Top 10 Tips for Creating Outdoor Christmas Arrangements

A planted porch pot with an arborvitae, cotoneaster, andromeda, junipers, and leucothoe

Christmas porch pots are the easiest method to decorate your outside entrance or deck inexpensively and quickly. If you need some pizzazz to greet visitors, create a live green arrangement with evergreens and twigs cut from your property. Jazz it up with something sparkly and you can leave it in place for weeks without any care. If you don’t have the available greens, many garden centers sell greens or even a ‘porch pot’ kit.

You can buy your greens from a local garden center
Winterberries come in a range of colors

Top 10 Tips on Creating Outdoor Christmas Arrangements 

  1. Use a winter hardy pot – fiber glass, metal, cement – not  terracotta as it can crack
  2. Add water to soil or use oasis so that it is moist; The arrangement  will freeze in place as the weather turns cold
  3. Cut your greens and place in trugs to hydrate for at least 24 hours prior
  4. Spray Wilt-Pruf, an anti-dessicant that will keep the greens fresh, but be careful of some firs and juniper berries- they could lose their color with the application of the spray
  5. Create outside in place as the container will become very heavy to move
  6. Don’t use Styrofoam berries-only naturals- Styrofoam splits and reveals the white base
  7. Use completed wreaths of greens as bases for urns
  8. For center height and drama, use curly willow, dogwood branches, birch logs, or winter berry branches
  9. Since most arrangements will be viewed from a distance, the bolder and larger, the better
  10. Add large outdoor balls or other accents (glitter branches) for added drama

If you want something more permanent to last until spring, plant evergreens into your containers using different textures and colors and insert some winterberry branches for the WOW factor.

This is a planted container with winterberry branches stuck into the soil
Long planters at a front entrance stuffed with fresh greens
Lots of textures and colors make this a standout container

Long Lasting Arrangements

Once I empty my large pots and window boxes at the end of November, I can dress them up again with greenery which will last most of the winter. I keep the soil in them as that is the glue which will hold my greens in place.

I try to use materials from my own property; here it is curly willow
Seasonal Porch Pot

Birch logs add great contrast
Gold winterberries make this container stand out

Pot Insert

If you don’t have any soil filled containers, you can use a waterproof fiber pot filled with oasis instead. Once I finish arranging in a fiber pot, I place the whole thing into an empty outdoor container.

Start with a waterproof fiber pot filled with oasis
Start with a waterproof fiber pot filled with oasis or a soil filled container
Materials-wreath, magnolia, yellow twig dogwood, winterberries, red seeded eucalyptus, glittery pine cones, yellow tipped arborvitae
Materials-wreath, magnolia, yellow twig dogwood, winterberries, red seeded eucalyptus, glittery pine cones, yellow tipped arborvitae

Wreath Trickery

A trick that I have used for a long time which will get you started in a hurry, is to buy a pre-made wreath of fresh greens and build upon that as a base.

Use a pre-made wreath as a base
Use a pre-made wreath as a base

Placing this wreath on top of the rim of the pot will hide most of the soil and you can stick your greens in and around it. Buy a ready-made or make your own.

Place your wreath on top of a container-here I used a waterproof fiber pot
Place your wreath on top of a container-here I used a waterproof fiber pot

Start by placing your wreath horizontally on top and begin adding your other plant materials. Once you insert stems through the wreath, that will anchor it to the container. For this container, I  began with adding gold tipped Arborvitae. Stick the branches through the wreath into the oasis or soil.

Once you place the wreath on top of the pot, start adding your plant material-Here, I use gold tipped Arborvitae
Once you place the wreath on top of the pot, start adding your plant material

Insert Magnolia branches into the oasis along with yellow twig dogwood for drama.

Add Magnolia leaves
Add Magnolia leaves for great texture

Add some red-dyed seeded Eucalyptus for a pop of color.

Insert red seeded Eucaplyptus
Insert seeded Eucalyptus

I finished it off with large branches of gold winterberry and glittery pine cones.

Add peach colored winterberry and some sparkly pine cones
This fiber pot can be placed into an empty outdoor container
Hydrate your materials before using them in trugs of fresh water

Lay out your materials first to see what combinations look good and then place your materials into the pot, using the larger items first.

Fall planted container
A dusting of snow creates a magical effect

 

 

11 Replies to “Top 10 Tips for Creating Outdoor Christmas Arrangements”

  1. That yellow twig dogwood against the brown on magnolia leaves….stunning! Makes me want to plant a yellow twig dogwood on my property just for harvesting!!!

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