Elevate your winter holiday decorations this year with the natural beauty of plants. We're getting creative with enchanting plant combinations that are perfect for bringing festive magic to large winter containers or entryway gardens. Join us as we explore the beauty of plants in winter and discover fresh ways to celebrate the joy and wonder of long nights, warm fires, glittering lights, and the giddy excitement of the holiday season.
These holiday-inspired plant palettes are suitable for those in Zones 4-11, bringing some magic to your interior décor, porch plantings, or entryway borders no matter where you live. Not sure what your growing zone is? Find out here.
5 Winter Plant Combo Ideas for Zones 4-9
Full, leafy branches are adorned with light pink summer blooms that produce an abundance of bright pink berries, becoming especially showy on the bare stems in winter. The perfect plant in front of evergreen shrubs to spice up northern native plant landscapes and wild garden woodlands. Berry-filled stems are excellent in floral arrangements. Partial to full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 3-7.
Supersized and stunning, this handsome, tough, and highly adaptable hybrid has a big mounding habit with wavy purple leaves. Stands up to heat and humidity while tall spikes of tiny pink flowers put on their summer show. Plant in groups for a bold color statement, or in pots with contrasting companions. Full shade to partial sun. Up to 14" tall, 28" wide. Zones 4-9.
Candles in the Windows
One of the finest of the gold-hued pines, on a dwarf form! Short, densely arranged evergreen needles are an attractive green in spring and summer, turning to a rich gold tone as cold weather arrives. Most intense color in colder climates. Full sun. Up to 2' tall and wide. Zones 2-7.
A profusion of bright red berries fall through winter is assured because a male pollenizer is planted in the same container as the fruiting female. The x meserveae species is the hardiest of the hollies with glossy, blue-green leaves and purple stems. Ideal as a landscape accent, or planted in groups as a dense hedge or screen. Partial to full sun. Up to 8' tall, 6' wide. Zones 5-9.
Brilliant chartreuse-yellow, needle-like foliage forms a quick groundcover. Adds cheery color to containers, dry slopes, and flowering borders. Excellent for use as year-round coverage for beds with spring bulbs. In winter, the foliage turns orange in northern climates. Full sun. Up to 6" tall, 36" wide. Zones 3-11.
Create a stunning vertical effect with feathery stalks that emerge reddish brown in spring and turn a rich golden color in fall. Thrives in wet soils, yet tolerates drier conditions. Stalks make great cut flowers. Sterile seeds do not produce unwanted seedlings. Full sun. Up to 2' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.
Full, leafy branches are adorned with light pink summer blooms that produce an abundance of white berries, becoming especially showy on the bare stems in winter—excellent in floral arrangements. The perfect plant in front of evergreen shrubs to spice up northern native plant landscapes and wild garden woodlands. Partial to full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 3-7.
Northwest by Northpole
Partial to full sun
The reddest foliage to be found, with intensely colored, incised, lightly ruffled leaves on deep red stems. Foliage color is most intense in the cooler spring and fall months. Showy sprays of tiny pink buds open to white flowers in midsummer. Excellent color for borders, rock gardens, and containers.Full shade to partial sun. Up to 7" tall, 14" wide. Zones 4-9.
This colorful evergreen shrub sports bright green leaves with gold edges, turning pinkish red in fall and winter. Spreads by creeping stems that root where they touch the ground. Dense mounding form makes an excellent small hedge or border plant. Gently climbs with support, making a nice background or foundation planting. Full sun. Up to 2' tall and 5' wide. Zones 5-9.
Current year's growth features outstanding coral-red branches on a multi-stemmed shrub. Yellowish-white flowers are followed by small blue berries. Bare stems create an attractive winter accent, and are a wonderful addition to seasonal flower arrangements. Partial to full sun. Up to 9' tall, 5' wide. Zones 2-8.
Berries in the Snow
An excellent, prolific dwarf variety with bright red berries that brighten the winter landscape. Plant a male such as Mr. Poppins™ for berry set. This handsome shrub provides a good winter food source for birds. Ideal for floral arrangements. Partial to full sun. Up to 4' tall, 4' wide. Zones 3-9.
A beautifully variegated shrub with a low, spreading form highlighted by rich green leaves with ivory white margins that are often tinged with pink in winter. Highly adaptable and versatile in sun or shade, this is a useful accent for brightening dull or dim spaces in the landscape. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 3' tall, spreading to 6' wide. Zones 4-9.
5 Winter Plant Combo Ideas for Zones 7-11
Partial to full sun
A true garden aristocrat, this refined evergreen shrub is a great specimen or formal hedge plant for mild-climate gardens. The oval-shaped, deep green leaves are held along beautiful red young stems. Creamy yellow-green perfumed blossoms enhance the distinctive foliage. Leaves may be used to add a spicy, peppery flavor to foods. This male selection will not fruit. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 12' tall, 8' wide. Zones 7-10.
A rosemary selection with foliage that has especially remarkable flavor and aroma for cooking. Strong, straight stems make perfect barbecue skewers! A fast growing, upright shrub with profuse, clear blue flowers. Takes to pruning well, perfect for hedging or screens.Full sun. Up to 6 tall, 3' wide. Zones 8-10
A more compact sweet bay with highly aromatic, deep green foliage that emerges on unique red-tinged stems. The dried leaves add a classic Mediterranean flavor to soups and sauces. Easy-care upright shrub or small tree. Handsome in natural form, or easily clipped into a formal hedge or topiary shape. Thrives in containers. Partial to full sun. Up to 8' tall and wide. Zones 8-11.
A festive, petite succulent with fleshy, dark green leaves that feature bright red trim and deep crimson raised spots. Bright pink to red-orange flowers begin blooming in the fall and can continue into winter. A great pick for use in rock gardens and dry borders, or as a small-scale groundcover. Full sun. Up to 12" tall and wide. Zones 9-11.
Blood red, bottlebrush-like flower spikes cover this dwarf evergreen shrub from spring into summer. In warm, temperate regions, it will continue to bloom intermittently throughout the year. A densely branched habit with blue-green leaves that have a citrus scent when crushed. Full sun. Up to 3' tall, 5' wide. Zones 8-11.
A striking succulent that has fleshy, orange-stippled, pale green foliage with bright, orange-red fringed margins. This handsome, clumping, heat and drought-tolerant hybrid performs well indoors or out. A must-have for the succulent collector! Partial to full sun. Up to 10" tall and wide. Zones 9-11.
This stunning sport from the extremely popular red Yuletide Camellia has large, wonderfully fragrant, deep pink blooms with bright yellow stamens - making a beautiful addition to the cool season garden. Float blossoms in a bowl to enjoy the fragrance indoors. An excellent choice for a colorful hedge, espalier, or border shrub. Full shade to partial sun. Zones 7-10.
A Monrovia exclusive with lively peach and orange tones that will brighten up a dappled shade garden, and partly shaded beds and borders. Large leaves create a full, mounding plant that is exceptionally heat tolerant. Dainty flowers appear on spikes above the foliage in the spring. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 18" tall, 15" wide. Zones 4-9.
This showy coastal native from the southeastern U.S. offers a superb alternative to common boxwood or holly, with fantastic blazing red new foliage, white urn-shaped flowers on gracefully arching branches, and brilliant winter color. Perfect for lightly shaded to dappled sun foundation plantings, slopes, and naturalized woodlands. Partial sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 6-9.
Night Before Christmas
Stunning contrast for the front of the border with exceptional, dense, purple-black, grass-like foliage. Produces dark lavender flowers in summer that are followed by purple berries in fall. Use en masse as edging, or tuck into mixed containers. Partial to full sun. Up to 6" tall and wide, spreading slowly. Zones 5-10.
Glossy, mint green leaves with creamy white edges create a lovely accent to colorful shrubs and perennials. The new spring growth glows green-gold. This compact evergreen with dense foliage requires very little maintenance. Excellent for use as a fuss-free, low-growing hedge or fill-in plant for shrub borders. Partial to full sun. Up to 30" tall and wide. Zones 8-11.
A compact, mounded evergreen with large, dark green, highly disease-resistant foliage that changes to a dramatic, burgundy-red in cold weather. Clusters of pink buds open to pale pink flowers which fade to white, followed by small, blue-black, ornamental fruit. Partial to full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 7-10.
A fast-growing vine prized for its glossy green foliage and spectacular display of pink buds that open to intensely fragrant white flowers in late winter. The presence of both bloom and bud throughout the flowering season gives it a wonderful bicolor effect. Partial to full sun. Quickly climbs up to 25' tall with support. Zones 8-11.
Learn More About Gardening in Fall and Winter
- Sign up for our Grow Beautifully newsletter. You'll get more design inspiration, garden tips, how-tos, and first access to exclusive plants.
- How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
- Best Plants for Home-Grown Holiday Greenery
- Gift Dilemmas, Solved! Top Picks for the Hard to Please
- Christmas Tree Alternatives Perfect for Small Spaces
- Plants as Holiday Gifts
- Winter Windowboxes
- How to Put Hydrangeas to Bed for Winter
- Boxwood Winter Care
- Use These Colorful Conifers to Transform Your Landscape
- Colorful Cold-Loving Conifers for the Winter Garden
- The Best Dwarf Conifers Offer Big Solutions