Creating a Christmas pot display is a great way to inject some seasonal cheer into drab December gardens. With this in mind, we've put together five festive planting schemes for pots and containers.

Most, if not all of the plants we've used should be available to buy at your local garden centre or nursery over the festive period. Don't worry if you can't find the exact plants – find similar alternatives to what we've used to make up your combinations.

For colour indoors, you could buy forced bulbs, or try forcing the bulbs yourself. There are lots to go for, including irises, alliums and paperwhite narcissi for fragrance.

Looking for more Christmas makes? Take a look at these Christmas wreath ideas, or have a go at making some plant-based Christmas decorations.

Check out these pots and containers to plant for instant Christmas colour.

Golden touch

The warm tones of this display give it a rich, opulent feel. The orange chillies steal the show, but do need to be kept frost-free. Keep the violas deadheaded for non-stop flowers. Plant the carex and cordyline in the garden once the display is past its best. Make it shimmer with some gold spray-painted cones and twigs, and warm-white battery-powered lights.

Gold and orange Christmas pot

Opposites attract

This striking combination makes a change from traditional seasonal colours. A few baubles and some fairy lights add some Yuletide zing. Deadhead the cyclamen regularly and make sure the compost doesn't dry out. Plant the heuchera and tree heather in the garden once the display is over.

Heuchera and cyclamen Christmas pot

Monochrome magic

This contemporary mix of plants creates a modern look full of texture and contrast. Place in a sheltered spot and keep it well watered and deadheaded. Plant the ophiopogon in a sunny spot when it's past its best. Small silver baubles hanging from birch twigs, and fairy lights complete the container. Also used are white cyclamens and silver ragwort.

Senecio, cyclamen and ophiopogon container

Deck the pots

This display is packed with scarlet berries and blooms. The osmanthus and berried gaultheria enhance the Christmas mood, while the skimmia and small spruce add structure. All the plants (except the cyclamen) can be transferred to the garden. Extra pizzazz is provided by some false berries and fairy lights.

Cyclamen, skimmia and gaultheria pot

Pure and simple

This chic display will bring a touch of elegance to a sheltered porch. The Christmas rose is one of the best festive flowers and can be moved to a partially shaded spot after. A white Jerusalem cherry creates a focal point and the cushion bush softens the whole display. Keep this display frost-free. Silver-sprayed pine cones and white fairy lights make it extra Christmassy.

Hellebore and Jerusalem cherry container

More plants to consider