winter blooming flowers snowdrop in the snow

Top 20 Winter Blooming Flowers that Bring Color to Your Garden

Who says you need to wait until spring to enjoy some beautiful blooms? Luckily, there are plenty of winter-blooming flowers that can change the aspect of your garden. Moreover, their colors will look very pretty in combination with the snow, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Let’s see the best winter blooming flowers you can use to brighten up your backyard.

Winter Blooming Flowers to Color Your Days

1. Winter Pansies

Pansies may not be your first thought when you think about winter-blooming flowers, but they are a great option. They have cheery flowers that even resist freezing. The best part is that they come with a huge array of colors. As such, you can pair them up with other flowers in similar colors. Moreover, they are small, which means they can fit even the smallest corner in your backyard.

2. Mahonia

Yet another surprising entry on our winter blooming flowers list is the mahonia. However, be careful: not all the mahonia species are winter hardy. The leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei) and some cultivars belonging to M. x media are suitable for harsh weather conditions. They are beautiful shrubs that are suitable for USDA Zones 6/7 to 9.

winter blooming flowers yellow mahonia

3. Daphne

Daphnes are famous for having some extra fragrant flower. Some of the cultivars belonging to this species, such as Daphne bholua (also called Jacqueline Postill) are resistant to winter. It’s evergreen in the USDA zones 7 – 9.

4. Lenten Rose

Also called the Christmas rose (Helleborus), the Lenten rose is a perennial that can completely change the aspect of your backyard in winter. It comes with dark green and leathery leaves that look like an umbrella placed above snow or winter mulch. If you decide to grow hellebores on your own, you should know that not all species are winter hardy. As such, it’s better to ask at your local nursery before buying.  They are a great addition to a part shade border or a woodland garden.

winter blooming flowers lenten rose with green leaves

5. Snowdrops

Scientifically called Galanthus, snowdrops are another great example of the plants that survive winter and even offer some beautiful blooms. They’re around the size of a dandelion and still manage to get their heads out of the snow. Snowdrops have white bell blooms that can fit any kind of style and garden design. They are hardy for the USDA Zones 3 – 7 and can even appear earlier, in February, in Zone 6.

6. Winter Aconite

Another flower that grows from a bulb and blooms in winter is the winter aconite. Just like the snowdrop, it is tiny and still manages to live amid late-winter snows. It presents some bright green leaves, complete with cheery yellow blossoms, that make you forget about the harshness of the winter. They grow to be 6 inches tall and they appear before crocus, usually in February.

7. Winter Jasmine

This adorable species that is scientifically called Jasminum nudiflorum bloom in January. As such, it’s a perfect solution if you want to create a color splash in the middle of the winter. Use it to cover up retaining walls and banks. It resists very well to the winter in the USDA Zones 5/6 – 10.

winter blooming flowers winter jasmine flowers

8. Jelena Witch-Hazel

The Jelena cultivar of the witch hazel species (Hammamelis x intermedia) presents some beautiful coppery orange flowers. They will decorate your garden starting with January. The entire shrub will also turn into an orange-red shade during fall, so you can enjoy it all year round. It’s winter hardy in the USDA Zones 5 – 8.

9. Red River Lily

Also called the Kaffir lily (Schizostylis coccinea), this plant usually starts blooming in fall. However, if you live in an area with winters that also have mild days, you may see it bloom again then. In the wild, this perennial plant grows in wet areas. It’s important to remember that it’s winter hardy in USDA Zones 6 – 9.

10. Camellias

Yet another great option when it comes to decorating your garden in winter are the camellias. They prefer to live in an acidic soil, so make sure you offer them the right conditions. Usually, camellias flower in fall and winter, when people most appreciate their beautiful colors. They present some waxy petals that stay with the plant for a long while. You can choose between various colors, such as white, pink, red, coral, as well as bicolor varieties. This makes them perfect for winter wedding flowers as well.

winter blooming flowers pink camellia flower

11. Holly Bush

Mostly known for its popularity around Christmas, holly is one of the most popular winter-blooming flowers. They have evergreen leaves that break the monotony of the white snow. Moreover, they also present berries in shades that vary from bright red to gold. They don’t even require too much of a maintenance, so you can just plant them and enjoy them all winter long.

12. Cotoneaster

If we convinced you with the holly bush, why not suggest another leafy evergreen? Cotoneaster belongs to this category and it’s an amazing plant. If you’re going for an impressive berry show to color up your garden during harsh winter days, you should choose cotoneaster. It grows very fast and it can also work as a groundcover.

13. Doublefile Viburnum

This special plant presents some tiered branches that look stunning when they’re covered in snow. Moreover, they produce beautiful white flowers. Besides, in the spring and summer, the viburnum presents an impressive display of green foliage.

14. Calendula

Scientifically named Calendula officinalis, the daisy-like flower is a sure source of color starting late fall and going all through winter. Although it prefers milder winters, you can try planting it in an area with harsher ones as well. Remember to ask at the local nursery if the variety you’re purchasing is winter hardy. If you’re worried about their state outdoors, you should know that calendula also likes to live in a vase.

People love calendula because it has some warm colors: cream, apricot, or soft yellow. Moreover, they can reach heights of 1 – 2 feet high.

winter blooming flowers orange calendula

15. Candytuft

The candytuft plant (Iberis) can reach a height and width of 8 to 12 inches. They present narrow and shiny foliage in a dark green shade. For this reason, they are loved all year round. Usually, it has some white flower clusters which you can also use for stunning bouquets. The most recommended varieties are Autumnale, Alexander’s White, or Autumn Snow. They bloom twice a year, in spring and fall, and some of the flowers resist even in the harsh winter conditions.

16. Cineraria

Most people choose to plant cineraria because it adds shade to the garden. At the same time, it brightens up dark corners of your backyard with its impressive flowers. It can grow to 2 feet high and it comes in plenty of shades, from purple-red to pink, blue and purple. Usually, they require partial or full shade together with regular water, as well as rich, loose soil. Keep in mind that even if they’re perennial, they need to be discarded after bloom.

17. Cyclamen

Cyclamen is one of the most popular winter-blooming flowers. It comes together with beautiful flowers in plenty of shades, from pink to white, rose, and red. Their blooms look like butterflies or shooting stars, which makes them even more appealing. You can also gift your friends a container-grown cyclamen, and they can also be used as bedding plants.

winter blooming flowers pots with cyclamen

18. Erica

A famous perennial, Erica is loved for its small, needle-like leaves. The leaves are later overcome with plenty of small flowers. Erica blooms look like small bells, urns, or simply have a tubular appearance. Usually, this plant is small and mounding, and it doesn’t reach more than 6 inches in height. As a shrub, it can grow to 6 – 10 feet. Keep in mind that this plant needs an acidic soil, as well as a perfect drainage.

19. Iceland Poppy

Scientifically named Papaver nudicaule, the Iceland poppy presents tall and leafless stems that accompany nicely many season plants. They can grow to be 1 – 2 feet tall and present flowers in a huge array of shades: salmon, pink, orange, rose, yellow and white. It is recommended you play around with their colors and combine them in your backyard for a winter full of color.

20. Nemesia

The last entry on our list of winter-blooming flowers is the nemesia. It can grow to 2 feet tall, as well as 1 foot wide. It presents small bright green leaves, as well as some upright stems. If you want it to thrive, you need to offer it full sun, well-drained soil, and regular water. Some of them present blossoms with an intense fragrance, while others have no scent at all, so it’s better to ask at the nursery before deciding on a variety.

winter blooming flowers nemesia flowers

Conclusion

There are plenty of winter-blooming flowers which you can choose to brighten up your outdoor space. Regardless of what you choose, make sure you can offer them the right conditions for them to thrive. Moreover, always remember to check with the local nursery or the store if the variety you’re purchasing is winter hardy or not.

Images source: depositphotos.com

Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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