Create a polished winter window box or festive holiday container with these ideas and plant lists from professional container designers from around the country.
The Winter Style-It Container Challenge
Monrovia sent 11 Digging In members a 2-gallon Goshiki Osmanthus to be used in a holiday-themed “Style It Container Challenge.” This beautiful holly-like evergreen is a wonderful selection for containers and in-ground gardens. Goshiki translates from Japanese as "five colors." True to its name, the new leaves emerge red and quickly turn green, highlighted by splashes of creamy white, gray-green, and chartreuse. Recipients used the plant to create a holiday-themed winter container, highlighting their unique style, creativity and regional climate.
Digging In is a community of professional container garden designers. The group was formed to create a community for professionals and entrepreneurs across the country cultivating inspiration, support, and the sharing of the tools needed to grow their businesses.
Below are some of the top contenders in the contest, listed in no particular order. Monrovia craftsmen will choose three Style It Challenge winners this holiday season. What's your pick? Comment below with your favorite, and follow @MonroviaPlants on Instagram to see the winners.
Vibrant Winter Window Box
This gorgeous, welcoming winter window box was designed and planted by Steph Green of Contained Creations in Richmond, VA. Steph says "I had a blast creating a wintry window box. I love non-traditional colors in my holiday planters and this time was no exception.”
Follow Steph at @contained_creations on Instagram.
Get the Look With These Plants
The star of all of these beautiful winter containers! Goshiki translates from Japanese as "five colors." Its new leaves emerge red and quickly turn green. The green leaves are daubed with spots of creamy white, gray-green, and yellow-green. Partial to full sun. Up to 5' tall, 4' wide in 10 years. Zones 6-9.
This upright-branching conifer has distinctive two-toned foliage that contrasts beautifully with other plants in cut or container arrangements. Chartreuse new growth fringes the bright lemon-yellow inner foliage. Fragrant foliage is reminiscent of citrus. Full sun. Up to 30' tall, 8' wide. Zones 7-10.
Delectable and frilly, lime-colored foliage is a sure way to brighten containers. Super vigorous, with a good-sized mounding habit that makes a statement in the landscape. Evergreen in mild winter areas; an herbaceous perennial in colder regions. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 10" tall, 24" wide. Zones 4-9.
This unique "dark meets light" holiday container was designed by Howard Nemeroff of Plant Parenting in Chicago, IL. Howard says, "I have a lot of clients who don’t want to see red for the holiday, and this is a design I think will make them very happy.”
You can follow Howard on Instagram @plant_parenting.
Plant Parenting's Holiday Container Ingredients: Goshiki Osmanthus, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Purple Heuchera, Trailing Juniper, and artificial burgundy berries to pick up purple tips of the Osmanthus (do the same thing with Symphony™ Snowberry, Cranberry Cotoneaster, FloralBerry® St. John's Wort, or Holly).
New England Christmas Classic
Love the classic Christmas red-and-green combo? Then you'll love this container designed by Susan Nock of Thistle Containers in Boston, Massachusetts. Susan says this about the Goshiki Osmanthus, “its variegated foliage is just lovely. Here it’s really the star of the container.” She also selected other evergreens and berries for height variation, pops of color including chartreuse and red, and texture.
You can follow Susan @thistlecontainers on Instagram.
Thistle Containers' Classic Christmas Container Ingredients: Umbrella Pine (Blue Shag Eastern White Pine is a great alternative), a chartreuse-colored cedar, Winterberry, Sea of Gold® Juniper, cranberry plant (Cranberry Cotoneaster is a perfect sub), false cypress, and Danica Arborvitae.
Funky Fresh Greens
Designer Leanne James of Urban Oasis Container Gardens of Wheaton, IL had fun creating this hip combo, which features the local abundance of Osage oranges (aka hedge apples) nestled in as bright, natural ornaments. Leanne says "I decided to play off that chartreuse color, and add some cut greens in here because this is the Midwest and that’s what we do for the holidays!"
Follow Leanne @urbanoasiscontainers on Instagram.
Urban Oasis Container Gardens' Winter Container Ingredients: Goshiki Osmanthus, false cypress, Blue Star Juniper, wintergreen, ajuga, and Osage oranges (or use seed pods or other elements gathered from your garden).
More Plant-Inspired Ideas for the Holidays
- Sign up for the Grow Beautifully newsletter to get holiday decor inspiration, gift ideas, and more.
- Grow Décor: 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
- Winter Decorating with Evergreen Clippings
- The Nature of Welcome
- The Nature of Giving