How to make easy Christmas hanging baskets to impress your guests and brighten up your garden

Who said hanging baskets were just for summer?

Christmas hanging basket with heather, ivy, pansies and decorations
(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you’re looking for ways to add a little sparkle to your front porch or brighten up your garden this Christmas, then adding easy Christmas hanging baskets to your to-do list can help you do just that. 

Plants dominate the festive period, after all. You may have ditched an artificial tree in favour of the real deal, perhaps you’ve hung a wreath on your front door, or maybe you’ve spent the past few weeks making a poinsettia turn red for the perfect Christmas gift. But with so many amazing Christmas hanging basket ideas out there, it would be a shame to not bring them to life. 

From what plants to use to how to care for a hanging basket and how to make it even more magical, we’ve asked the experts for all of their best tips and tricks on how to make an easy Christmas hanging basket. This is what they had to say.

How to make Christmas hanging baskets

‘Christmas hanging baskets are a great addition to a beautiful, thriving garden during the festive period. While there are many fake plant hanging baskets also available at this time, it's often nice to have your own real-flower hanging basket instead,’ explains Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench. So, this is everything you need to know about making your own easy Christmas hanging baskets. 

Headshot of gardening expert Steve Chilton
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field and has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. Steve is a keen educator and loves to share this knowledge with others. He strives to simplify complex garden practices and encourage eco-friendly gardening.

Plants to include in a Christmas hanging basket

Close up of pansies and ivy in hanging basket

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You probably don’t need us to tell you that spring-flowering and summer-flowering plants don’t have a place within a Christmas hanging basket. Instead, you need to focus on using winter flowers that will add some colour while staying fresh throughout the colder months.

These are just a few flowers that would add a festive flair to your Christmas hanging basket:

Winter flowering pansies: Steve says, ‘Pansies are generally well-known for their ability to tolerate cold weather, and they also come in a variety of different colours, meaning that you can create a good display in your hanging baskets with them.’ In fact, they’ll give you a good base to get as creative as you want, as they don’t mind being too crowded. 

Cyclamen: If you’re looking to make a delicate Christmas hanging basket, cyclamen should do the trick. Not only are they very hardy plants that can withstand the cold and frost, but there are also so many winter varieties to choose from - and in so many different colours. Steve even suggests that mixing winter flowering pansies and cyclamens together would be a great way to ‘add a bit of diversity and really fill out your baskets.’

Ivy: A great addition to any hanging basket, ivy looks particularly impressive during the winter period when mixed in with other colourful flowers. More than anything, it’s a nifty way to bulk up your creation and add depth to your hanging basket - especially when the ivy quite literally hangs down. Just be careful if you have animals in your house, as ivy is one of the many festive plants that are poisonous to pets.

How to care for a Christmas hanging basket

Pink, white and purple cyclamen in basket

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The rules of how to plant a hanging basket are the same when it comes to making a Christmas hanging basket, but winter hanging baskets need a little more care and attention than those you have in the garden during the summer months. 

If you want to keep your Christmas hanging basket looking fresh and festive when your guests come to stay, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather conditions. If the temperatures drop too low, investing in one of the best plant covers and popping this over your hanging basket every evening should keep it safe.

However, you might want to take extra precautions if it’s windy. Steve says, ‘One thing about hanging baskets is that they're not safe from any harsh winds, so I recommend taking them down if the wind gets intense, as any plant can be easily damaged by the wind, especially if it's at a height and therefore receiving more wind.’

In terms of watering, winter hanging baskets don’t dry out as quickly as summer hanging baskets, so you shouldn’t need to water them too much. In fact, the biggest hurdle you may face is exposing them to too much water - especially if we have a wet few weeks in the run-up to Christmas. 

So, make sure that your basket has drainage holes so any excess water can easily escape. The aim is to have moist but not soggy compost, so you should check the compost every few days to see if it needs some water. 

How to make a Christmas hanging basket more festive

While winter plants can certainly add some colour to a Christmas hanging basket, this festive period gives you the chance to go the extra mile on decoration. And if you want to make your Christmas hanging basket even more festive, why not add something extra special? 

Add fairy lights

Fairy lights are an absolute must during the Christmas period. They add a sparkle that’s so needed during the dark and cold nights, and they will instantly brighten up any hanging basket. And while you can choose any fairy lights you like, it’s important to choose lights that are suitable for outdoor use and, ideally, ones that have a small battery pack.

Add decorations

Christmas hanging basket with heather, ivy, pansies and decorations

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Have some leftover Christmas baubles and decorations from your Christmas tree? Instead of shoving them back in the loft to gather dust, you could attach them to your Christmas hanging basket, instead. By placing them amongst the foliage, you can add a whole new dimension to your plants and give it that festive edge you were hoping for. 

Add bows

If you didn’t already know, big bows and ribbons are trending this Christmas - and there are so many ways to use this trend within your Christmas hanging basket. You could add small bows to the stems of your plants, or you could wrap a big bow around the basket itself. Whatever you choose to do, we have no doubts that it will turn your basket into a decoration in itself. 

Add natural elements

Sure, real Christmas hanging baskets are already natural. But if you love the aesthetic of Christmas garlands and wreaths with their natural accents, you’ll be happy to know that you can do this to your hanging basket, too. You could add in a few pinecones, conifer foliage, red berries, sprigs of mistletoe, or even some dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks. 

Add some snow

We’re not known for our snow in the UK, but if you want to add some winter elements to your hanging basket, faux snow is the way to go. It’s super easy to find fake snow online and in-store, and all you have to do is sprinkle or spray it onto the leaves and flowers of your Christmas hanging basket to turn it into a winter wonderland.


Hanging basket with ivy and pansies

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What plants are good for Christmas hanging baskets?

If you’re looking to make a Christmas hanging basket, opt for plants such as winter-flowering pansies, cyclamen, and ivy. Not only will these plants provide a burst of colour, but they are also hardy enough to withstand the colder temperatures. Plus, the ivy will add some depth to your hanging basket and create a real focal point. 

What do you put in a Christmas hanging basket?

While plants are a great base for a Christmas hanging basket, the rules of traditional hanging baskets don’t apply around the festive period. You can get as creative as you like, whether that’s mixing plants with baubles, adding a bow to the basket, or turning your hanging basket into a snow scene. 

So, go wild and make it as magical as you like.

Will you be making a Christmas hanging basket this year?  

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.