20 Best Outdoor Christmas Plants

The vibrant bracts of red poinsettia make the best outdoor and indoor Christmas plant.

Adding Christmas plants to your outdoor landscape will cheer up the garden with color and scents. There is no doubt, these plants will make the winter garden ready for the coming festive season.

Admiring the view of your outdoor living Christmas tree while celebrating the holidays is one of many family traditions. It makes the memories of the festive season unforgettable.

And when considering adding a touch of cheerfulness to your outdoor garden this winter, you and your family will surely enjoy the charm of holiday blossoms.

Read on to see what the best outdoor Christmas plants and flowers are that’ll surely fill your home with love and joy throughout the festive season.

1) Winterberry Holly

The winterberry red berries
Image by: bygl.osu.edu

Winterberry is a deciduous holly shrub that produces bright red berries. The plant can make your winter gardens filled with cheerful colors as you celebrate the holiday season.

Berries can last through the entire winter until spring, making it an impressive addition to your landscape. And not only will these bright berries add colors to winter landscapes, but also lure in birds that love to feed on the prolific red berries.

Holly allows an exciting display of red berries to be the star of the landscape as winter arrives. It also features attractive dark green elliptical leaves about 2 to 3 inches long.

2) Boxwood

Boxwood as an outdoor Christmas plant complementing other Christmas decors
Image by: grandinroad.com

Boxwood is well known to bring joy among your holidays, either as a freestanding plant or as an elegant in-ground topiary at the entrance of your house.

Pines, lightings, cones, and ribbons are often used to complement the tree as it brings beauty and cheerfulness to your backyard this winter season.

And the plant’s foliage has a fine texture with natural luster, gradually turning darker and more attractive with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

An evergreen shrub such as boxwood is famous for its crisp ornate topiaries, often nurtured in the formal backyard landscape. And this versatile plant regarded as the aristocrat of hedging plants compliments well even with informal gardens.

3) Yew

 The Japanese yew features soft red-berry like blooms
Image by: southernliving.com

The Japanese Yew boasts its glossy narrow leaves that remain evergreen year-round. Its attractive dark green foliage and red flowers are highly ornamental. It is one of the favorite plants used to decorate backyard landscapes come the holiday season.

Yew adapts well to pruning. Aside from adding colors and liveliness to your backyard garden, it also suits as foundation plants, backdrops, clipped hedges, and bank cover.

The plant prefers well-drained soil and likewise pest resistance. However, if deer are plentiful where you live, your yews can be their target as the plant will get devoured quickly.

4) Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus with a red-orange flower

Like other succulents, Christmas cacti are well-adapted to an environment with minimal water. And adding Christmas cactus to your outdoor landscape in winter will help lighten up the vibes of your holiday season.

Its flowers bring cheerfulness and lift the mood of your backyard, making the celebration of the festive season elegant and memorable. 

Moreover, the lovely plant comes in a wide variety of colors, including red, purple, orange, pink, fuchsia, and cream.

5) Viburnum Bodnantense ‘Dawn’

A leafless Viburnum Bodnantense covered in pink blossoms

Dawn is a leafless shrub covered in flowers that makes an eye-catching addition to your outdoor landscape. The plant becomes a thing of curiosity as the flowers in clusters hanging from the stems radiate sweet aroma in full bloom.

This plant that looks like a perfume-filled pompom prefers well-draining soil. It can grow up to 2.5 meters tall and can fill the house with fragrance.

You can cut part of the shrub without spoiling the overall look of the plant and bring it inside to enjoy its unique fragrance while celebrating the holiday season.

6) Winter Heather

Winter heathers in pink blooms

Winter heather are hardy flowering plants with flowers that can last for several weeks. This easy to grow attractive plant is affordable to buy and can make a beautiful ground cover display.

And the plants have different varieties of pink, white and purple. Planting them together can make an eye-catching multi-colored carpet of flowers. Besides, the plant prefers acidic soil and thrives either in full sun or light shade.

7) Winter Beauty ‘Lonicera’

A cluster of white Lonicera flowers

Lonicera winter beauty is one of the best winter-flowering shrubs with sweet fragrant white flowers on the bare stems.

It makes an attractive shrub that will add beauty to your garden, spreading fragrance with little effort required. The plant is easy to maintain and makes a vital source of nectar for bumblebees and other insects.

8) Witch Hazel

Witch hazel in yellow blooms

Witch hazel is a large shrub that displays an intense color of delightful yellow, orange, and red foliage. Its flowers defy the frost and remain intact until the weather starts to warm.

This expensive plant grows best with well-draining and slightly acidic soil and likewise prefers full sun.

Also, it produces fruits and flowers at the same time. It is a unique feature among native trees that deserves more attention. Plus, it blooms earlier than other Christmas plants and lasts longer too.

9) Cyclamen

A Cyclamen Christmas plant features pink and white heart-shaped flowers

Cyclamen are winter-hardy hybrids that feature clusters of heart-shaped, dark green leaves variegated with silver veining, and attractive flowers which bloom from winter to spring. 

These hybrids offer a wide variety of flower colors including lavender, purple, pink, rose, red, and white. The plant is best grown in pots with intense indirect light, both indoors and outdoors in cool locations.

Unlike others, cyclamen goes dormant in summer, losing almost all of its leaves. However, as the cooler temperatures of fall arrive, the plant will gradually revive when provided with well-draining soil and full sun. 

10) Sarcococca

White blooms of Sarcococca
Image by: gardenia.net

Sarcococca is as famous as a Christmas box or sweet box. The plant features dense, sharp-pointed, leathery, and glossy broadleaf evergreens.

Its vanilla fragrant creamy white flowers in tassel-like axillary racemes are unisexual. The flowers have females with three stigmas below males with 4-6 stamens featuring circular dark berry blooms, which ripen black.

This winter-hardy beauty prefers acidic, but moderately fertilized soil in full or partial shade. Consider adding the plant into your backyard landscape, and you’ll surely love its fragrance while celebrating the holiday season.  

11) Winter Jasmine

Yellow blooms of Winter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine is a vigorous climber that typically grows rambling up to 4 inches tall with arching branches that root as they go along the ground. 

The non-fragrant bright yellow flowers bloom where it would receive full winter sun along with the stems before the dark green leaves do. 

This hardy plant prefers sandy loam with regular moisture in full to partial shade. Prune as needed in early spring after the flowerings are complete to maintain vigorous and tidy arching branches. 

12) Christmas Rose ‘Helleborus Niger’

The white flower of Christmas Rose

Christmas Rose is a low-growing evergreen plant you can add to your backyard landscape. It features attractive white flowers, perfect for cheering up your winter gardens.

However, other varieties display classic white flowers with a pink flush on the edge of the petals. They’re gorgeous too.

This beautiful plant prefers humus-rich, alkaline soil, and thrives best in partial shade to sunny spots.

13) Amaryllis

Red amaryllis blooms

The beautiful potted bulbs sold as amaryllis at Christmas are Hippeastrum. This plant grows beautifully from a bulb with a tiny green shoot to colorful trumpets of flowers. Adding them to your garden can make a festive celebration in the backyard cheerful and lively.

Some amaryllis is in the shade of pink and white with spotting bloom atop each scape. And bulbs planted in November are expected to produce attractive flowers at Christmas.

14) Pansy

Yellow pansies in a basket

Pansies are known to be the star of the winter garden. And this multi-colored beauty is small enough to squeeze even in the tightest spaces of your backyard garden.

You can also grow them either in pots or in-ground to add some extra interest to your winter landscape display.

Pansies grow best in full sun or partial shade and prefer well-drained and fertile soil. Place them in a pretty basket at the entrance, and they will help brighten the atmosphere of the house and make the chilly atmosphere of the winter lively.

15) Mahonia

Bright yellow flowers of Mahonia

Mahonia is a woodland beauty with slightly arching branches covered with prickly leaves. And this plant can reach up to 10 feet tall, making it an exceptional hedge or a garden backdrop.

The new growth mahonia in the spring comes as a light green to soft coppery red color. But as the plant responds to the chilly weather, the plant gradually takes the shades of bright red to burgundy, making the grayed landscape of winter delightful.

The plant is often full of small bright yellow fragrant flowers in the spring. And the long-bloom display attracts wildlife pollinators in the garden, such as bees and hummingbirds. After the bloom, the flowers will gradually turn into clusters of dusky blue sky berries.

16) Fir Tree

Fir tree with mature cones.

Firs are attractive evergreen coniferous trees that can reach up to 80 meters high with mature height. And this mighty plant makes a perfectly festive Christmas decor. Its boughs are flexible enough to create fascinating wreaths, and its mature cones are typical to complement other Christmas decor items.

They grow best in moist, well-drained soil and prefer full sun. But some fir varieties tolerate partial shade. The plant is known to have uplifting qualities and is considered a stimulant to the mind while helping to combat fatigue.

17) Paperwhite Narcissus

Paperwhite's single bloom in a backyard garden

Paperweight narcissus is a popular houseplant you can grow outdoors in sunny spots to grace your winter garden with fragrant white blooms. However, growing them outdoors requires care. Otherwise, success is still not to be guaranteed.

Keeping bulbs of paperwhite narcissus in cool and dark storage before planting in November is the best strategy to have those beautiful flowerings at Christmas time.

It only takes six to eight weeks from planting to flowering. So make sure to plan accordingly and provide well-draining growing media to prevent rotting.

However, ensure to add mulch to help retain appropriate moisture for the plant to thrive and produce fragrant white flowers.

18) Poinsettia

Clusters of the red poinsettia

Without a doubt, the poinsettia plant is one of the most popular plants during the holiday season. Its impressive red bracts with dark green leaves make an attractive centerpiece, either on the table or on the windowsill.

And America’s top-selling potted plant can spruce your holiday’s outdoor decor too. It adds holiday greenery and vibrant colors to lift and create perfect spirits for the holiday season.

Poinsettia is a woody shrub that can grow up to 3 meters high in the wild. And its red bracts are often mistaken as petals, making the plant a popular Christmas gift during the festive season. But the real flowers are at the center of the leaf clusters.

These attractive flowers display a combination of red and yellow colors, which makes the plants more delightful.

19) Yuletide Camellia

Red flowers of Yuletide Camellia

Yuletide Camellia is one of the favorites for red flower plant lovers who love to grow in winter. Its beautiful red flowers come with bright yellow stamens.

Yuletide Camellia is famous for its compact form, and with the right pruning, can develop a beautiful mounding shape.

It is also one of the plants that bloom every year, giving your holidays cheerful colors. And they create an elegant backdrop of contrasting color to your perennial border, making the winter garden more vibrant and delightful.

Lastly, the plant prefers acidic soil and makes a real foundation in the landscape with its evergreen structure.

20) Clematis Cirrhosa ‘Jingle Bells’

Clematis cirrhosa with bell-shaped white blooms
Image by: theenglishgarden.co.uk

While many plants are in the state of hibernation in winter, adding Clematis Cirrhosa to your landscape garden will fill your winter morning with sweet scents you’ll surely love.

And the contrasting pale-off white petals and rich green foliage make an elegant display to your fence or trellis during the holiday season.

These lovely plants grow best in moist, well-drained soil and prefer full sun.

Also, the bell-shaped flowers with clusters of whiskery seedheads at the center can last longer than you expect. Plus, it is an excellent source of nectar for winter-active bumblebees.

Final Thoughts

Adding cheerful colors to your winter garden by considering Christmas plants will lift the spirit of the holiday season to your outdoor landscape.

Incorporate attractive and luster foliage of Christmas plants. It will highlight the charm of your outdoor living Christmas trees, making the holiday decorations a breeze.

Some varieties of holiday plants can thrive and produce cheerful colors every year with proper care.

However, you need to provide the right soil and appropriate watering requirements that your Christmas plants need. And in return, they will produce delightful color combinations and charm you’ll surely love at Christmas time.


About Benita Abucejo

Hi there! My name is Benita Abucejo. What can I say? I truly love spending my days in the outdoors, specifically in the garden. Gardening has always been a strong passion of mine since I was a little girl. It has brought me so much joy and happiness that it is definitely safe to say that I will be a gardener for life. For a period of time, I was able to work with people who are into home gardening and I found it to be quite beneficial to my physical health, as well as my mental well-being. Here at Seasonal Preferences, I am going to share with you my experience and ideas so that you can fulfill yourself with the same satisfaction and happiness. Of course, if you have ideas, I would love to hear those as well! Being creative in the garden can really be quite fascinating so let's share our experiences and be the best gardeners we can be. With that being said, thank you for dropping by and please leave me a comment on one of my posts if you would like to get in touch!

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