Live Plant Centerpiece Ideas


We are incredibly blessed today to have a special guest post from Dawniele Pasha who is going to share some live plant centerpiece ideas with us.

Dawniele is a Lifelong Plant Enthusiast, UCCE Master Gardener, Garden Education Specialist, and joyful hostess.  She hosts some of the most beautiful parties you can imagine, and many times she uses potted plants as centerpieces! In this post you’ll get to know this plant expert a little bit and hear how she does it! 

Dawniele Pasha, UCCE Master Gardener, Garden Education Specialist

Live Plant Centerpiece Ideas by Dawniele Pasha:

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We moved to a new house in the Fall of 2019 that had a lot of natural light.  I was excited to get  some houseplants that would thrive and add beauty as well as clean the air in our new home. Little did I know that my hobby would start to lean towards an obsession.

I am guilty of sneaking plants in the house.

I’m also guilty of shopping online for plants, driving long distances to unique plant boutiques and realizing I would rather buy plants instead of shoes. So as my family of plants have grown in size and in numbers that I started to look for more ways to enjoy them by moving them around and letting them take center stage. 

When I put together a living centerpiece I try to keep them easy to move or make sure they don’t get in the way of a meal. Placing potted plants on a tray, lazy Susan or in something that can be easily swooped up and moved to another area is always ideal.

Tips for Using Live Plants as Centerpieces

  • I try to mix the heights, textures and colors of the plants. In most cases, you want to try to not block the line of sight to others gathered at the table.
  • The plant variety can be whatever your heart desires! Feel free to mix it up or group plants from the same family.
  • I try to finish off the arrangement with moss, bark or rocks giving the plants a more polished look. Topping your plants off with moss, bark and rocks also helps with moisture retention.        

I love this arrangement on the galvanized tray as it is easy to move and the leaf shapes are all different from each other. The tray also ties this motley crew together, anchored by the Monstera deliciosa themed runner. This arrangement is easily moved to my fireplace mantel if necessary.  

Photo of beautiful mix of plants on a silver tray on top of a palm embroidered table runner.

I also try to pick up fun planters with a little personality as I come across them. Sometimes you can incorporate one for a splash of fun. I often have orchids in various stages of bloom. I will group them at times and toss in a fun planter to give that one out of bloom some presence. 

Use fun accessories!

My beloved Phalaenopsis orchid featured in the bunny planter in the photo was not in bloom at the time. I used this arrangement when I was having some girlfriends over. Its’ fleshy, thick leaves make a beautiful compliment to this arrangement on my lazy Susan. The arrangement was a hit and I still had room for the cocktail napkins, mixed nuts and snacking olives. 

Beautiful orchid and mix of plants on top of a lazy Susan as a plant centerpiece

There are times where you just need to eat amongst the plants. My husband and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary during the shelter in place last year so it was a romantic night in, no matter what! I tried to recreate the atmosphere from our favorite Latin fusion restaurant that has a jungle of plants throughout the establishment.

We ordered take out and enjoyed a fun recreation of our favorite place! It felt like we were dining out as we ate amongst the leafy jungle. Gotta keep it interesting! This was more of a tablescape of plant groupings brought in from all over the house. Super easy and fun.  

Check out these pots & accessories from Comfort Plants (affiliate)

Arrangement of many plants including palms as a centerpiece.

Outdoor Arrangements

Outdoor arrangements are terrific for entertaining outdoors.  They help set a beautiful stage for sipping drinks, or serving food.

If you put house plants outdoors for an arrangement keep in mind that you can easily burn the leaves as they aren’t use to direct sunlight. Some plants adapt to the outdoors easier than others. I would recommend starting with succulents that have been hardened off. “Hardening off” means you have slowly exposed the plant to direct sunlight over the course of a couple of weeks.

Also, remember that outdoor arrangements dry out quicker.

Be mindful to check on them a little more often in the warmer months and bring them inside or protect them in the colder months. I really enjoy succulent arrangements and they will grow in just about anything! Succulent planting tip: Be sure to use a cactus mix soil or make your own soil mixture with 50% potting soil and 50% small lava rock. 

Beautiful two tier tray of succulents adorn the center of an outdoor table. The colors of green, purple and red make this arrangement very pretty.

It is ok to cheat a bit when putting an arrangement together.

  • Set plants directly into the basket or pot in their plastic growing container from the nursery. This way you aren’t committed to using that vessel for plants for the rest of its’ life.
  • Place a plastic liner at the bottom of the vessel and hide the different plastic container pots with moss or burlap. This gives a little more time to decide to make it permanent or plant these beauties elsewhere. The fern arrangement below is an example of this. 

A basket of live ferns in green and red of different textures adorn the center of the dining table.

Lastly, you can also make your arrangement interactive. You’ll see below that I added in some awesome dino food holders to an arrangement.  These dinos were designed to hold tacos, burritos, but adding them to the middle of plants on my table jurassic tablescape out of ordinary plants. My family thought I had lost it a bit, but I certainly thought it was a fun way to enjoy taco night. 

A fun lime green runner with white floral top adorned with dinosaurs for a fun taco night.

Check out more about how to use plants in your table decor with this post about succulents!

I know I’m going to be upping my live plants as centerpieces game a little bit this year! Share photos of how you use plants as centerpieces! We’d love to see your ideas!



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