Transform your porch into a winter wonderland with these budget-friendly outdoor planter ideas. Discover how to create stunning winter displays using easy-to-find materials and simple techniques.

Out of all the seasons, winter container gardening is my favorite.


Because I can design beautiful containers with little to no budget just by walking out to the yard and taking some cuttings.

Want to learn how to create your own?

Designing winter outdoor planters requires minimal investment when you use what you have on hand. Not to mention, winter container gardens look pretty for months and are pretty low maintenance to care for.

If you don’t have a variety of evergreens on your property to cut from, it’s just as easy to supplement with greens from the local nursery.

This year, I decided to forego an elaborate planting with a rustic, no-budget concept by using what I had on hand in my landscape plus some cuttings from our family Christmas tree. And I’m pretty happy with the result!

Whether you have a green or a black thumb, you can achieve the same look. Follow these simple tips for making your own winter outdoor planters.

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Why Your Porch or Patio Needs Winter Outdoor Planters

Crafting winter outdoor planters for our porch, patio, balcony, or window boxes is a wonderful way to infuse our outdoor spaces with seasonal charm and warmth. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, these planters act as welcoming beacons, extending the festive spirit to all who pass by.

They provide a unique opportunity to bring nature’s beauty closer, even in the colder months, offering a sense of tranquility and connection to the changing seasons. Moreover, these planters offer a canvas for personal expression, allowing us to exercise creativity while adding a touch of personality to our homes.

By embracing the tradition of decorating with winter planters, we not only enhance the visual appeal of our outdoor areas but also create a welcoming atmosphere that celebrates the beauty of the season.

farmhouse porch decorating ideas for christmas with fresh green wreaths and christmas greenery in black urns on front steps with mustard colored doors
Farmhouse front porch Christmas 2022

How to Make Winter Outdoor Planters

As the chill of winter settles in, our gardens might go into hibernation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t add a touch of seasonal magic to our outdoor spaces!

Transforming your porch, balcony, or patio into a winter wonderland is not only achievable but can also be budget-friendly with a bit of creativity.

Discover ways to craft stunning porch planters for winter without breaking the bank. Whether you want to cozy up a porch, patio, balcony, or window boxes, follow this easy step-by-step tutorial to create a festive, welcoming home for the holidays.

porch planter for winter with christmas greenery and dried flower heads from sedum autumn joy

Gather Supplies for Your Winter Outdoor Planters

First, determine what type of outdoor planters you want to use. Whatever types of containers you choose, porch planters for winter need to be weatherproof so they don’t crack with the freezing and thawing temperatures.

Then look around your landscape for wintry plants, shrubs, and trees. What types of evergreen shrubs or trees do you have in your yard?

I typically use cuttings from boxwood, Andromeda, rhododendron, and other evergreen trees because that’s what I have in my yard.

Here is a quick list of Christmas greenery you can use:

  • Pine
  • Cedar Branch
  • Boxwood
  • Juniper
  • Rhodendron
  • Andromeda
  • Magnolia
  • Holly
rhododendrons with snow
Rhododendrons with Snow

If you don’t have many evergreen options in your yard, ask a neighbor or friend to cut some from their landscapes to keep it budget-friendly.

If none are available, Christmas greenery can be purchased from your local nursery before the holidays. Keep in mind that doing so, will drive up costs a bit more though.

When choosing the greens for your containers, consider the thriller, filler and spiller technique for container garden design.

Since evergreen plants and shrubs are all, well…green, look for cuttings that are different shades of green, with different shaped or sized leaves and varying textures as you gather your supplies.

In addition to fresh Christmas greenery, you’ll also need the following supplies:

  • Sharp Pruners
  • Gardening Gloves
  • Potting Soil
  • Pinecones, Ribbon, Berries, and other organic decor
close up of boxwood

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My hope is that this guide will help you knock this part of the hustle and bustle off your list so you can sit back and savor the season a bit more.

Grab your free guide here.

front entry hall christmas tree 2023

How to Take Cuttings for the Winter Container Garden

After determining what shrubs and trees you are using, grab a good set of pruners and make sure they are clean before you use them.

I run a Clorox Wipe over them to clean and disinfect them before making cuts to avoid spreading disease and promote good plant hygiene.

After cleaning the pruners, make your cuts. Clean the pruners off between plants.

Then gather your cuttings, potting soil, containers and gloves (if you use them).


Add Fresh Soil to Containers

If you do not have potting soil in your containers, add fresh soil. Then start stuffing it with the thriller, filler, and spiller planting technique.

And I want to note that I use the thriller, filler, and spiller planting techniques for both garden planters and centerpieces.

While working, it’s important to stop and step back a few times to look at each container for symmetry and fullness.

Oftentimes, I go back into the landscape and cut more so I can stuff them as much as I can until they look nice and full.

winter outdoor planters with christmas greenery and dried flower heads

How I Designed My Winter Porch Planters

For my front porch urns, I used cuttings from our Christmas tree as both the thriller and spiller. The cuts were pretty large and since I was planting in urns, I wanted to create a conical shape to enhance the urn’s architecture.

For the filler, I used cuttings from boxwood, andromeda and rhododendrum shrubs.

Since I love the large shape of rhododendrum leaves, I also used them as some spiller in the lower front of each urn to soften the top edge of the urn.

close up of andromeda
Pieris Japonica (Andromeda)

To break up the varying shades and textures of the greens and add more interest, I incorporated dried flower heads from my garden.

Sedum ‘autumn joy’ is perfect for this.

I have a lot of it in my yard and they have these gorgeous large flat reddish-brown-looking seed heads. Could you use something else if you don’t have these?


You could even go to the craft store or local nursery and pick up some berry twigs, pinecones, or something else that strikes your fancy to add pops of color and texture.

sedum autumn joy covered in snow
Sedum Autumn Joy covered in snow

Winter Outdoor Planter Care

After designing your winter container garden, water it. The foliage needs hydration and if you want them to last longer, water them well.

If your container is not under a protected area like a front porch or awning, the outdoor elements should take care of them all winter long. If your containers are under a protected area, you have two options: water them every now and again, or leave them be and let them dry out when they dry out.

I typically go with the latter. My outdoor planters for winter fall under my roof line and usually look pretty good until about mid-February. I pull them away from the roofline during inclement weather or water them when I remember which will help them last longer.

But to be honest, I tend to forget so I pretty much just leave them be.

And that’s it! You are on your way to planting your own winter outdoor planters.

christmas winter outdoor planters for the porch

More About Porch Planters for Winter

Are you planning to make your own Christmas pots this year? I would love to know more in the comments below.

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christmas pots for the porch: winter outdoor container ideas

Want More Winter Decorating Ideas?

front porch decorated for Christmas with winter planters and wreaths

Looking For More Christmas Decorating Ideas?

I love looking through festive holiday inspiration to get ideas for this year’s decorating aesthetic, don’t you?

Wait until you see these holiday decorating, entertaining, and food ideas to create a cozy home for Christmas.

front entry hall decorated for Christmas with stair garland christmas greenery
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budget friendly winter outdoor planters for the porch

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Budget-Friendly Winter Outdoor Planters
A young boxwood plant from my yard. The smaller leaves and branches make great filler by adding more texture and depth.
Buget-Friendly DIY Outdoor Planters for Winter

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