Decorating Planters with Branches for Christmas

Here’s the situation. I have two pots on my front steps which each house an arrangement of Dusty Miller and cordyline.  The problem is the cordyline is looking a little worse for wear.  It’s not supposed to be hardy here in Tennessee but so far it’s stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive despite cold temperatures in the mid to lower 20’s. It’s also Christmas time and a little festive holiday spirit would be a welcome addition to the front porch area.

So here’s what I did.  I took cuttings of several large branches of a red twig dogwood, an eastern red cedar (Juniper), and some berries from a nandina.  Then I added the evergreen juniper branches to the soil.  (I had to wet the soil first because the soil in the pot was frozen!)  I arranged the juniper branches to shield the cordyline from view and to offer them a little more winter protection.  Then I placed the red twig dogwood branches where they would be highlighted against the evergreen juniper background. Last I added the nandina berries to the pot.  I didn’t want to remove a bunch of berries from our nandina since we have only the one but a couple bunches of berries from the back of the shrub won’t be missed.

Here’s how the arrangement looks now:

I could probably squeeze in a few more red twig dogwood branches and maybe some pyracantha berries.  Maybe I’ll change out the red nandina berries for the pyracantha after the New Year. I wouldn’t bet $10,000 on it but there’s a possibility that could even have some rooted shrubs in my potted arrangement by spring!

Now I just need to add a big old Christmas bow!

(Also if you need a laugh this morning feel free to read about the Nandina that saved my garage and lawnmower!)

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About Dave

Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.


  1. Those look fabulous, Dave. Not so lucky here for the material.

  2. Looks great! I think you added a perfect amount of Dogwood, I'd leave it just the way it is!

    I also really like the red berries but after Christmas, switching them out is not a bad idea. Nice job!

  3. Nice arrangement, Dave. The nandina berries are always so striking.

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