Christmas Centerpiece Ideas – Growing Plants For A Christmas Centerpiece

Christmas Centerpiece Ideas – Growing Plants For A Christmas Centerpiece

By: Laura Miller

Would you like a different look for this year’s holidayfloral centerpiece? Traditional plants for a Christmas centerpiece include pineboughs, pine cones, hollyand poinsettias.But if these choices of plants for Christmas table arrangements leave youfeeling bah humbug, maybe it’s time to think outside of the “flower” box!

Red and Green Centerpiece Plant Arrangements

Changing up the plants for Christmas table arrangementsdoesn’t necessarily mean ditching that traditional red and green centerpiece.Plant arrangements for that special holiday floral centerpiece can include somenot-so-traditional reds and greens:

  • Roses – Rose, the flower of love, beautifully expresses the romance of the Christmas season. Use solid red roses accented with greenery for an elegant look or arrange white roses with red tips in a decorative sleigh to create that wintry feel.
  • Ranunculus flowers – Ranunculus are popular vase flowers that can last for days if cut before they are fully open. Use a bright red variety for vibrant color, incorporate pine branches from the backyard and tie it all together with festive ribbon.
  • Freesia – This South African symbol of friendship lasts for weeks if cut in the bud stage. The delicate red flowers are often highlighted with golden centers for an added splash of color. Use freesias in a centerpiece with gold candlesticks for a complimentary color scheme.
  • Carnations – Readily available year round and budget-friendly, choose long-stemmed dark red carnations for the foundation flower and highlight with eucalyptus greenery and red berries.
  • Tulips – Create a chic look by incorporating these spring blooms in your wintry bouquet. Force your own tulip bulbs for a tulips-only arrangement or accent store-bought red tulips with Christmas greenery.
  • Hawthorn berries – These dark red berries can be safely used around kids and pets as a replacement for poisonous holly berries. Although Hawthorn berries are edible, like apples, their seeds contain a cyanide compound and shouldn’t be consumed.
  • Hydrangeas – Their large clusters of petals make hydrangeas well suited for flower arranging in any season. Try the Antique Green variety for a mix of deep pinks and delicate greens in your holiday floral centerpiece. Properly cured, hydrangeas are long lasting in dried arrangements.
  • Spruce, arborvitae and cypress – Don’t be afraid to scrap the pine and substitute backyard boughs from any of the other types of evergreens in your Christmas centerpiece. Plant arrangements will benefit from the added textures that pine lacks, such as spruce, arborvitae and cypress.

White and Silver Christmas Centerpiece Ideas

Substitute those red roses, carnations or tulips with whiteflowers. Then round out the arrangement with silvery-green foliage to add thatair of elegance to the holiday dinner table. Wondering where to find thatfoliage? Try looking in the house or backyard:

  • Succulents – The lighter silvery green of many succulents provides the perfect accent to the white and silver holiday floral centerpiece. Many varieties of sedum can be propagated by snipping off the tips and planting in soil. In colder climates, bring clippings inside for holiday use or gather up a few hens and chicks plants for a mix of live and cut plants for Christmas table arrangements. As an alternative, try spicing up existing indoor cacti by adding small blue ornaments, silver bells and holiday ribbon.
  • Blue spruce – The blue needled species of spruce impart a silvery blue cast which perfectly accents white foundation flowers. Be sure to cut the latest season’s growth for the bluest shades.
  • Eucalyptus – Grow this Australian native in your garden or as a container plant and use its fragrant leaves in both fresh and dried arrangements.
  • Dusty miller – The quintessential silver-leafed plants, dusty miller leaves can be used fresh or dried in arrangements. If dried properly, they can retain their color for several years.

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10 Cool Ways to Use Potted Plants in Your Wedding Decor

Sure, we all love fresh flowers at a wedding—but what about plants? Whether it's the main attraction or just a supplement to your wedding day florals, potted plants can add a fresh and unexpected look to your decor.

One of the biggest benefits of using potted plants at your wedding is that all your pretty greenery doesn't end up in the trash a few days after the event. That means if you and your fiancé (or any of your friends and family) love to garden, you'll have lots of fun swag to take home, and quite possibly have for years to come. And if you're a couple who love to cook, an herbal centerpiece (think rosemary, basil, flowering thyme, or oregano), is perfect as something that both represents your personalities and tastes delicious in your next pasta sauce.

In addition to the eco advantage, using potted plants can also be less expensive, especially if you do some of the legwork yourself by sourcing at your local garden center. All those pretty peonies and roses can come with a hefty price tag, so if you're looking for more volume without breaking the bank, greenery can be the way to go. Here are some of our favorite looks to get you inspired.

Use Food for a Winter Centerpiece

This show-stopping (and delicious) centerpiece from Celebrate Creativity incorporates some common flavors of the winter season: cinnamon sticks and dried apples. The cinnamon sticks were trimmed down to size, spray painted white for a more wintry look, and then wrapped around the candle. Surrounded by several pinecones, this centerpiece gives off a warm and rustic vibe.

How to Make a Gorgeous + Easy Poinsettia Centerpiece for the Holidays

Create an eye-catching arrangement for your holiday table using our favorite seasonal blooms.

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Poinsettias are the quintessential flower for the winter holidays. Instead of grabbing a few potted plants to pop around the house, try using them as cut flowers. Not only will they last for days in a vase, but it's fun to arrange them with different textures to make a stunning arrangement.

Poinsettia Centerpiece

Poinsettias come in many colors: white, lime green, pink, hot pink, burgundy, variegated and various shades of red. Try using a non-traditional color to mix it up. For greenery, use what you have growing in your yard! In this arrangement, we used arborvitae, nandina and pine leaves. All of these types of greens will stay vibrant for a few days out of water.

Succulent Centerpieces


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Colorful succulent plants can take a little of the stress out of holiday entertaining. Forget about watering these arrangements and you'll be fine. These fleshy-leaved plants hold moisture in their stems, roots or leaves (immersion in water will cause the stems to rot). So add drama and interest to your holiday table with these succulent ideas:


1. Use any type of container as long as the anchoring medium will hold the stems in place. This is easily done with floral foam, which is available in any floral supply shop. Or, you can use aquarium gravel, which conforms to any enclosed shape, comes in many colors and is especially nice at the base of clear glass bowls. The plants are heavy, however, so the base must be somewhat weighty or the arrangement will be top-heavy.

2. Once you've chosen your container and anchoring medium, wash the cut plants that were cultivated outdoors. This will clean them up and get rid of lingering bugs. Submerge them in a large bucket containing water, rubbing alcohol, a little liquid soap and cayenne pepper — bugs don't like cayenne pepper. One gardener swears fresh garlic buzzed with water in a blender is also quite effective.

3. Use low arrangements to create a centerpiece that won't block the view of your guests. This arrangement calls for a very shallow bowl filled with floral foam.


4. Prepare cut succulents for the arrangement. Because they have such heavy, thick stems, anchor them with toothpicks, bamboo skewers or wires.

5. Begin working in threes with green-hued plants, like kalanchoe or crassula. There are many solid greens to choose from. Place each of the three stems adjacent to each other in the anchoring medium to form the points of a slightly lopsided triangle.


6. Following that pattern, begin to fill in with more spectacular things with interesting colors, forms or textures — Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, commonly called flapjacks or paddle plant, aeoniums (Aeonium), echeverias (members of the genus Echeveria, which includes hens-and-chicks). Echeverias come in many colors and forms, and are characterized by large rosettes of thick leaves.

7. When you have the bowl nearly covered, add some accent plants for added texture and interest. One favorite is wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida "Purpurea," also called purple heart), valued for its spectacular purple color. This plant has a very soft stem, so don't ram a toothpick in there, a small wire will do. It grows easily in the house or out in California it can get pretty rambunctious in the garden. Another good plant for interest and excitement is Portulacaria afra, often called elephant food. In Africa, elephants devour large bushes of this for its lemony taste. Here the variegated yellow and green small leaves and dark red angular stems contrast well with the large fleshy leaves of the echeveria.


Succulents give you added flexibility. You can rip off leaves that don't "work," making the plant any size you want. This design uses various sedums, crassulas and kalanchoes -- a narrow color spectrum that relies on the form for interest.

8. When the arrangement is nearly finished, rotate it. If you can see the foam, plug the hole. A good plant for filling holes is Euphorbia tirucalli "Sticks on Fire." Although it has a poisonous sap, it's very useful for arrangements. As a precaution, immerse the cut stems immediately in water. This stops the sap from flowing and causes the ends to seal up — as do those of any cut succulent. It's a fabulous plant, not only for the color, but for the twiggy-ness of it. Cold weather causes it to turn bright red — hence the name. All the plants known as euphorbias (and there are about 2,000 of them) have this poisonous sap, so handle with care.


9. Use tall arrangements as a focal point in a room. With tall vases, match the plant material with the height of the container. So when arranging, establish the height first with the plants and then place shorter plants in front. One very useful and somewhat spectacular euphorbia for adding height is the red and green trigona. In the garden it grows fairly quickly to about 6 feet tall and is one of the more interesting tall, stiff background plants — invaluable for very large arrangements. Sansevieria leaves are also good for height. They come in several forms and color patterns, some will grow to 3 feet tall and are not poisonous.

Mahogany echeveria is a focal point of this tall arrangement. The plant is anchored with three toothpicks because it is quite heavy. Here Crassula muscosa is used as a filler to soften things a bit, but there are many other succulents that will do as well. Small clumps of succulents can be helped to stand by wrapping a length of floral wire around the last 3 or 4 inches with a "tail" of wire extending. Stick only the wire into the gravel and the rest can wave or droop as you like. Complete the arrangement by plugging in holes with filler or accent plants, such as the "Sticks on Fire" used here. Remember, contrast is good.


The design includes a red-edged variant of the common jade, the crassula 'Campfire', the fuzzy white Senecio haworthii, and a dark aeonium.

Watch the video: Hydrangea Christmas Centerpiece