How to - Gardening Resources

Five lush winter planters that will last until spring

Tara Nolan
Photography by
Donna Griffith

With a little special attention, a beautiful arrangement can hold its own through the cold season.

Creating your containers
Here are some tips for winter containers from Jim McMillen, president of Landscapes in Bloom
  • Use a winter-hardy pot, made of fibreglass, metal or thick cement. Terra­cotta can crack in the cold.
  • Use a triple mix (adding a bit of water if it’s dry)—it’s denser than potting soil.
  •  Fill your urn and mound the soil three to four inches above the rim “to give branches some­thing to hold them up.”
  •  Jim applies Wilt Pruf Plant Protector to some of the greenery to reduce loss of moisture in winter, but advises caution—silver fir, for example, and juniper berries will lose their colour after it’s applied.
  • If you’re adding lights to an arrangement, use garland to wrap unsightly electrical cords.
  •  Jim uses the clock method (positioning branches at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock) in a hilled urn.
  • Create your pot inside if possible to avoid the elements. Once you place the container outdoors, the arrangement will freeze in place as temperatures dip.

* Check out our story, Create an elegant evergreen planter, for step-by-step tips on creating these types of winter containers.


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