filled container that hold up all winter long and with color to spare! Fetterbush (Leucothoe), Sea Of Gold® JuniperDwarf Japanese Garden Juniper look fresh, cool, and seasonal.


These are just a few of the many ways to fill containers for winter. Here are a few other plants to consider.

Cotoneaster: Berries, berries, and more berries on low growing creepers for cold zones. Thrive in pots.

Hellebores: The foliage is a great match to cool seasonal annuals. And, of course, flowers in late winter.

Heath: Winter bloomers for moderate zones (6 – 8) in all kinds of wonderful colors.

Camellia: What more can we say about a shrub that blooms in winter and then looks elegant the rest of the year?

Alaska Azalea: Blooming earlier than other varieties, it is a classic in a container paired with seasonal annuals.

Clivia: Blooming in late winter but looking good in pots paired with other textures such as Asparagus ferns.

Sempervivums: Cold loving succulents that thrive even in temps way below zero.

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