24 Colorful Outdoor Planters for Winter & Christmas Decorations

How to make colorful outdoor planters for winter & Christmas decorations. Best porch pot decorating ideas with evergreen branches, berries & pine cones!

Most of us think that colorful outdoor planters are only possible in spring and summer. You might be surprised how easy it is to create beautiful winter planters and colorful porch pots perfect for Christmas outdoor decorations!

outdoor planters for winter & Christmas decorations. Best porch pot ideas

Even in very cold winter climates, nature has plenty to offer. We already shared these 20+ gorgeous DIY fall planters you can create here. In the following 24 inspiring and beautiful examples, we will look at :

How to make colorful outdoor planters for winter & Christmas decorations. Best porch pot ideas with evergreen branches, berries & pine cones!-

How to choose pots and urns, use a variety of evergreen plants, greenery and branches, colorful berries, seed pods, and other decorative elements such as ribbons and ornaments to create winter planters and gorgeous Christmas outdoor decorations which last for weeks and months! 

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

A step by step video tutorial on how to make winter outdoor planters

how to make a gorgeous Christmas planter urn using Red Twig Dogwood, Holly Berry and mixed conifer branches.

A great video tutorial below on how to make a gorgeous Christmas planter urn using mixed evergreen conifer branches such as juniper and cypress, adding Red Twig Dogwood and Holly Berry for a pop of color.

Best plants and greenery branches for winter planters and Christmas outdoor decorations.

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, Redtwig Dogwood, etc. ( Source )

Christmas urn ideas

use colorful berries from red, yellow to purple, and bright colored branches in outdoor urn planter

A tall urn is a really nice decorative outdoor planter for front porches and back patios. 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 )

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 tutorial!

DIY Christmas table decorations centerpiece for $1. Easy tutorial & video on how to make a beautiful Christmas centerpiece as decor & gifts in 10 minutes! A Piece of Rainbow
Make a gorgeous Christmas centerpiece in 10 minutes! Tutorial and video here!

Choosing containers for outdoor winter planters and porch pots.

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.

Vintage milk tin porch pot

vintage milk tin as porch pot

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.

Farmhouse basket outdoor holiday planter

 harvest basket porch planter

Pam at House of Hawthornes used a gorgeous harvest basket, filled with a mix of cedar, spruce and curly willow branches.

Easy DIY Christmas patio planter

 Christmas pot with galvanized tub, conifers and berries

A galvanized tub filled with conifer branches and berries makes a beautiful farmhouse porch planter in the winter, and a great DIY solar fountain in the summer on a deck. ( Source )

How to make a Christmas planter arrangement.

How to make a Christmas planter arrangement.

Here is a wonderful tutorial on how to create your own outdoor winter planters with birch logs, magnolia and conifer branches in large garden containers.

Outdoor decorative planters for winter and Christmas

 soil and floral foam to support the mix of birch logs, leafy branches, berries etc, in winter planter arrangement

You can use soil and/or floral foam to support the mix of birch logs, willow branches, evergreen cuttings, berries etc, like in this winter planter.

Modern winter & Christmas outdoor planter ideas

birch - magnolia - conifer mixed winter outdoor planter

If you want to create Christmas outdoor decorations in a modern style in front of your home, choose a dark tall planter, add beautiful accents like white birch branches, green magnolia leaves, red berries, and big pine cones. Here’s a beautiful example of the birch – magnolia – conifer mixed planter.

DIY colorful winter planters for Christmas outdoor decorations.

 winter outdoor planters with red door

The color red can really add Christmas cheer to your winter outdoor planters and door decor. ( Source )

Christmas planter decorations by the front door

Christmas porch planter decorations by the front door using colorful ribbons and pine cones

You can create a beautiful winter planter without using plants! Start with a nice container such as an urn filled with conifer branches and red berries such as Holly branches, and add more festive style to the Christmas porch planter with ribbons, bow, and big pine cones. ( Original image source lost, please let me know if you find it!)

Farmhouse style outdoor winter porch pots

vintage watering can as outdoor porch pot

A vintage watering can makes the perfect outdoor pot on a small porch for the holiday season. (  Source )

Farmhouse style outdoor winter planter pot with red birds

This charming winter porch pot is decorated with realistic looking Red Cardinals like these! and a bird house. ( Source )
Next, let’s look at some more creative elements to add to our winter and Christmas outdoor planters!

Decorative Christmas outdoor planter ideas

painted red branches in a Christmas planter urn

Kimberly‘s painted red branches in a Christmas planter urn are beautiful alternatives to branches with red berries.

Decorating large planters for winter & Christmas

Chartreuse green ornaments in winter planter

Large chartreuse green ornaments are gorgeous accents in this all green winter planter palette!

classic urn planter with evergreens and berries for Christmas outdoor decorations

A classic urn planter filled with bundles of evergreens and red berries and a colorful bow is beautiful as Christmas outdoor decorations. ( Source )

Decorating planters with no plants

outdoor winter planter with white birch logs
colorful Christmas ornaments in outdoor winter planter

Mix pinecones with other accents like dried lotus pods and colorful Christmas ornaments to create festive winter planters. ( Above 2 images: source lost, please let me know if you find them!)

Mix of colors and textures to create beautiful winter outdoor planters.

mixed arrangements in a winter pot on the porch

There is so much variations even in evergreen branches. The above winter planter has cedar, pine, and fir all mixed together beautifully. ( Source )

Save this post for spring! 16 colorful container gardens for shade areas with plant list for each!

Front door winter outdoor planter ideas

 colors and textures in a Christmas urn

From silver green Spruce, forest green Fir, to bright green Magnolia, this evergreen planter will look beautiful all winter and beyond Christmas! ( Source )

Add lights to your winter and Christmas planters.

Add lights to your winter and Christmas planters.

Add magical glow in your outdoor planters with waterproof outdoor fairy lights such as these, or solar string lights like these.  ( Source )

outdoor Christmas urn with lights

Another beautiful example of outdoor Christmas urn with lights. ( Source: traditionalhome.com )

Window box outdoor planters in winter.

Window box outdoor planters in winter

Now you have beautiful winter planters by the door, it is time to decorate the window boxes for Christmas! ( Source: A | B )

Fall and winter planter transitions.

Ornamental cabbage, kale,  are cold hardy plants to transition from fall to winter

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 )

Can’t get enough container gardens? Try these  24 stunning container planting designs with plant lists!

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!

32 beautiful Christmas porches & front doors: how to create gorgeous and playful DIY outdoor Christmas decorations such as garlands, wreaths, lights, ornaments, Christmas pots, and more! - A Piece of Rainbow
Gorgeous Outdoor Christmas Decorations: 32 Best Ideas & Tutorials

Happy creating! See you next week!


  1. These are all STUNNING, I can’t choose a favorite! Earlier this year my husband surprised me by hiring some guys who specialize in landscape architecture to give my yard a much-needed makeover. They added in plenty of planter boxes which I’ve loved, but now with the cold holiday season I’ve been at a total loss for what to do with them. Your post was exactly what I’ve been looking for, I can’t wait to try it out!

  2. Lovely ideas for Christmas planters/centerpieces, etc. However, it is much too early to be thinking about making any one of these. Right now, we are experiencing the hottest summer in a long time, so I am thinking cool and summer! Have a great day.

  3. I absolutely cringe when I see winter pots with birch in them. Birch are beautiful trees that should be left to live and be enjoyed by everyone. How about using red osier dogwood? That’s a shrub that will not die when some of it’s branches are removed. My parents rural property, alongside the Trans Canada Trail, has been robbed of the beautiful birch that used to be there for everyone to enjoy. Stolen. Trees killed in vain. All the ones that are accessible have been cut down to meet some “fashion”. Please consider the beautiful trees…let them live. Find lovely alternatives to birch.

    • hi anita, i LOVE trees and would not want any trees to die for no reason! i googled “pruning birch branches” and did not see anything about the trees would die if the branches are pruned a bit. i also agree with you that we need to protect native plants and not blindly follow some “landscape” fashion!

  4. are there other ways to hold down a pot full of evergreen cuttings? i have two empty pots on my front steps that i usually just place a potted fern in each they always blow over. i don’t know if plain soil will hold them down. what are other ways to keep them from blowing over, sand? wet soil? i’m not sure what to use

    • hi brenda, if the pot is big and deep enough, wet soil or sand will work fine. you can add some bricks or gravel at the bottom of the pot for more stability 🙂

  5. Ananda – I live in the cold north/midwest. My planters are a lightweight material. I weigh them down with a few bricks and other material, then fill them with greens and other things.
    Someone wrote on a video on my YouTube channel that I should fill the planter with soil, water it, and then put in the winter greens. She said that would make the greens last longer. But that water will freeze starting next week when the high temperatures are expected to be 27 degrees. What do you think?
    What should be inside the winter planters in climates with below freezing temperatures all winter? Soil + water like this person suggested? Or other materials?

  6. I am in sSouthern. California. Can I do Christmas greenery in urns like these pics? Use oasis and keep wet? We never know if a Santa Ana wind will show up. Would love to do this.
    Thanks for answering. They’re just beautiful.

    • hi dawn, yes i would use longer branches so things don’t get blown away, and there are plenty of greenery to choose from in our lovely california! 🙂

  7. I love walking in the woods and can gather these elements easily! I love these Christmas/Winter decors! Thanks for sharing.

  8. These are beautiful! I swap my summer flowers out of my pots every year and just stick the evergreens right into the same soil. No need to spend money on oasis. Give them a good soaking and by spring when I am ready to put flowers back in, some of the evergreens have even rooted in the dirt. They stay nice and green all winter.

      • We have birch trees in our woods and they are not a long lived tree. I harvest branches from dead tree. The ones you buy are probably grown for that purpose just like Christmas trees. They are a renewable resource so there is no reason not to use them.

  9. I don’t have a green thumb but I’d love to give gardening a try even during the colder months of the year! I think this is such a helpful guide especially for beginners like me!

  10. I’m so happy we can start thinking about Christmas already! I’m looking forward to this one as it is the first Christmas my husband and I spend together!

  11. I can’t believe it’s time to start thinking about the holidays already! Those plants are gorgeous. The colors are so vibrant and add such a festive touch to everything.

  12. ARGHH! I’m actually excited to try this ! Brilliant Idea I’ve never seen these before but these would make fantastic Christmas presents! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Gosh these plants and arrangements are just so so beautiful. I agree winters are gloomy and we should attempt to make it more lively. Your pictures have encouraged me to do some work with my mini garden in our balcony as well. Thanks for such a wonderful idea.

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