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How to give your houseplants a festive makeover

By Hannah Stephenson
Looking at ways to throw your houseplants into the spotlight this festive season? Perhaps you haven’t got room for a tree and want to make an alternative statement, or maybe you just want to give your plants a chance to shine.

“You can quickly transform your existing plants to make them feel part of the celebrations,” says Rebecca Stanton, stylist at Dobbies Garden Centres, which has seen a rising demand for new varieties of houseplants.

Here, she shares her top tips to give your houseplants a stylish festive twist.

1. Regroup your greens
A quick and easy way to make a dramatic display is to gather up houseplants that might usually live in separate rooms of your house and group them together, either in the middle of the dining table or on a hallway side table.

For a uniform look, plant up in matching pots in a shade that ties in with the rest of your Christmas scheme. Add fresh foliage around the pots with pine cones and candles in various sizes to add height and interest. This is a luxe contemporary look which will cast a magical glow.

Rather than repotting the plants, buy pots which will fit the plant with its existing pot, meaning that when it’s time to take down the decorations you can simply pop them out and return them to their usual home.

2. Add some sparkle
Twinkling fairy lights instantly add magic and they are the ideal way to bring some sparkle to houseplants. Drape lights around branches and foliage as you would do with your traditional tree, making sure that the set is suitable for your plant.

Avoid anything too heavy that the plant won’t be able to comfortably hold the weight of. Choose battery-operated fairy lights so you don’t have to worry about placing plants near a power source – the battery pack is easy enough to subtly hide below the top of the pot.

If you are looking for an alternative tree with eco credentials that won’t take up too much room, the Araucaria (also known as a Norfolk Pine) looks like a mini tree. Unlike the cut variety though, you can keep it all year round as it can go outside through the summer months then brought back in each Christmas.

3. Wrap it up
Wrapping paper doesn’t need to be saved for concealing gifts. Instead, use it to dress your plants and their pots, rather like giving your houseplants Christmas jumpers! Create a cone-like shape around your houseplant to give it a speedy transformation – simple, sleek and stylish, it’s cost-effective too.

4. Frame your plant
As well as adding decorations to existing houseplants, you can frame plants to give them a festive look. A wire frame planted over a miniature Christmas tree with added lights will add a Scandinavian vibe. Choose one which is small enough to be easily portable, so you can use it to bring festive cheer to various parts of your home, from the dining table to your home office desk.

5. Add festive accessories to terrariums
Self contained and mess-free, terrariums can be easily updated so they become part of your festive decor. Wrap a ribbon around bottle-shaped containers, pop in a few mini baubles or add a lightweight set of warm white micro lights within the glass dome.

The trick is to not over-complicate, as terrariums look best styled more simply to avoid detracting too much from the plants on display inside.

6. Keep it green
One of the easiest ways to lift a room is the addition of some greenery. Consider a large plant such as Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) which can grow to more than 6ft and is sure to make a statement. An all year-round star of the show, it might even be an alternative Christmas tree of choice for unconventional decorators.

Mix up plants of different sizes, from cheese plants (Monstera) and overhead hanging plants like Curly Spider, or String of Pearls. For an organic look, accessorise plants with natural colours and materials like wood and rattan.

To go the extra green mile, frame windows with a garland of fresh foliage and string lights. A celebration of all things green, your living space will feel like a cosy indoor garden oasis.

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