Planting For Christmas: Plants to Grow For Wreath Making

making a christmas wreath
Photo by Joyce Adams on Unsplash

Spring isn’t usually the time to think about DIY natural Christmas decorations but it is the best time for planting your materials. Getting these plants in the ground now will provide you with evergreens, berries, and pinecones for years to come.

Aim to grow as many components of a wreath as you can. A frame for sturdiness, greenery for the base background, and embellishments for shapes and colors.

Using all-natural materials will enable you to easily put your wreath onto your compost pile when it’s time.

What to Grow for a Christmas Wreath Frame

Cereal Grains / Grasses

To create a straw ring for your wreath, you can grow Wheat or any of the other cereal grains. These might not be well suited for a small yard but you can try ornamental grasses instead.

Dried Miscanthus is strong and does not break down quickly. You could use it several times if you want to take the time to disassemble your wreath each time.


Grapevines are a very common wreath base due to their abundance and sturdiness. Grapes can be grown in a small yard and like Miscanthus, the ring can be used for several years.

Other suitable vines for a wreath base are Wisteria, Trumpet Vine, Climbing Hydrangea, and Honeysuckle.

Woody vines can be aggressive even in large gardens but can be controlled with regular pruning. Some vines I do not recommend for small yards.

The harvest times listed below are for creating a traditional Christmas wreath. If you are making a wreath during a different season, they can be harvested but you might experience a loss of blooms on your vine.

VineHarvestSmall YardZone
GrapesWinterYes3 to 8
WisteriaWinterNo4 to 9
Climbing HydrangeaWinterYes5 to 7
Trumpet VinesAutumnNo4 to 9
HoneysuckleAutumnYes3 to 8
Virginia CreeperWinterNo3 to 9
Vines Suitable for a Wreath Base.

Best Greenery For Wreath Bases

The best greenery for wreaths has stems no thicker than a pencil, is somewhat flexible, and is long-lasting after being cut. Pine, Cedars, and Fir work best.

White Pine with its softness is my favorite. Choose Cedar for its fragrance and fullness with a little wild look and Fir, for that Christmas tree look and more even edges.

Yew, Juniper and Arborvitae tree branches are also good choices.

Evergreen trees can grow to be massive beautiful specimens. If you have a smaller yard, the mature width will be the biggest issue for you. For that reason, I’ve included the mature width of the trees in the table below.

What will work in smaller yards are dwarf evergreens. The only downside is their slow growth which will have an effect on how much you can cut each year.

Many will take on the appearance of a shrub while others will have a tall slender shape. Check out these tall column shaped evergreen trees at the Conifer Kingdom.

White Pine20-40′3 to 86-12′
Cedar20-40′7 to 91-6′
Firs12-20′4 to 64′
Yew8-12′4 to 72′
Juniper25′6 to 91′
Arborvitea10-15′3 to 73′
Evergreens to Plant for Making Wreaths

Evergreens dry out at different rates and some will lose their needles quicker. All evergreen wreaths will last longer outside where the air is more moist.

The table below shows whether the wreath is suitable for indoors or will last longer outdoors. Misting your wreath daily can help prolong its freshness.

White PineIndoor
Best location for longest freshness of evergreen wreaths

Wreath Embellishments

Wreath embellishments add shapes, color, and texture to the evergreen base. The possibilities of what plants to grow here are endless.

Plants that dry well, hold their shape and color are perfect for an indoor wreath.

Wreath Embellishments to Grow for Greenery

The evergreen plants listed below are great as embellishments to the wreath base. Although, Boxwood and Rosemary make great looking wreaths on their own.

Bay LaurelShrubIndoor
Silver Dollar EucalyptusTreeIndoor

Wreath Embellishments to Grow for Color

The stems of the many varieties of Dogwood shrubs come in colors of yellows and reds. They can pull double duty if you dry the berries that appear in late summer and fall. The brightest reds require full sun. More shade softens the stem color.

Sunshine Ligustrum Shrub (Ligustrum sinenseis) an evergreen but it’s not green! Bright yellow in the spring and summer. As the weather cools, the leaves turn shades of orange.

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus has silvery leaves. Perennial in zones 8 to 10, it can be brought inside for the winter in colder climates.

  • These flowers can be grown in the summer and dried to be used later. All listed were chosen for their ability to hold their color.
    • Yarrow
    • Larkspur
    • Ammobium alatum
    • Statice
    • Celosia
    • Peonies
    • Safflower
    • Babies Breath
    • Chili Peppers
    • Hydrangeas
    • Straw Flowers

Wreath Embellishments to Grow for Shape & Texture

  • Curly (Corkscrew) Willow
  • White Birch Trees
  • Cotton
  • Sweet Gum Tree
  • Evergreens for Pine Cones
  • Succulents
  • Heathers
  • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
  • Moss
  • Pussy Willows

Berries to Grow for Wreath Accents

  • Rose Hips – red
  • Hawthorn Tree – red
  • Hypericum – varies from peach to green
  • Winterberry – red
  • Cranberries – red
  • Blueberries – blue
  • Nandina domestica “Alba” – white
  • Dogwood – red, white, or black
  • Pyracantha – red
  • Holly – red
  • Beautyberry – purples
  • Juniper – dried, dark blues

Start With The Trees

If you wish to make your own wreaths for many, many years, spend the extra money upfront on the trees and the slow-growing shrubs. The best time to plant a tree was yesterday.

If you have an established garden or if it’s small, check with your local Christmas Tree Farm for trimmings. Just make sure you soak the branches at least 24 hours before making your wreath.