Looking for budget-friendly ways to decorate the front porch for the holidays? Start winter gardening by potting up some fresh evergreens and making outdoor planters that will last throughout the season. Here’s how to make them.

Winter brings its own unique charm to the world of gardening. While the vibrant blooms of spring and the lush greens of summer may be gone, there is still ample opportunity to create a stunning outdoor display for your front porch using outdoor planters.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can transform your porch into a cozy, unique winter wonderland with fresh-cut evergreens, berries, and Christmas decor.

I just finished decorating the front porch for Christmas and love how classic and simple it looks with my outdoor planters. While I love what I did last year on the front porch, I replanted my garden containers with a whole new look.

This year, I added lots of fresh winter greens, festive holiday decor, and new door mats to the front porch to spruce things up.

And I can’t wait to show you how to make these gorgeous outdoor planters. Learn how to spruce up your front porch with these winter garden ideas.

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Why Winter Gardening Matters

Many gardeners hang up their gloves when the cold weather arrives, believing that gardening is a spring and summer pursuit. However, with the right approach, you can make your outdoor space come alive even in the depths of winter.

Winter gardening not only adds beauty to your home but also offers a therapeutic and creative outlet during the long, chilly months.

While it’s still somewhat seasonable out, now is a great time to pot up some outdoor planters while you can tolerate the cooler temperatures, get some fresh air, and create a cozy, welcoming look for your front entry.

farmhouse front porch with mustard colored doors, two wreaths and black urns with festive christmas greenery in the outdoor planters

Why You Should Decorate Plant Pots with Fresh Winter Greens

Fresh Christmas greenery warms up the exterior of your home with lots of curb appeal while the rest of the landscape looks dull and lifeless as in winter. And decorating with winter greenery doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg either.

Winter gardening with outdoor planters can be as budget-friendly as you want them to be. If you have lots of greens in your yard, cut from the landscape and save money on decor. And if you don’t have a variety of fresh greens to cut? Ask a neighbor or friend to cut some of theirs or pick some up from the nursery.

Pro-Tip: Fresh-cut greens from the yard will last much longer than the ones you pick up at the nursery. Why? Because the cut is more fresh and you can more easily keep them hydrated.

Although I have lots of evergreen trees and shrubs in my landscape, I don’t always have enough of the ones I want to use in my outdoor planters. Thus, sometimes, I’ll supplement my container garden design with fresh greens from the nursery.

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

Decorating the Front Porch for Christmas Simplified

Before we start potting up our outdoor planters with Christmas greenery, it’s a good idea to decorate the porch first so you can coordinate the flower pots with a winter or Christmas aesthetic.

Of course, you can always start with the porch planters first and then decorate your outdoor living space, but this is how I like to design my outdoor plant pots for winter. Because how I plant my containers is largely dictated by how I decorate my front porch for any given season.

While I have a few porches here, one of my front entries has a small footprint. So I want those garden containers to be the overall focal point of my front porch decor.

So instead of going crazy with all kinds of decor in smaller spaces, I keep the front porch pretty simple with wreaths and flower pots filled with Christmas greenery and festive decor.

Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Decorating Ideas with black labs at the front door with outdoor planters for winter and new doormats
My former home Christmas 2020

Adding Beautiful Front Door Decor for Winter

When decorating the front porch for Christmas, the first place I start is the front door. Whether choosing live or faux, a gorgeous wreath or something like a basket filled with greens is a must.

The front door needs something green and festive for winter. Since I lean towards a rustic elegant look, I will either DIY Christmas wreaths or purchase ready-made ones like this beautiful one from Lynch Creek Farms. Isn’t it gorgeous?

For the last few years, this has been the look that inspires my outdoor planters for winter. thus, when I pot up fresh evergreens in flower pots, I like to incorporate that rich farmhouse red with pinecones.

Christmas Wreath Ideas - close up of farmhouse christmas wreath with red plaid bow and pine cones
Lynch Creek Farm Wreath

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front entry hall christmas tree 2023

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Adding a New Doormat

Because I don’t want to distract from my gorgeous winter planters, I like to keep my outdoor winter decor pretty simple and just add a new mat. I love a pretty coir mat layered with a gingham rug. It just looks a little more finished and cozy.

Decorating the Front Porch for Winter

Shop for New Door Mats

The Basics of Winter Outdoor Planters

There are a few things to gather before you start potting up evergreens and decorating for the holidays or winter.

Here’s what you need to know

Choosing the Right Planter

Start by selecting outdoor planters that are well-suited to withstand winter conditions. Ensure they are frost-resistant and made from durable materials that won’t get damaged during freeze and thaws.

They should also provide enough stability so your incredible creations don’t blow over in the wind. I love the look of black urns flanking my front doors. These are the ones that I use.

While made from resin, these black urns are large outdoor planters that hold enough potting soil to weight down the arrangement yet add a bit of rustic elegance to evergreens that drape over the edges.

You can use any type of flower pot you want when making these, but I love the look of urns.

What Planters Can Stay Outside All Winter?

The best planters for outdoor winter use are ones that will survive the thawing and dethawing from winter weather. So anything non-porous like heavy plastic or resin, lead, iron, and stone are the best weather-resistant containers to use for outdoor winter planters.

Keep in mind that it’s best to plant winter planters early enough so they acclimate well before the deep freeze arrives. But also not too early enough where the temps are too mild for them to survive.

porch planter in winter
Porch planter with evergreens pinecone and hydrangea flowers

Fresh Cut Evergreens for Outdoor Planters

Forage for or purchase evergreen plants. Choose foliage that has different colors and textures that provide a beautiful contrast to the white snow or muted colors of winter. And also looks beautiful with festive holiday decor.

Here are a few to look for:

  • boxwood
  • cedar branch
  • juniper
  • holly
  • rhododendron
  • balsam
  • frasier fir
  • andromeda
  • white pine

If you don’t have access to enough winter greens in your landscape, you can obtain fresh-cut evergreen branches from local tree farms or garden nurseries.

When collecting greens from your yard or the nursery, look for greens that have different colors, textures and foliage sizes and cut more than you think you need. Having a variety of greens will make a prettier planter.

fresh evergreen branches at the local nursery
Fresh evergreens at the garden nursery

Berries and Colorful Accents for Outdoor Plant Pots

To add a pop of color to your outdoor planters, incorporate winter berries like red holly, winterberry, or juniper berries. These berries not only look stunning but also provide food for local wildlife during the cold months.

I would avoid using bright orange bittersweet because it is invasive in many localities and you don’t want to help spread that around.

In addition to using berries, I sometimes incorporate dried flower heads like sedum autumn joy. They add a lot of texture, interest and character to an outdoor planter in winter.

If you don’t have access to fresh berries, there are lots of great faux options you can purchase online or from the local nursery. I lean towards berreis that look more real and authentic but choose what speaks to you.

red berries in the fall

Christmas Decor for Winter Garden Planters

Don’t forget to add a touch of holiday spirit to your outdoor planters for a festive touch. Hang colorful ornaments, tuck in pine cones, or wrap LED fairy lights around your arrangements.

You can also include holiday-themed ribbons, bows, and other festive decorations to make your front porch feel truly special during the holiday season.

I love to incorporate other organic decor like pinecones. It helps break up the greenery and add some interest. Lately, I’ve been into using these oversized pinecones that look stunning in outdoor plant pots.

close up of winter planter filled with christmas greenery, cedar branches, white pine, boxwoods, red berries and oversized pine cone in large black urn

Winter Gardening: How to Make These Outdoor Planters for Winter

Winter container gardens are a great way to extend the gardening season and are much easier to create than they look. Outdoor planters for winter are low maintenance, require minimal investment, and can last through February if properly cared for.

And they are one of my favorite ways to dress up the front entry for the holidays and beyond. Here’s how I make them!

Outdoor Planters for Winter Supplies

How much or how little you spend on supplies largely depends on what you have access to in your landscape. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use things you have in your ladscape that differentiate from this list.

In general, here’s what you need to get started.

  • Fresh-cut evergreens (different varieties)
  • Winter decor like ribbons, berries, colored branches, etc.
  • Pruners
  • Gloves
  • Potting Soil
  • Outdoor planters

When I get started, I like to make piles of everything around me so I can see all of the greens and other supplies while I’m working.

Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters using fresh cuts of greens found in the landscape
Gather and make piles of evergreens

Direction to Make Beautiful Outdoor Planters for Winter Idea

  • Gather your supplies. For my outdoor planters, I used balsam greens, juniper, cedar branches, and variegated boxwood.
  • Use the container design thriller, filler, and spiller technique.
  • Because my winter pots rest against the house, I don’t worry about the fullness of the design in the back. If you are placing yours in a location where you will see all sides, make yours full all around.
  • Start with the thriller branches that will add height and drama. I used balsam greens and fanned them out. When stuffing, make it look as symmetrical as you can.
  • To create fullness, I added filler branches like these variegated boxwoods. As I added the boxwoods, I tucked in more balsam branches too. Because the boxwood is variegated, it adds a lot of interest, texture, and dimension to the planters.
  • For the spiller, I used cedar branches tucking them in so they could drape over the edges of the urns. I love the look of cedar branches in winter containers and wish I had them growing in the landscape because they are beyond gorgeous in outdoor planters for winter.
  • When the spiller looked full enough, I continued to add more filler greens to the urns to get more fullness, color, and texture. So I tucked in these junipers with those little berries as well.
  • To complete the look, I added a large red faux berry sprig and oversized pinecone.
  • When you think you are finished, it’s important to stand back and make sure it looks symmetrical. If you are making two that are the same, put them next to each other to make sure they look similar.

And that’s it! Don’t they look amazing?

How to Care for Outdoor Winter Planters with Fresh Evergreens

Now that you’ve got some gorgeous porch planters, how do you take care of them? It’s important to water your outdoor planters for winter when done making them. There is no need to feed them with fertilizer or anything like that.

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. And If your containers are under a protected area, there are two options of care: water them every now and again, or leave them be and let them dry out when they dry out.

My containers are located under the roof line and look pretty good until about mid-February. I pull them away from the roof line during inclement weather or water them when I remember which helps them last longer.

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

To add that wow factor, tucked in oversized pine cones and beautiful faux berries with fresh cut winter greens in black urns for the front porch -Decorating the Front Porch for Christmas

More About Making Porch Planters for Winter

Have you made front porch planters for winter before? You can use this technique in both outdoor planters and window boxes too? If you’ve made them before, I’d love to hear how you like to design yours. I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

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outdoor planter idea using fresh cut greens from the garden in large black urn on front porch -Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Decorating Ideas
Outdoor Planter Idea for Winter

Shop for Winter Gardening Supplies

To learn how to care for winter garden containers, CLICK HERE.

hanging planter for Christmas on the front porch

Want to Learn How to Decorate With Fresh Greens for the Holidays?

Sign up here to get a discount on my ebook, 15 Easy Ways to Decorate With Fresh Greens for the Holidays which offers beautiful, budget-friendly, and sustainable holiday decorating inspiration using fresh greens from the landscape.

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From porch styling to cozy centerpiece and tablescape inspiration, wait until you try these budget-friendly holiday decorating ideas using fresh greens for every room in your home.

front door wreath ideas for my christmas front porch with gold bells, white berries and pinecones

Want to Give the Gift of Flower Gardening This Year for the Holidays?

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  • Helpful how-tos for container and cut flower gardening
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the bricks 'n blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden

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More Winter Gardening and Outdoor Decorating Ideas

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.

black labrador retriever dog in front of roaring fire on Christmas - First Christmas in Our Home Tour

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rustic elegant winter planters for porches with evergreen branches, red berries and pinecones plus a christmas wreath
hellebores and daffodils

Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 180

Hi there! I hope you had a great week! Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms What a week it was! I’ve been keeping a secret and it is MAJOR news that I’m sharing today. I’m not even going to drop it down at the end of sharing my gardens with you…
Read More Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 180

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Enjoy your day! xoxo

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Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden

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Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters for the front porch
Winter Gardening with Outdoor Planters
porch planter filled with christmas greenery, red berries and pinecone

Want to Learn How to Make a Fresh Wreath?

Check out my good friend Kim’s blog from Shiplap and Shells where she explains how to make a gorgeous wreath out of fresh magnolias. Isn’t it gorgeous? I want one. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is blessed with the most beautiful gardens. Wait until you see how she makes this wreath!

How to Make a Festive Wreath

When we renovated our home 15 years ago, we considered adding a full-sized front porch onto our home. It was high on the priority list, but there were other things we wanted to add to our home too.

And it wasn’t all within our budget. So we had to make some decisions.

In lieu of having a full covered front porch, we opted for round brick paver steps with expansive gardens.

Not the same I know, but we opted for other amenities instead. Someday I’ll have that big covered porch.

But this is what I have now and I love it!

When my kids were little, I used to sit on the front steps and watch them play in the yard. Or watch them ride their bikes up and down the street.

Now I sit here among my cottage garden flowers and watch my dogs run around.

It’s sometimes challenging to decorate the front porch because the steps are rounded, my gardens are expansive, and I want flowers to be the focal point of the front entry.

My containers turned out beautiful this year. And I can’t wait to show you how I made them!

If you want to learn more about choosing a container for gardens, check out this post. I not only use this method for my garden container designs but also use it when creating centerpieces.

Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Decorating Ideas with center hall colonial with black door and outdoor planters for winter and fresh wreath for the front door that is black
My former home Christmas 2020
Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Decorating Ideas with black labs at the front door with outdoor planters for winter and new doormats
My former home Christmas 2020

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33 Comments

  1. Pingback: How to Make a Fresh Magnolia Mixed Branch Wreath - Shiplap and Shells
  2. I loved your blog post Stacy! I really need to do a better job with keeping my outdoor containers full of life and festive during the holidays. You have really inspired me. Loved this.

  3. Those are so beautiful Stacy. I pinned this and will start massaging my black thumbs so mine will hopefully look like this! Love it.

  4. Pingback: Creating Christmas Magic When Decorating Your Greenhouse - Shiplap and Shells
  5. Pingback: Saturday Shares | Week 9 - Cottage On Bunker Hill
  6. Stacy,
    I love how these look and plan to share them with a link back to your blog on my Dirt Road Adventures on Sat.
    Rachel

  7. Pingback: Dirt Road Adventures - Sit a Spell - The Ponds Farmhouse
  8. I want to do this for my porch but I am wondering if you need to constantly replace the foliage since it is not a plant with roots. How often would you need to replace it? Looks gorgeous!

    1. Hi Fran! I do not replace them at all! They look pretty good until sometime in February and then I just clean them out until I can fill them with something else. If I am really good with watering, they’ll last later into February. There is a greenery spray you can use to keep it looking green if it starts to brown out earlier than you’d like too. Works like a charm!

  9. Pingback: Dirt Road Adventures - Thanksgiving Week - The Ponds Farmhouse
  10. This was one of my favorites!! Seriously, it seems like such a long time ago when you lived at this house!!!

  11. Your greenery is so gorgeous friend! I love those wreaths! You’ve inspired me to incorporate more greenery into my Christmas decor this year!!