Getting Potted for the Holidays (potted GARDENS that is!!)

Winter Shade Planting perfect for the holidays by The Potted Desert

Cordyline, Cyclamen and Variegated Ivy

Life in the Desert is grand. Having the benefit of year-round gardening, we can plant as little or as much as we want. As the holidays are upon us, with a bit of imagination, we can add to our home’s celebration by sprucing up our container gardens to our heart’s content. Another excuse to ‘play’ outside in our gorgeous weather! 

You have many options to add to the holiday luster in your pots. Let’s explore some ideas, and you can mix and match as you please. 

Seasonal plantings that last all winter – perfect for the holidays

Whether you lean towards permanent plantings in your pots, such as shrubs or trees or if you mix it up with perennials or only have annuals, you can plant your holiday color scheme now, and your gardens, with the proper care, will last until the heat of the early summer returns. 

For your Sun Plantings, add Red and White Annuals such as: 

  • Petunias 
  • Million Bells 
  • Stock 
  • Dianthus – try the newer variety of Amazon, a supertall Dianthus) 
  • Geraniums (part shade too) 
  • Diaiscia 
  • Nemesia 
  • Snapdragons (White and Burgundy – true red is not available) 
  • Alyssum 
  • Lobelia 
  • Pansies and Viola (White and Burgundy – true red is not available) 

Shade Plantings – Red and White Annuals: 

  • Primrose and Cyclamen are your best bets in full shade. Filtered sun is an excellent place for geraniums.  
  • Paper Whites, Poinsettias and Amaryllis are great nursery plants you can use in holiday pots. If temperatures dip to 40° or below, you will want to bring them inside.

Advice for flower shopping:

Grab a cart at the nursery and an empty flat or carton, place your selections on the flat, and then step back and look at it. Look at it hard and long, and be sure it sits right with you. A 24″ pot with one central planting will need approximately fourteen (14) “4” inch” plants. If you select any gallon plants, they can replace 3-4 smaller ones. I urge you to use 4″ plants and not six-packs. 

 Important: When you go shopping and bring your plants home, water them well and plant them as soon as possible – on the same day. If you have to wait until the next morning, place them in the shade to rest until the morning.

Permanent plantings 

Your existing shrubs or trees can stand alone as holiday décor. Heavenly bamboo leaves will turn red. Red-tipped Photinia’s new growth is red, so if you fertilize it now, you might force it into growth, resulting in those showy leaves just in time for the holidays. And the succulent shrub, Firesticks, also turns red when temperatures cool off.

Desert Shrubs turn red in the winter

Pyracantha and English Holly have red berries showing off right in time for your parties. Burgundy cordyline is another plant that can bring holiday cheer when decorated with other plants or objects.

Speaking of objects, take some of your decorations and embellish the plants. Use small holiday lights, bows, garlands, ornaments, pine cones or anything that catches your eye as you deck the halls!’ 


A Perfect Gift for the Holidays for any GardenerGet Marylee's Book, Getting Potted in the Desert Today!

A few online community members told me how they love my book, Getting Potted in the Desert. They gave the book as a gift to family members, the person who watered their plants while they were on vacation, their hair stylist who loves to garden and their friend who insists she has a black thumb.

I’ve also had designers and realtors give my book to clients new to the Desert or avid gardeners! I am blown away by the interest that continues in my book.

You still have time to order your copy or pick up a copy in Tucson. Click on this link for the information.

And Thank YOU. There is no better praise for an author than another book sells.