Christmas hanging basket ideas – planting ideas to add festive cheer to exteriors

Create a seasonal flower display to welcome a sense of joy to gardens this Christmas

Christmas hanging baskets are an easy way to add festive cheer to gardens, both front and back.

Going one better than hanging wreaths and garlands on front doors this popular new trend sees the nation planting seasonal hanging baskets. A thoughtful arrangement of beautiful winter foliage will go a long way to cheer up front gardens and the outside of any home. Add lights, bows and more to make them feel even more festive.

And not just for Christmas, seasonally planted baskets can add colour to front gardens even once the festive lights come down.

More festive ideas: Budget Christmas decorating ideas for a high-impact, low-cost Christmas

Christmas hanging basket ideas

christmas hanging basket with flowers on white walls

(Image credit: Max Attenborough)

1. Choose hardy seasonal foliage

When planting winter foliage Easy Gardens magazine recommends 'choosing feisty plants that will put on  a good show over Christmas. Ornamental cabbages give weeks of colour, before returning to seed. Whilst on the evergreen front, there's glossy-leaved Skimmia Japonica or winter-flowering heathers in shades of pink or white'.

Winter-flowering pansies with their velvety petals in an array of seasonal hues is another great choice for winter baskets. As is one of the Christmas classics...Ivy. This winter favourite is ideal for softening the edges, by trailing down the side of the basket.

Adding 'surprisingly winter winds can be very dehydrating, so don't forget to water.'

2. Pretty up with poinsettias

Poinsettias are an iconic flower, one that has come to symbolise the season. Easy to see why, as the bright red petals add Christmas colour. To use poinsettias as fresh flowers in a hanging basket, cut the bracts, dip the cut end in warm (60 degrees) water for five seconds, then immediately in cold water, and you’re ready to arrange.

3. Illuminate with fairy lights

Whatever you decide to plant, ensure it's shown off to its full potential with a little illumination. A simple set of fairy lights can help to add an instant touch of gentle sparkle and draw attention to the festive foliage. A small battery pack set will do the job perfectly, to keep things simple.

4. Forage for free

Make use of all that nature has to offer in your own back garden, or even front garden. Conifers are a great choice, because they require cutting back for maintenance anyway - so it's not cutting for the sake of it. Add sprigs of alternative foliage and colourful berries, all found for free in your own garden. To create a rustic masterpiece and give new life to empty summer hanging baskets.

5. Finish with a festive bow

A hearty bow goes a long way to making a big impression. Tie a big festive bow onto your hanging basket to make it feel more festive.

6. Go artificial for longevity

For a display that can be used year after year, artificial flowers and foliage are a winner. you can buy them ready made, or simply fill your empty summer baskets with a homemade arrangement – that can be removed without damaging it, ready to swap out as the seasons change.

7. Decorate with forest finds

Pine cones are one of the easiest elements to add for free, they can be foraged from a woodland walk. Beautiful as they are, but they can be spray painted gold or silver to add even more decorative impact. As when adding pine cones to wreath arrangements you can wrap them with florists wire, to help keep them securely in place.

8. Fill with baubles

Adding baubles to anything, be it a vase or a hanging basket, and it instantly feels Christmasy.  Not only do baubles add a characteristic of Christmas, they help to add a burst of colour. You may plant an entirely green, hardy foliage arrangement to which you can add accent colour through bauble choices.

9. Set the scene with snow

A gentle dusting of faux snow can go a long way to set the scene for a winter wonderland. Try a handful of sea salt to give the snowy effect without having to use synthetic materials. Hopefully the wind and rain will hold off, and not ruin the look. But best to save adding this finishing touch until you know you have guests arriving, so it looks perfect for the occasion.

Related: Christmas hallway decorating ideas to impress your guests

Be sure to choose planting that's hardy enough to withstand the elements of the seasonal weather.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.