Winter berries add a burst of color and nature’s beauty to holiday decor. Their bright hues and organic shapes create festive accents for mantels, tablescapes, and more. Here are tips and ideas for decorative ways to use winter berries this season.

Gather Fresh Berries

For the most natural and vivid look, use fresh winter berries gathered from your yard or a pick-your-own farm. Evergreen hollies like blue holly produce red berries through winter. Other berries to look for include:

  • Pyracantha or firethorn shrubs with bright orange and red berries
  • Viburnum shrubs with shiny red to bluish fruit
  • Winterberry shrubs with vibrant red berries
  • Crabapple trees withpersistent ruby red fruits

Choose plump, fully colored berries still attached to sprigs of leaves or stems for the best integrity.

Shop for Preserved Options

Preserved winter berries allow you to decorate all season long. Look for:

  • Faux berry stems and sprigs
  • Dried berries
  • Berries preserved in glycerin

High-quality artificial berries capture the look of fresh with rich, bright color. Dried and glycerin-preserved berries offer natural texture and appearance. All make it easy to create arrangements that last through the holidays.

Use Berries in Wreaths

One classic way to incorporate winter berries is in festive wreaths on the front door or inside the home. Create a wreath from scratch, weaving in fresh berry sprigs and stems as you go. Or adorn a plain wreath form by attaching berry stems with florist wire or pins. For a natural look, cluster berries in small groupings.

Style a Winter Berry Tree

Turn a small potted evergreen into a winter berry tree. Choose a potted spruce, fir, or pine. Then clip in berry stems and branches at strategic points all around the tree. Weave them through the branches and slide them securely into the potting soil. Aim for a natural effect with berries nestled at branch junctions and interspersed throughout.

Make Garlands and Swags

Winter berry garlands and swags make gorgeous above-mantel accents. Create your own by wiring berry stems and greens onto a flexible garland base. Or save time with ready-made berry and pine garlands and simply hang as desired over fireplace mantels or along stair railings.

For a casual look, lightly drape garlands. For more polished style, pin up ends neatly with wreath hangers.

Fill Containers and Vessels

Winter berries look right at home in holiday container decor. Fill vases, pitchers, glass cylinders, bowls, and pots with a base layer of evergreen boughs. Then insert fresh berry stems and branches throughout the greenery. If desired, add pinecones, faux snowberries, mini ornaments, and festive picks for even more seasonal style.

For long-lasting appeal, use faux berry stems so arrangements remain looking festive all season long. Refresh by switching up elements like ribbons, mini lanterns, and faux flowers.

Embellish Candles and Centerpieces

Find ways to incorporate touches of winter berries into seasonal candle and centerpiece displays. Encircle the base of a pillar candle with a ring of holly leaves and red berries. Or gather berries, pinecones, and evergreen sprigs as a natural base for a candle centerpiece.

Tuck in berry sprigs among pine boughs down the center of a runner or around candle groupings. Take any centerpiece up a notch with a few berry stems tucked throughout.

Add Whimsy to Place Settings

Bring a bit of winter berry cheer to holiday place settings. Tie small bundles of berries into napkin rings. Loop berry garlands or mini wreaths around the base of candles, glasses, or plates.

For individual flair, make petite name card or place card holders by attaching berry sprigs to clothespins with florist wire. Set a sprig at each place to mark seating arrangements.

Answer Winter Berry FAQs

Are winter berries poisonous?

Many winter berries, like holly berries, are toxic. Take care with small children and pets and supervise them around fresh berry decor. Faux berries are harmless yet realistic looking.

How long do fresh winter berries last?

Fresh winter berry stems often maintain their beauty for 1-2 weeks indoors. Keep them in water and away from heat sources for maximum longevity.

Where can I find winter berry stems?

Fresh berries can be foraged from suitable shrubs when in season. Preserved berries are available year-round at craft stores and online.

What plants produce winter berries?

Evergreen hollies, pyracantha, crabapple trees, viburnum, and winterberry shrubs commonly bear winter berries. Choose species with persistent fruits that remain on branches through winter.

How do I make a winter berry garland?

Simply wire fresh or faux berry stems onto a flexible garland base, wiring each stem securely in place. Space stems evenly or cluster berries for a natural look.

What colors are winter berries?

Red is the most common winter berry color. But hues can range from bright red-orange to deeper bluish-red. There are also some yellowish white winter berries.


Winter berries like holly and pyracantha add festive flair and natural beauty to holiday decor. Display them in wreaths, centerpieces, on the tree, and more. Their jewel-toned colors enliven wintery settings with season’s greetings in every room. Embrace winter’s bounty by decking the halls with gorgeous garlands and arrangements of fresh or faux winter berries this year.