5 Easy Ways to Make Plants Pop in Your Holiday Decor Scheme

plant-focused christmas decor

@leafandlolo / @shannplants / @taylorathomewithplants

A lot of people are putting up holiday decorations earlier this year, because let’s face it, we’ve earned a little extra cheer. As much as I wanted to decorate early, I made myself wait, in part because I wasn’t sure what to do with my plant collection. 

You see, I’ve never had to decorate with a lot of plants. In December 2019, I only had a handful so I was able to relocate them easily. This year, with my collection now nearing 80, moving them around is just not an option. I also have minimal space near the windows so I really can’t be switching things up too much.

After thinking through quite a bit, I decided that instead of moving them around, I would incorporate them into the decor as much as possible. 

I made my plants a focal point in my Christmas decor in a couple areas of my home and picked up some tips from other plant lovers like me. Use these five easy tips to put your houseplants to work and to elevate your Christmas style.

Create a Theme

Having a theme is super important, according to Shann from @shannplants. He says that having a color theme is best to make sure it doesn’t look too cluttered, which can happen when you have a lot of plants. Either stick to reds and greens, or “traditional style” holiday decor, or go neutral. Shann has chosen to embrace the colors of Christmas (why wouldn’t you when you have a gorgeous green plant collection?).

Christmas decor with plants themes

Instagram / @shannplants

He’s created a gorgeous setup around his cacti collection and filled the spaces with garland, pinecones, and holly. In another scene he’s used cute gingerbread garland to create the ultimate #ChristmasShelfie.

Add Curtain Lights to Windows Behind Hanging Plants

I really like to take advantage of my tall windows by hanging plants in them. It's a great way to optimize a light source year-round so your plants are happy. I hang mine from my curtain rail with s-hooks and various plant hangers. This window is behind my desk which is covered in plants that I just can’t take away from the light.

It turns out that with a little brainstorming, it’s actually quite easy to add some pizazz or sparkle to your plants to make them look festive. So if you’re like me and your indoor jungle is a bit more tropical than winter wonderland, I’ve got some tips for you to still deck out your home without having to move around your plants (if you are lucky to have a room with lots of light where you can move your plants to, by all means do that if it’s easier!). 

Instead of leaving it as-is, I decided to purchase some really pretty star curtain lights to hang in the window. I simply used strips to hang them up, and when switched on, you can enjoy them in the living room and from outside. The lights really compliment the plants and I’m tempted to leave them up all year! 

Make Christmas Scenes Around Your Plants

Recently I had to trim a lot of my plants back. It was just time to give them haircuts. Now I have tons of little bud vases filled with plant cuttings scattered about my home. I keep a bunch of them on my shelves behind my couch.

Taylor Fuller's Christmas shelves with plants

Taylor Fuller

I knew that I wanted to add some holiday flair to the shelves, but I wasn’t sure how to do it without going overboard. I decided to remove the photos that I usually keep there. I wrapped the outside of the shelves with battery-powered twinkle lights and then placed a couple of bottle brush trees on the shelves. I think it looks very festive without being over the top or cluttered! 

Take a Minimalist Approach

This next tip comes from Lindsay from @leafandlolo, who added some pretty twinkle lights to one of her cacti: “For the holidays, I like to take a minimalist approach and utilize what I have by incorporating delicate string lights on some of my sturdier plants. A bit of garland helps add a bit of holiday greenery to your space too!”

Twinkle lights on cacti with garland around mirror

Instagram / @leafandlolo


Remember, if you’re going to add some lights to a cacti, be aware of where your hands are. You don’t want to prick yourself!

And if you don’t have a cacti, use other plants like fiddle leaf figs or rubber trees. Or stick a trellis behind the plant and cover that with lights.

Get Creative With Your Plants (and Pots)

Shann also says that getting creative is a great way to involve your plants in your holiday season: “Wrap your plant pots with wrapping paper, tinsel, or ribbons.”

Planters wrapped in Christmas ribbons with reindeer garland on shelves

Instagram / @shannplants

You can see how much is plant pots stand out by wrapping them up in a gift, which is also a great way to wrap up a plant that you’re giving someone as a present. Stick some holly, real or faux, inside the bottom of the plants to give it a bright pop of red which will look great against the green foliage of your favorite plant. 

As you can see, there are a ton of great ways to do up your home for the holidays, even if it’s filled to the brim with tropical plants or a collection of desert cacti. Just remember to keep it simple. You can easily create the perfect Christmas scene by adding a few decorations like garland, holly, or twinkle lights to your favorite plant scene.