Holiday Decorating with Evergreens

Evergreens of all kinds are a sign of the season, whether used to decorate our landscapes, containers, holiday vases, or festive winter scenes. Needled branches and pine cones also fill the air with resinous fragrance associated with snowy days and glad tidings. Here are several jolly ways to use evergreens and evergreen branches to decorate your home this holiday season, indoors or out.

Outdoor Evergreen Decor

Live Evergreens

Quality nurseries offer many different potted dwarf evergreens!

Living dwarf evergreens make lovely potted plants that beautify the landscape all season, but during the holidays, a few lights and decorations make them extra pretty additions to front entryways. There are lots to choose from. Tiny Tower® dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca f. conica ‘MonRon’) has the perfect pyramidal shape for patio pots and grows very slowly, reaching a final height of 4-6 feet. Decorate it with lights, bright bows, and sprigs of holly.
Rounded dwarf evergreens also make nice potted specimens. Try the nana Hinoki false cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana’), which only grows to 2 feet and has dense, deep green, fanned foliage that takes well to strings of fairy lights. Mounding mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Slowmound’), which only matures to 3 feet, is another pincushion evergreen for festive low containers. Plant them in ornamental pots filled with Fafard Ultra Outdoor Planting Mix for best results.

Cut Evergreens

Lighted garlands are easy to make and brighten winter porches.

Do more than dress up the front door with an evergreen wreath this year. Evergreen garlands are easily created by tying pine branch cuttings to a length of strong twine. And don’t leave those old flower pots empty. If you don’t want to grow live evergreens, convert your seasonal flower pots to evergreen showpieces using cut branches from the yard or tree farm (see final image below). Any evergreen branch will do, and the more textures and colors you add, the prettier the pots. We recommend pine, holly, and evergreen magnolia branches. Add a little glitter, pine cones, or other colorful elements, and you are good to go!

Indoor Evergreen Decor

Winter Scenes

The fir branches on this mantle are rustically decorated with lotus heads, raffia balls and paper stars.

Use greenery to turn a mantle, piano top, or credenza into a winter scene. These scenes can be as detailed or simple as your taste requires. Simply cut greenery and place branches in tied clusters that can be easily arranged together. This makes it quicker to add greenery where you want it. Then decorate the branches with pine cones and other natural elements. Small lights, paper stars, blue and white dreidels, village scenes or crèches might also be welcome additions.

Evergreen Arrangements

This simple arrangement of evergreen branches, red flowers, and succulents looks elegant enough for any holiday table.

Gather greens from the yard or take trimmings from the bottom of your tree to place in vases. Embellish the greens with dried or living flowers, berried branches, and pine cones for a truly beautiful holiday table arrangement. It’s simple, inexpensive and always impressive.
Holiday decorating with greens does not have to be costly. Gather what you can from your garden, invest in permanent long-lived evergreen planters, add a few bows and lights, and your home will be the prettiest on the block!

Pots filled with evergreen branches, painted twigs, and pine cones lend a truly beautiful winter look. (Image taken at Newfields)

About Jessie Keith

Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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