Simple Yet Elegant Plants for Winter Containers

Crafting indoor and outdoor container arrangements during the winter can be a challenge. There are fewer flowering plants to work with and a much more subtle color palate. However, there are quite a few lovely elements that can be used to inspire winter charm in your indoor landscapes.

Willow branches

Simple Yet Elegant Elements for Winter Containers

Willow branches add height to arrangements

Willow branches stand up tall and curl and twist giving the viewer a sensation of flowing water. Willow branches are a beautiful stand alone piece in tall column containers. Displayed in this manner they are great for dividing space or creating corridors. Willow branches are also good for adding height to more full container arrangements.


Cattails are abundant during the fall and easy to preserve for use in arrangements all winter long. Choose cattails that are brown but not yet loosing any of their fluff. Set them upright in container and arrange them so they are not touching. Then coat them throughly with hair spray. Allow them to dry for at least 24 for hours before using them in an arrangement. Preserving them will prevent them from falling apart. Use the cattails sparsely to add height to arrangements or use them as a focal piece in bunches.

Magnolia Branches

Magnolia Arrangement

Magnolia leaves complement evergreen boughs.

Magnolia leaves are a beautiful shade of deep green with fuzzy brown undersides. They dry nicely and add lovely shape and color to winter arrangements. Use them to surround the base of a willow branch bundle to add colorful interest to the arrangement.


The silvery green of eucalyptus leaves are a perfect addition to any winter arrangement. Bunches of eucalyptus are another way to add color and shape to a large container arrangement. They can also be used mixed in with evergreen boughs to create another layer of texture and color.

Red Osier Dogwood

Red Osier Dogwood has brilliant red branches in the winter. These branches are a festive element to use in winter containers. Bundled together they add a bright focal piece that is lovely when accented with shorter elements such as magnolia leaves.

Pussy Willows

The prominent white fuzzy buds of pussy willows are an attractive addition to winter arrangements. They can complement bundles of larger branches or act as a focal point for smaller arrangements. Pussy willows can be brought indoors midwinter. If kept in water, they will bloom and produce catkins for a long lasting arrangement.

Tips to Keep in Mind

When you are crafting winter container arrangements remember the rules of attractive containers still apply. Vary height and texture. Include a tall focal point, something to fill in the middle and something to spill over the rim. Alternatively, you can use a single element to create a sparse, dramatic effect.

You can also be creative with the top dressing. Better Homes and Gardens recommends using crabapples and oranges to fill the tops of containers. Other items that would work include glass ornaments or shimmery tinsel.

Crafting winter arrangements can be a fun challenge. With a little creativity you can fashion beautiful arrangements that will last until things thaw out in the spring.


What are your favorite elements to use in winter arrangements?



How to Preserve Cattails for Craft Arrangements.” eHow Crafts.
Growing Pussy Willows Martha Stewart. 
Better Homes and Gardens: December 2013
Image:Planter box with winter arrangements by Field Outdoor Arrangements.
Image: Main Altar-Advent by St. Johns Flower Guild
Featured image by Marilylle Soveran via

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