When you think of winter, you might picture a thick carpet of snow, with no flowers in sight. You might begin to dream of hot summer days with seas of vivid color, of almost neon flowers and the bees humming to themselves.
Winter is for curling up indoors, for creature comforts, and doing what you can against long nights and freezing temperatures.
It’s also the time for some plants to surprise you with their resilience. Some plants on this list will sit under heavy snow and look exactly the way they did before. You might notice flowers peeking out from under extreme frosts, ice, and snow.
Winter also gives a chance for plants to showcase their architectural beauty, with their long, bare stalks and huge seed pods, featuring beautiful colors that you just don’t get in other seasons.
If you plan your garden correctly, there is no reason why you can’t have flowers all year. Your garden doesn’t have to feel lifeless or dreary to match the weather.
Quite a lot of the blooms on this list are also featured in wedding displays and bouquets, as they are truly magical flowers which often carry a lot of fragrance.
Read on to discover what plants are resilient to anything winter can throw at them, and how to care for them.
Aeoniums are gorgeous succulents which feature long, trunk-like stems, forming huge rosettes at the top in a variety of colors.
‘Voodoo’ is one of the most eye-catching, being a much darker burgundy than some other types.
Aeoniums require more moisture than other succulents, but these plants will happily live outside all year round.
They are tough plants which are able to adapt to a range of growing conditions, though they like less sunlight than other succulent plants, and even go dormant in the summer months.
The root system of an aeonium isn’t strong, so if you fancy potting these plants, you’ll need a lot of well-draining soil.
Aeoniums are also susceptible to aphids, so you’ll always need to cover the soil with horticultural grit.
This will prevent any fallen leaves from rotting on the surface of the soil, attracting pests which can readily kill the plants.
You can also grow aeoniums inside if you prefer. They will need a bright windowsill away from humidity and direct sunlight, as too bright light will scorch the leaves.
While these plants look like flowers themselves, aeoniums also have the added benefit of producing their own flowers. Star-shaped flowers in rays of golden clusters form in the middle of the rosette, which creates a vivid display.
All aeoniums are monocarpic. This means that these plants flower, and then they die. Luckily, these plants also produce offshoots fairly regularly, so you’ll never be without some of these gorgeous plants.
Other aeoniums to consider are ‘Blood’ (an extremely strikingly dark cultivar), ‘Lily Pad’ (featuring unusually thick, green leaves), ‘Merry Maiden’ (a more pointy-leaf shaped variety), and ‘Superbang’ (a strikingly variegated aeonium).
Iris unguicularis, or the Algerian Iris, not only survives the winter, but this plant produces lilac flowers (see also Lilac Flower Meaning) with the iris’s characteristic of yellow and white striations.
These flowers are heavily scented, and they also make a brilliant cut flower.
If cut flowers are not for you, they add a wealth of color into any border or container you wish to put them in. These are very hardy plants which have the benefit of being gorgeous.
To create a truly unforgettable display, plant them in abundance for a sea of lilac.
Some varieties to try, include ‘Mary Barnard’ (which produces a royal purple flower) (see also 60 Best Types of Purple Flowering Plants You Should Know), ‘Walter Butt’ (for bigger flowers), and ‘Alba’ (for brilliant white blooms).
Arabis alpina is a lovely plant which has a lot of simplicity to it. The flowers are a brilliant white, and appear to tower above the petite leaves.
Alpine rock cress grows along damp gravel and riverbanks, making it perfect for rockeries that get a lot of rainfall, or you can place them near the waterline of ponds and lakes for some much-needed color.
This plant thrives in full sun as well as shade, though the wet conditions it likes leaves it vulnerable to mildew and rust. To prevent this, keep them somewhere which is well-ventilated.
To grow well, the alpine rockcress needs acidic soil. An interesting feature of this plant is that while it attracts plenty of pollinators, it is a hermaphrodite, it doesn’t need them to reproduce.
While this is more of a tender plant than some on this list, its flowers are absolutely beautiful, and provide rays of golden flower spikes in winter.
It’s a member of the aloe family, and they are very easy to grow. To really get the best out of this plant, mix the planting scheme up with some shorter plants to emphasize its height and color.
This plant grows in wetter conditions than what most of the aloe family will tolerate, as it’s naturally found in wet soil.
The torch-like blooms are spectacular additions to any garden, and will make an even more impressive display if you contrast them against much darker flowers of a similar or a different height.
They’re not often grown as garden plants, but they are slowly becoming more widespread for this use, as they should be!
Clivia, or the bush lily, is another tender option. You’re best growing this plant indoors if you have harsh winters, but both the unusual foliage and striking flowers make this plant worth it.
Most bush lilies have leaves that form a “stack”, and a tall flower stem that grows from the middle, making this a very architectural plant.
In the wild, these plants grow under tree canopies, and can get as tall as half a meter.
The flowers are available in yellow, pink, red, and orange. Yellow stamens just poke out of the green tips of the flowers.
The name Clivia comes from Lady Charlotte Clive, who was the Duchess of Northumberland, and she began cultivating them for gardens in the 1800s.
The Christmas cactus, or Schlumbergera bridgesii, is a wonderful cactus that flowers during the holiday season, and is a good option if you want some winter blooms indoors.
Because it is an epiphyte, it requires less light than a normal cactus, and thrives better in indirect light rather than direct sunlight.
It also needs more water than your average cactus to mimic its natural growing conditions and to get the best out of the plant.
This plant is a great way of adding some life to your home during the cold winter months, especially when cut flowers aren’t readily available. It doesn’t bloom like clockwork, unlike other plants.
After the first year, you’ll need to encourage it to bloom, which you can do by being “mean” to it. No, really. Put it somewhere darker than normal, and water it less than you usually would.
Do this for a couple of weeks, and then bring it out to its usual spot and resume its normal care routine. This will force the plant to produce its gorgeous flowers, though they may not appear for a few weeks.
Provided you look after this plant, it will survive for years.
The Cornelian cherry, or Cornus mas, is a wonderful shrub. Its leaves turn a lovely purple in the autumn months, followed by tiny yellow flowers in the winter, which are followed by red fruit.
These colors contrast beautifully, no matter which stage of growth the plant is currently going through.
You can grow it both as a tree and a hedge, depending on how much space you have in your garden.
A Cornelian cherry is not picky about the type of soil it grows in, as long as it drains well, and the plant can get full sunlight for as long as possible.
Both the flowers and the fruit attract a plethora of wildlife, adding more activity to the colder months.
This plant is also known as Otanthus maritimus, and belongs to the chamomile subgroup of the daisy family.
The genus name, Otanthus, comes from the Greek words otos and anthos, translating as “ear flower”, referring to its appearance. It’s also known as the cotton weed plant, as it’s covered in a thick white down.
It stabilizes the sandy soil in the dunes throughout the Mediterranean, and produces vivid yellow flowers.
It’s also a salt tolerant plant, and it will grow in soil which has high levels of salt where other plants would just die.
Its natural conditions can be a little more difficult to mimic than some plants on this list, so it would be easier to grow this lovely plant in a container.
Stachyurus praecox, or the early Stachyurus, puts on a captivating display during winter, and comes from Japan.
While it does go dormant and leafless during this season, it produces pendant blooms of 10-20 flowers in shades of yellow, and looks a little like wisteria.
To get the best out of it, pop it in full sunlight in good quality, well-draining soil.
While it is a low maintenance plant and doesn’t suffer from any specific pests or diseases, you will need to put it somewhere sheltered away from the harsher winter winds.
If you want to prune it, wait until early spring when the flowers have finished, as the flowers are produced on old wood.
This plant has also won the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, so you know it’s a special plant.
You can also propagate this plant by taking semi-hardwood cuttings.
Feather Reed Grass
If you like the look of ornamental grasses and the height and interest they can add to any space, Calamagrostis x acutiflora, or the feather reed grass is a good option.
The feather reed grass always produces upright stems, and in winter, the flowers create a golden backdrop, which contrasts well with the light green foliage. The flowers can get nearly as tall as half of the plant!
Unlike some grasses which can be invasive, the feather reed grass will form in clumps, but the seeds are sterile, so this plant won’t take over your garden.
It also gives you the opportunity to play with planting schemes, as the feather reed grass creates an interesting backdrop, which can help bring out the beauty in other plants further.
Feather reed grass needs full sun, and at least damp soil in order to thrive.
While flowering kale is edible, it is grown for its ornamental value and vivid sprays of purples, reds and whites, and you probably won’t enjoy its tough, chewy texture or its bitterness.
That’s not to say people don’t use it as a garnish, but it can be an acquired taste!
It’s an easy plant to grow, and you may also know it as the ornamental cabbage. It prefers cooler weather.
With their huge and colorful rosettes, it can feel as though you’re looking at roses which have gone completely mad, and defied nature, growing far bigger than a rose is designed to be.
They make great displays both in pots and in borders, and they have the benefit of not being attacked by butterflies and caterpillars, as these plants thrive during autumn and winter.
If you prefer normal kale, you can also overwinter it for the same purpose, avoiding that swiss-cheese look without having to resort to specialist netting or even pesticides to protect your crops.
Daphne odora is a lovely shrub that will provide fragrant flowers for most of the winter.
The flowers themselves provide a lovely contrast against the dark green leaves, with rich clusters of purple or pink flowers. You can grow it as a hedge, as a large shrub, or as a border.
However, these plants can be tricky to establish. They are slow-growing, so it is easier to buy a bigger plant which will be less susceptible to disease and less-than-ideal conditions.
Though it will be more expensive, you’re also guaranteed to see the fragrant blooms this plant produces.
You can also get Daphne that flowers during the height of summer, where the summer sun really brings out the best of the color in these blooms.
The warm, summer air makes the fragrance so much more poignant, almost adding a drowsy note.
Chionanthus virginicus, the fringetree, or the Old Man’s Beard, blooms in winter with long, creamy flowers that look a little like cotton.
They drape toward the ground, and can provide an other-worldly feel to your garden.
These flowers look especially beautiful when offset against dark foliage or contrasting flowers.
This is an adaptable plant which responds well to transplanting. To get the best out of the flowers, this plant needs full sun.
In the wild, this plant can get as tall as 10 meters, and when grown for its ornamental value, it’s usually trained into a more conservative height of 3-5 meters.
Acacia pycnantha, or the golden wattle, hails from Australia, this plant has a myriad of uses. You might have seen it in the cut-flower trade, marketed as mimosa.
In its natural environment, it grows in grasslands and forests, bringing a wealth of color to anywhere it chooses to grow. It also attracts many pollinators to its showy blooms, which are a near-neon yellow.
The tree is also grown for the high levels of tannin in its bark, and it does also bleed gum when the tree is stressed, which is edible. The plant also produces fruit, which is used as medicine.
Both the fruit and the flowers are edible.
Ulex europeaus (see also Flower Names Beginning With U), or gorse, produces golden-yellow rays of tiny flowers, which blanket the glossy, dark foliage.
These blooms are so bright and pigmented that they are often used to make yellow dye.
As well as being vivid, these uplifting blooms have a unique fragrance which smells a little like vanilla, with notes of pineapple and orange.
In its native habitat, the thick foliage is also a refuge for small birds to make their nests in.
Gorse thrives in poor soil and full sun, and their thorny stems make the perfect ornamental barrier. The thorn-like leaves also contrast well against these petite flowers.
Gorse is often used as a windbreaker plant to buffet strong winds away from plants which get windburn on their leaves, or those that would topple under strong winds.
Grevillea ‘Winter Delight’
If you want a low-growing shrub that will provide color during the winter months, Grevillea ‘Winter Delight’ is the perfect plant for you.
It features needle-like foliage, and showy clusters of red and cream flowers, and the plant will produce them in abundance if you give it full sun and well-draining soil.
Like with most plants, if you plant grevilleas alongside each other, you amplify the effects, and you can create a whole sea of color.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, they can also be grown alongside to create a wealth of color. Other varieties worth your attention include ‘Tuckers Dwarf’ (featuring dark pink blooms), ‘Ned Kelly’ (with yellow flowers with a hint of pink), and ‘Pink Pixie’ (which produces light pink blooms).
Hardenbergia violacea is a climbing shrub that spreads fairly well, and the more sunlight you can give this plant, the better it will grow. It will grow in most types of soil.
It provides a playful feel into any space, and holds a symbiotic relationship with bacteria which forms root nodules, which helps fix nitrogen into the atmosphere.
It can survive temperatures as low as 19°F, and produces a sea of purple flowers.
A happy wanderer will grow anywhere in borders, up walls, trellises and fences, making it a very versatile plant.
It’s also native to South Australia, and both the leaves and the roots are edible. Parts of the plant can be used to make a very sweet drink.
Clerodendrum trichotomum or the harlequin glorybower divides opinions to the extreme. It invites a lot of strong emotion. Some people love it, others absolutely hate it.
Some people regard the harlequin glorybower as an ugly plant, while other people prize the unusual display it creates throughout the winter months.
When the leaves are crushed, the scent is similar to peanut butter! If that wasn’t a cool characteristic for this plant to have on its own, the flowers are on another level.
They start off as clusters of star-shaped white flowers, and slowly turn red, forming a single bright blue fruit at the center, making it look like a harlequin with both its shape and the contrasting colors.
This plant needs full sun and plenty of space, as it can grow 10-15 feet high, and spread about the same.
Before attempting to grow the harlequin glorybower, it’s worth checking that the plant isn’t considered invasive in your area, as some places class it as such.
Mahonias are evergreen shrubs which are known for their sharp, prickly leaves. Most will know them for that characteristic – pulling them from pathways and any high-traffic area where someone is likely to get attacked – but did you know that they produce flowers?
This is another plant that divides opinions. Some people hate it for its leaves, some people love it for the flowers, and some people grow it as a barrier to deter thieves from trying to climb through downstairs windows.
In winter, mahonias bloom in vivid yellows, and produce a sweet scent. The blossoms are closely followed by waxy fruits that resemble grapes.
More often than not, mahonias flower in spring, but they can be forced to flower earlier if you take off some of the flower buds.
Cerinthe major, or honeywort blooms from winter all the way to spring, providing much needed color through the leaner months. These plants are often found wild in grasslands and meadows.
The plant relies on both wind and birds to pollinate the flowers and to reproduce. It’s worth knowing that these plants can be annuals, so in order to ensure a fabulous display next year, you’ll need to collect or let the plant distribute the large black seeds.
One of the prettiest varieties is ‘Purpurascens’, which has fan-shaped grayish leaves and soft stems. The terminal leaves turn purple, and overlap as if to protect the vivid purple blooms.
If you’d prefer brighter flowers, you could go for Cerinthe major major, which has sea-green leaves with speckles and bright yellow flowers.
Trifolium campestre, or hop trefoil, produces globular golden flowers at the beginning of winter. Trefoil refers to the three-lobed leaves this plant produces.
While it is a wildflower, found in dry, grassy areas, it’s also cultivated as an ornamental plant (see also 21 Ornamental Plants).
This plant also has the added benefit of acting as ground cover, and unlike a lot of ground-covering plants, it’s not too invasive, as the plant is an annual. It also has the added benefit of putting nitrogen into the soil, which is a vital component needed for the growth of all sorts of plants.
It is also used to feed livestock.
In order to get these plants to bloom during the winter months, you’ll need to sow seeds in summer.
Papaver nudicaule, or the Iceland poppy, provides vivid color and cheer to any area in the winter that you can think of.
They don’t need a lot of care, and prefer poor soil and full sun. If you are too kind to them and treat them to rich soil full of nutrients, they will produce fewer flowers, if any.
If you’re lucky enough to have rich soil which contains all the nutrients most plants would ever want, you can still grow Iceland poppies, but you should do so in containers, where you can control the soil more readily.
You’ll also only need to water them when the soil is extremely dry.
These beautiful flowers also spread like wildfire, creating a huge display which will lift anyone’s mood.
You can grow Crassula ovata,(see also Gollum Jade (Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’)) or the jade plant, both indoors and outdoors, but it needs to be inside during the winter months.
As it is a succulent plant, it requires less care than a lot of the plants on this list.
It will do absolutely fine for a couple of weeks without water, as it stores water reserves in its fleshy leaves.
Jade plants like as much sun as you can give them, and eventually, this plant will bloom with clusters of white or pink flowers.
If the plant doesn’t receive enough light, it will become “leggy”, where its growth habit will change. It will aim to grow toward the light in a more exaggerated fashion.
While this doesn’t really harm the plant, it’s not the way the plant was designed to grow. Also, it will be less likely to produce those lovely flowers.
Some believe that having a jade plant (see also Jade Plant Varieties And Care) in your house brings luck, and if cared for properly, these plants will grow for years and years, and will outlive a lot of other plants you’ll keep during your lifetime.
Pieris japonica (see also Cleyera (Cleyera japonica) Plant Care), the Dwarf Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub, or Japanese andromeda creates an intensely beautiful display.
The flowers come in different forms, from tiny pea-shaped blooms which hang like precious pendants from the shrub, to long-petalled red flowers that look like fireworks.
The evergreen leaves change color depending on the season, and there are many varieties to choose from, some of which produce their flowers in the height of summer instead of winter.
Other varieties to consider include ‘Pygmaea’ (best for small spaces, as it grows compactly), ‘Variegated’ (which adds interest in that the leaves have white streaks), and ‘Mountain Fire’, which features reddish orange blooms in spring).
The Japanese quince or Chaenomeles japonica is often grown as a bonsai tree, as it produces crimson blooms which are stunning.
It’s also grown up trellises, shouldering fences, and outlining walkways, making it one of the more versatile plants on this list.
Unfortunately, the Japanese quince is vulnerable to disease and pests. Aphids, and fungal leaf spot are the worst culprits, and you’ll need to take quick action if you see signs of either, as the longer you wait, the more likely the plant is to die.
Kalanchoe plants are gorgeous, easy to grow (see also Kalanchoe Uses And Grow Guide), and can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
They prefer full sun, but they will also live in shady areas without many problems.
While a kalanchoe has shiny, succulent leaves, you do need to water them a little more often than normal succulents. Always check the soil before you water, as kalanchoes are particularly vulnerable to root rot.
You can recognize a kalanchoe by its fleshy leaves, and petite flowers which come in pink, white, yellow, red, and orange.
You can also force the plant to bloom, by putting it somewhere darker and cooler with less frequent watering for around 7 weeks.
After that, put it back in its usual place and increase the watering, and you should start to see flower buds.
You can also propagate kalanchoe plants very easily.
Stachys lanata, or the lamb’s ear, is a beautiful plant mainly grown for its silvery foliage which is covered in soft, white downy-hairs.
You’ll be tempted to touch the leaves at least once, because they are as soft and as velvety as they look. You should. They also have a pleasant scent, as if their appearance wasn’t enough on their own.
But the leaves aren’t the only reason to grow this plant. As you might guess why this plant is on this particular list, the lamb’s ear produces purple flower spikes during winter. These blooms compliment the unique foliage beautifully.
If you want a very fuzzy plant, ‘Cotton Ball’ is the lamb’s ear for you. For a ground cover option, ‘Silver Carpet’ is a compact choice, but it does have the trade-off of flowering less.
To really showcase the leaves, go for ‘Big Ears’, which produce some of the most beautifully huge leaves of all lamb’s ear varieties.
Large Blue Hepatica
Hepatica transsilvanica is native to the mountains of Romania, and is part of the buttercup family.
It produces vivid blue blooms which have tiny sprays of white growing from the central eyes of the flower.
They can push up through snow-covered ground, and will offset contrasting flowers beautifully.
Arctostaphylos, or manzanita, is a beautiful tree in its own right, boasting lustrous red bark.
In the later days of winter, the tree also produces flowers in shades of white, pink, and purple.
You can be too kind to plants, and the manzanita is no exception. Overwatering or feeding a manzanita will result in the plant suffering, as it cannot tolerate much of either.
Broadly, you probably shouldn’t feed trees, as they do well enough on their own.
These trees are very drought-resistant, making it perfect for hotter climates which get little rain, or for climate-conscious gardeners. If you get the conditions right, a manzanita tree can live up to a hundred years.
There is some confusion about what is classed as mimosa (see Mimosa Flowers: Meaning and Symbolism), and what is classed as a wattle, as they are very similar, and the names are sometimes used interchangeably.
Broadly, the mimosa excludes the pink-flowering plant, as wattle is mimosa, but not all mimosas are wattles.
Mimosa flowers (see also Mimosa Grow Guide) are instantly recognizable for their globular, feathery blooms, which are a neon yellow, which resemble miniature suns.
They are fast-growing, but the branches are delicate, and the plant requires a sheltered position away from strong winds. You can also give them some wind protection by planting them next to tall shrubs, or put them in the middle of a border.
In the wild, these plants grow in woodland and along riverbanks, so they require quite a lot of watering.
A woodland wildflower, the mignonette produces huge flower spikes with sprays of airy white flowers. Despite the flowers’ delicate appearance, the fragrance is a lovely combination of spice and sweetness, and retains its scent even when the flowers are dried.
In some places, this plant is considered invasive as it is self-seeding, and can overtake areas.
One way to prevent these lovely plants from completely taking over is to remove spent flowers before they can form seedpods.
Naturally found in the rainforests of Tasmania, you can recognize the Drimys lanceolata or the mountain pepper by the red stems and the pale foliage.
The foliage itself is striking, but this flower also produces pale yellow or white flowers, which is followed by black berries.
These berries are often dried and used as a substitute for black pepper in culinary dishes.
Part of the figwort family, nemesia caerulea is a striking plant which grows naturally in the Cape Floristic Province of South Africa. This plant stays fairly small, but it spreads easily.
You can recognize this plant by its lovely lobe-petalled flowers, which come in blue, pink, white, and purple. Some days, these flowers can dwarf the foliage, which makes a lovely display.
Nemesias need as much sunlight as you can give them, and well-draining soil that’s full of nutrients in order for the plants to thrive.
Young plants will need more attention than established plants, as they will need more water during the growing season.
If you cut back the plants after the flowering season, this will help them retain some of the energy needed to produce more blooms.
Some people believe that flowers which appear in winter are mostly yellow in order to attract pollinators better, as the color stands out against frost or snow.
The opal flower, despite its name, produces golden tubular flowers which are tinted red at the top of the plant. Because of their shape and color, they look a little like tiny bananas.
As a cut flower, you can do a lot worse than the opal flower. These unusual blooms add interest to anywhere you might put them, and they last a long time. They work well against contrasting colors, and tend to put a smile on people’s faces.
Opal flowers are suitable for rockeries, containers, and sheltered positions.
Orchids brighten up any space with their gorgeous rainbows of colorful flowers, and it can be argued that winter-flowering orchids are among the prettiest flowers, in a season that can often feel bereft of beautiful blooms.
You can grow orchids outdoors and indoors, depending on the type (see also Orchid Types), and the blooms tend to last for a long time.
Some orchids go dormant, so don’t get rid of a plant that looks like it’s dead, until you are absolutely sure that’s what’s happened.
Orchid cacti are very showy plants that produce some of the most magnificent flowers, without you needing to put a lot of effort into caring for them.
As cacti, they are very low maintenance plants, making them perfect for people who like tropical plants but don’t want the care schedule that comes with a lot of orchids.
The Disocactus ackermannii or orchid cactus looks fantastic when displayed in a hanging pot, and it can go without care for weeks.
If your area gets cold during the winter, you’ll need to bring this plant indoors in order to stop it rotting.
Bauhinia blakeana, or the orchid tree, features fantastic flowers. While the showy blooms resemble orchids, they are actually part of the pea family.
The foliage is shaped like a butterfly, and in Hong Kong, the leaf is known as “clever leaf”, and is believed to be a symbol of wisdom.
For this reason, many people use the leaf as a bookmark to bring luck when it comes to their studies.
The blooms this plant produces are usually purple or pink, sometimes with a hint of the other color in the center of each petal.
This plant is sadly sterile, so if you want more of it, you’d need to propagate by cuttings, air-layering, or grafting. They are often grown in streets for their ornamental value.
Like the name might suggest, Edgeworthia chrysantha or the paperbrush is used to make paper.
This plant is also valuable in its own right, as it covers the tree in hundreds of yellow blossoms through the winter season.
The leaves themselves look similar to that of a rhododendron. Flowers can also come in yellow and white, or red.
The paperbrush can be grown as a small plant in containers, a large shrub to corner a border, or as a hedge. Whichever you choose, this plant is sure to decorate your garden with a wealth of color and fragrance.
Native to Australia, this plant’s flowers are just as interesting if not more than the paperbrush.
Hakea laurina, or the pin-cushion hakea, produces pincushion-shaped flowers which look like they are covered in white needles.
While the flowers themselves will steal all of your attention, the weeping leaves are also worthy of your attention. The sharp green leaves have interesting venations on a closer look, and the stems themselves are crimson.
If left to grow, this plant can get as tall as 6 meters high, but it will need a lot of support, as the root system is weaker, and cannot support such a height by itself.
This plant attracts a plethora of birds and pollinators, bringing a lot of activity during the winter season.
Epacris impressa or the pink heath is a lovely plant which is naturally found growing on the tops of hills.
The plant produces almost fluorescent clusters of pink flowers, which bloom both before and after winter.
The name itself refers to the indents that grow on the end of the flowers. Pink heath grows as a small shrub which has an upright habit.
You can grow them from seed, but they can take anywhere from two months to two years to germinate!
To speed up this process, why not take stem cuttings? That way, you don’t have to wait such an unpredictable length of time, and the cutting will be a copy of the parent plant, so it will behave the exact same way.
You’ll probably recognize this one. Poinsettias are grown mainly for the Christmas season, and as it is part of the Euphorbia family, it is also poisonous.
The beautiful bracts which are often called flowers come in vivid crimson, white, yellow, and pink.
Once the season is over, these bracts revert to green, but they can turn red again in cooler temperatures.
Protea (see also Proteas: Common Flower Varieties, Meaning and Growing Tips), fynbos, or the sugarbush is a great choice for a plant that blooms in the winter. The poorer the soil, the better a protea will grow. Keep a light hand on the fertilizer, as too much will burn this plant.
In order to prevent pests and diseases from taking hold, prune the plant immediately after it has stopped blooming.
Many of these plants keep their foliage throughout the winter, which adds a nice backdrop to the beautiful flowers. The flowers themselves can range in appearance from pincushion shapes to a bloom similar to an artichoke.
Purple Rock Cress
While the purple rock cross has an unassuming appearance for most of the year with its tiny grayish leaves, it really comes into its own in winter, where it produces fantastic purple blooms.
You can grow a purple rock cress plant in containers, rockeries, and well-draining borders, as long as the plant has access to full sun and moist soil.
Queen Anne’s Lace
The ornamental carrot, or Queen Anne’s Lace, produces amazing flowers during the winter. It also has the benefit of still being edible, though it’s grown as an ornamental.
The underground part of the plant is often used as a sweetener, if you choose to use it at all.
The plant produces umbrella-shaped clusters of flowers. The name originates from Queen Anne, (see also Flower Names Starting With Q) who pricked her finger and her blood stained the lace.
The plant also produces fern-shaped leaves, which are often used as ground cover to keep weeds at bay.
Every part of a red maple is a shade of crimson, making this plant truly special. The leaves also change their hue from season to season, which makes for a great display in any garden.
They are happy in containers as well as the ground, but you need to keep them away from the wind, otherwise the leaves suffer from windburn.
You can get both dwarf and standard acers, so there is a size for all spaces.
Unfortunately, they can be vulnerable to disease and pests, including mildew, leaf spot, and tree cancer. Any problems should be dealt with as soon as you spot them, otherwise you could run the risk of the plant dying.
Hypoestes aristata, or the ribbon bush, are challenging plants to grow, but they are well worth the effort.
This plant produces clusters of vivid purple flowers, and like the name suggests, they are shaped like ribbons which are knotted.
The flowers themselves look wholly purple until you get close up, and you’ll see the white flecks.
This plant comes from South Africa, so this may explain why it is tricky to grow outside its native habitat.
Garrya elliptica, or the silktassel tree, flowers in winter, despite it losing its leaves in colder temperatures.
It produces fantastic white to yellow green flowers, which can look like melting snow dripping from the bare branches.
While it is fairly hardy, it will need a buffer from the worst of the winter winds, so you’re best planting it between evergreen trees or shrubs. This will also help create a lovely contrast.
Silver Dollar Tree
The Eucalyptus cinerea, the Argyle apple, is valued both for its silvery-green foliage and its flowers.
The plant itself is usually grown as a hedge, and the leaves are often included in cut flower arrangements to give the eye somewhere to rest from the all the color.
The silver dollar tree also produces gorgeous blooms which look very airy, each featuring a yellow eye in the center. If this display wasn’t enough, the silver dollar tree is also used for medicinal purposes, to treat asthma, coughs, and pneumonia.
Like the name might suggest, the soap aloe, or aloe maculata, can be used as a soap substitute. That’s not it’s only use, as the plant is often used as a remedy for skin inflammation.
This plant is native to South Africa, and you can tell this plant apart from other aloes because the soap aloe has more prominent teeth.
During a frost-free winter, the soap aloe produces huge, orange flowers atop a flower spike in the middle of the leaves. The leaves themselves act as a thorny barrier to protect the plant.
When grown in numbers, this plant is absolutely stunning.
Part of the Buxaceae genus, this plant has gorgeous foliage before you may even think about flowers.
The leaves are shaped like tears, and come in dark-green, but you can also get variegated types.
During winter, this plant produces petite white flowers, which may escape your first glance, but the scent won’t escape your nose.
Once the flowers are finished, red or even black berries provide food for local wildlife.
With this plant creating an ever-changing display, it’s no wonder that the Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Ward of Garden Merit.
You may know the Prunus species, which encompasses most types of flowering and fruiting trees, as well as where the ornamental cherry blossom comes from.
The weeping apricot, or prunus mume, hails from parts of Korea and China, and has been grown for years for its flowers.
Once the plant has dropped all of its foliage in the winter months, it produces pink, white, or red blooms all along the exposed branches. These flowers have a lovely fragrance, and can blanket the whole of the tree.
Whilst the weeping apricot isn’t vulnerable to many diseases, it does suffer from caterpillars, aphids, spider mites, and scale.
Kniphofia uvaria or the winter cheer red hot poker is a fantastic plant. The sword-shaped leaves can create a display all on their own, but the real showstopper is the flowers.
Huge flower spikes bear tubular flowers, which are all the more beautiful for having a color gradient which goes from red, to orange, to yellow.
Winter cheer needs extremely well-draining soil, and looks perfectly at home in the middle or in the back of any border, adding a wealth of height and color into your garden.
The winter-flowering cherry, or the Higan cherry, or rosebud cherry, is related to the weeping apricot, as it’s part of the same genus.
While the leaves are shed during the winter, the plant produces pale pink blooms on the bare stems, creating a fantastic display.
The rough bark of the tree also has a pink tinge (See also 16 Best White Bark Trees You’ll Want to Have for Landscaping), which adds to the plant’s attractiveness.
The winter-flowering cherry doesn’t grow as large as other types, and isn’t fussy about what kind of soil it grows in, as long as it drains freely.
It requires full sunlight in order to produce these flowers, but the plant is hardy and isn’t vulnerable to many pests or diseases, ensuring that this plant will flower year after year.
Commonly confused with witch hazel, the winter hazel or Corylopsis sinensis grows as a shrub which mainly takes care of itself.
Provided the roots have fully established themselves into the soil, and it’s in a bright spot but away from direct sunlight, this plant will thrive.
In the winter months, this plant sheds its leaves and produces petite cup-shaped flowers in shades of yellow.
These blooms attract plenty of winter pollinators. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that has hummingbirds, the winter hazel is a favorite pit-stop.
If you’d prefer an evergreen shrub to bring a joy-load of color into your garden during winter, you can’t go wrong with the winter heath, or Erica carnea.
This gorgeous plant produces pink or mauve flowers, which nearly smother the leaves in its bounty of color.
If you want mauve flowers, ‘Accent’ is the variety to go for. Rose-pink flowers are produced by ‘Anne Sparkles’, and also feature foliage that turns orange.
‘Aurea’ showcases golden leaves and a more compact habit. ‘Carnea’ is a great choice if you want blossoms that start out as a light pink, and deepen to a purple as they mature.
Winter jasmine is among the most beautiful winter-flowering plants that you can get. As with the summer jasmine, winter jasmine is superbly fragrant.
This is a climbing plant, so you’ll need to provide it with plenty of support throughout its life, and while it might be slow-growing to start with as the plant establishes itself, it will soon spread to be a captivating plant.
In winter, this plant will produce star-shaped yellow blooms, which are intensely scented. Grow them next to somewhere you’ll pass by every day, or by seating areas, in order to get the most out of these gorgeous plants.
They require full sun for at least part of the day, and you’ll only really need to water them when the soil is super dry. Avoid over-feeding these plants, as that will result in glossy leaves and no flowers.
Japanese allspice, Chimonanthus praecox, or wintersweet looks like a pretty unassuming shrub for most of the year with its lovely lance-shaped leaves. When winter arrives, this plant’s leaves turn a gorgeous bronze before they fall.
The leaves are soon replaced by star-shaped yellow blooms which look like they are made out of paper. Gorgeous. If this wasn’t enough, these lovely blooms also have a delicate fragrance.
Wurmbea stricta comes from the drier parts of Australia and Africa, growing near stream banks and bogs in order to gather the moisture it needs to grow.
In its native dry winters, these plants produce star-shaped flowers which have purple hearts. The color really stands out against what can be its bare surroundings.
It’s worth mentioning that this plant does have an unpleasant scent to attract flies, which are the pollinators of this plant!
If purple doesn’t go with your garden planting scheme, there are other varieties which feature differently colored blooms.
Viburnum fragrans, or viburnum farreri produce gorgeous clusters of petite flowers in a range of color, replacing the leaves of the shrub during the winter months.
They are very hardy plants, which can mainly look after themselves, even through the harsh conditions of winter.
If you’d like to keep this plant tidier during the rougher season, you can prune it back and feed it, but make sure to do this when the risk of frost has passed.
If you want a plant that will reward you with color year after year with little maintenance needed, viburnum fragrans is for you.
You can also plant viburnum in the summer months as annuals, adding sprays of color into any border or container.
It would be wrong if violets weren’t included on this list (see also Violet Varieties And Care Guide). They are among the most popular winter bedding plants, and provide a plethora of color during the colder months.
The violet is also the birth flower for February, and has a lot of symbolism attached to it.
These tiny flowers will grow in most places and conditions, and will even grow from seed on gravel after the gravel has been treated for weeds!
These gorgeous blooms are very easy to grow from seed, but you can also buy them readily at any nursery or plant store.
If you want winter color, plant these lovely flowers in early autumn, so the roots have time to establish before the frosts set in.