Natural Christmas Decorations: Making Holiday Décor From The Garden

Person Making A DIY Christmas Wreath
christmas decor
(Image credit: Bogdan Kurylo)

Whether you're trying to save a little money or you're tired of commercialization overtaking the holidays, making natural Christmas decorations is a logical solution.

Wreaths, floral arrangements, and even ornaments can be fashioned from materials in your backyard. So, this year, try holiday decorating with plants from your garden.

How to Grow Your Own Christmas Decorations

Creating holiday décor from the garden is simple and easy. You can collect materials from plants throughout the year. Flowers, like hydrangeas, are beautiful additions to a wreath or holiday floral arrangement. Hydrangeas don't bloom in December, so the flowers must be collected and dried during the summer months.

On the other hand, boughs of pine or blue spruce can be harvested the same day they are used. Not only do they retain their freshness throughout the winter, but evergreens are dormant during the Christmas holiday. Decorating with plants in their dormant stage means less sap and less mess.

Flowers and foliage aren't the only holiday décor from the garden. Interesting twigs, berries, seed heads, and cones can be incorporated into wreaths and floral designs. If these elements aren't present in your yard, try adding these plants so you can grow your own Christmas decorations:

  • ConifersPine, spruce, and fir boughs can be used as a backdrop in floral arrangements and wreaths. Add the cones for the look of natural Christmas decorations or spray them with paint and glitter to accentuate their shape. Conifers are adaptive trees with most types preferring full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Eucalyptus – Treasured at Christmas time for its bluish green foliage, the aromatic branches of eucalyptus last about three weeks when cut fresh. The stems can also be preserved for dried arrangements. Most species are hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10 but smaller varieties can be container grown in colder climates.
  • Hazel – The twisted and kinky branches of this nut tree create a wintery focal point in arrangements or when weaved into a wreath. To find the most attractive branches, wait for the leaves to drop before harvesting this holiday décor from the garden. Hardy in zones 4 through 8, hazel trees need 15 to 20 feet (5-6 m.) to call their own.
  • Holly – This traditional Christmas foliage plant grows best in full sun with loamy, well-drained soil. If you want the quintessential green leaves with red berries, you'll need both a male and female holly. If you have limited room for growing holiday decorations, try one of the variegated varieties with silver or gold trimmed leaves and forego the fruit.
  • Hydrangea – Picking holiday décor from the garden is a breeze with these large, beautiful flowers in the backyard. Hydrangeas are easily air-dried and retain their natural pink, blue, or white hues. Hydrangeas prefer the morning sun and a rich, moist medium. Soil pH determines flower color.
  • Mistletoe – This holiday foliage favorite also requires male and female plants for berry production. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that requires a host tree to grow.
Laura Miller

Laura Miller has been gardening all her life. Holding a degree in Biology, Nutrition, and Agriculture, Laura's area of expertise is vegetables, herbs, and all things edible. She lives in Ohio.