The outdoor stars of Christmas

4 plants that create the ultimate Christmas feeling

We refer to Buxus (box), LaurelChamaecyparis (Lawson cypress) and Japanese Holly (Ilex Crenata) as festive plants because they bring that lovely Christmassy feeling to your garden or balcony. And they certainly live up to their name! Place them in your garden or on your balcony, and they immediately evoke that warm Christmas feeling. You can decorate the boxwood, laurel and dwarf cypress, just like you do a Christmas tree, or enjoy them au naturel. Want more information? We shine a beam of winter sunlight on them below!

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Box’s evergreen branches symbolise life, which is very appropriate at Christmas. The plant is happy both planted in the soil and encased in a lovely pot, so it works everywhere. You sometimes encounter it in classical gardens in an artfully pruned shape. You can do such pruning yourself, but it should be done between April and October (put it in your diary now). At this time of year you can brighten up the plant with some fairy lights. Care tips: if the leaves are yellow, treat your Buxus to some water and/or garden lime. Read more about this in the Buxus plant guide.


This plant, which originates from the Mediterranean, has white flowers which later turn into oval berries. But don’t overlook the leaves! They’re oval and dark green with a light vein which can be seen in the leaf like a feather. They lend a green touch to the dark days of winter. Laurel is also a symbol of hope: did you know that laurels can live hundred years? You can read about the plant’s rich symbolism and all the care tips in the Laurel plant guide.

Chamaecyparis (dwarf cypress)

This cousin of the conifer has a soft touch on the end of its branches. They fan out beautifully and wave in the breeze. The plant remains green all year round, and enjoys both sun and shade. Interesting to know: Chamaecyparis’ wood is lightly scented and very valuable - in Japan it’s used to build temples. You just need to keep the soil around the plant damp for optimum enjoyment. Want to find out more? Read the Chamaecyparis plant guide.


Ilex Crenata, also called Japanese Holly, is an evergreen plant that is often used as a Christmas decoration. The plant has a beautiful deep green colour and fine, sturdy leaves. In terms of appearance, the Ilex Crenata is very similar to the boxwood. Ilex Crenata is hardy, evergreen and easy to prune. You see it as a hedge in many gardens. 


Looking for more inspiration about celebrating Christmas with plants? Our Christmas dossier has all the inspiring ideas you could ever need. Bring on that warm festive feeling by decorating your dining table for the season, or get started with this DIY candle holder with plant cuttings. For a daily dose of inspiration, follow us on PinterestInstagram and Facebook