Potted flowers used as centerpieces can have a second life as part of your landscaping.

Live Plants for Table Centerpieces

by Sheryl Faber

Add some pizzazz to your table arrangements by adding live plants as centerpieces at your next special event. A cozy family dinner, elegant bridal shower or down-home backyard barbecue will all benefit from an extra burst of green or vibrant color. The wonderful side benefit is that you can re-use your centerpieces as a an addition to your interior plant collection, transplant the flowers or greenery into your yard later, depending on the type of foliage, or give away as thoughtful hostess gifts to your guests.


Flowering plants such as daisies, geraniums, mums, hyacinths, pansy orchids, tulips and kalanchoes all make colorful arrangements for occasions such as birthday parties, baby showers, birthday celebrations and weddings. Choose flowers that match your theme and decor for extra color and impact. Place in the middle of guest tables alone or on a mirror. Stagger the plants on fabric-colored cubes or boxes on your buffet table for a dramatic and colorful display. .


Sometimes a centerpiece can be most effective when it is just a simple green plant. Flowers or other colors could detract from the foods or other decorations. A green vine such as English ivy is a natural addition to a party setting. Spread the trailing vines across the length of the table and add small white votive candles between the leaves for extra pizzazz. This arrangement will match any color scheme or decor.


Sometimes when using potted plants as centerpieces, it is not the plants themselves that are the focal points but instead the pots and containers. These containers might consist of family heirlooms, blue-and-white pots, galvanized steel tubs or plain and simple terra cotta pots. The containers might match the theme of the occasion or the decor of the house. Group small containers of bright foliage or flowers together in the middle of a table or arrange down the length of a long, narrow table for a statement-making presentation.

Seasonal Plants

Poinsettias quickly come to mind when the subject of seasonal plant centerpieces arises. Several other types of plants and flowers make excellent centerpieces for a Christmas holiday; these include holly, miniature pine trees or Christmas cactus. Stately Easter lilies are also common spring favorites. Think outside the box and consider forced bulb varieties such as delicate paperwhites in the winter and tulips, daffodils or hyacinths in the springtime. Mix them up or elevate them on a guest sign-in or buffet table for extra appeal and impact.

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