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9 Winter Plants That Dazzle Even in Snow

Tired of staring at leafless trees and patches of snow in your yard each winter? We’ve chosen nine great plants that add greenery, cool shapes, and will even blossom outside your window in the heart of winter. Hardy across many zones, these plants make terrific additions to your garden plans.

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Flowering quince (Chaenomeles)

If you’ve got a black thumb, flowering quince is a good choice. Virtually indestructible, flowering quince tolerates climate extremes and neglect. This deciduous thorny shrub can stretch up to 8 feet wide, makes great natural fencing, and puts on a big show of blossoms in winter. Plant in spring or fall.


Credit: HeatherOnHerTravels.com

Image: HeatherOnHerTravels.com
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  • If you’ve got a black thumb, flowering quince is a good choice. Virtually indestructible, flowering quince tolerates climate extremes and neglect. This deciduous thorny shrub can stretch up to 8 feet wide, makes great natural fencing, and puts on a big show of blossoms in winter. Plant in spring or fall.


    Credit: HeatherOnHerTravels.com

  • When most other plants are hiding away from winter’s chill, snowdrop is eager to get going. One of the first blossoms of late winter, snowdrops are still shy, preferring to hide away in rock gardens and under taller shrubs. Plant these bulbs in fall.


    Credit: Malcolm Bell

  • Your winter garden will come alive with shapes and forms that add texture. Evergreen boxwood hedges are easy to grow and shape, and make terrific borders for paths and garden outlines. Along with a quintet of arches and some tall conifers, boxwoods have turned this snowed-in landscaping into a fairy tale.


    Credit: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects / Linda Oyama Bryan, photographer

  • Winterberry — a deciduous version of holly — loses its leaves in late fall, leaving behind dazzling sprays of lipstick-red berries. Most species of holly are either male or female, so you’ll have to pair them up to get berries. Plant in spring or fall.


    Credit: Ellen Sousa, Turkey Hill Brook Farm

  • Fragrant in summer, witch hazel puts out clusters of spidery red-and-yellow flowers that blaze like little suns in the midst of winter. You’ll want to find the right place in your garden for this sizable shrub — it can grow up to 15 feet tall and nearly as wide. Plant witch hazel in the fall.

    Credit: Jeff Biggin

  • Like an unexpected gift, some varieties of camellia will surprise you with a showy display of rose-like blossoms in the middle of January. Check with your local greenhouse to select types that are winter-blooming. Evergreen camellias have thick green leaves, will easily grow 10 feet tall, and can live 50-100 years.


    Credit: Creativ Studio Heinemann/Westend 61

  • Looking for that special decoration to impress holiday visitors? Try planting Christmas rose in shady spots along your walkways. This winter-loving plant blossoms from late December through early spring on stout stems that rise above modest snowfalls. Plant this perennial in springtime.

    Credit: A Gardener in Progress

  • Wishing for some hints of summer in the dead of winter? The thick, evergreen leaves of sweet box cheers up your yard in all seasons. As a bonus, the shrub puts out fragrant, tiny white blossoms in late winter. Plant sweet box near your entry door for aromatic comings and goings.


    Credit: Photo by H.U.Taylor

  • Tough, upright ornamental grasses, such as this mock rush (a member of the fountain grass family) poke through winter’s snows and give your garden lots of visual interest. Those tall flower spikes are full of seeds that attract cardinals, juncos, and other over-winter birds. Plant this annual in early spring, and use the seeds to start next year’s crop.


    Credit: Creative Commons

  • If you like these, you may want to take a spin through HouseLogic’s library of slideshows.

     

  • Flowering quince (Chaenomeles)
  • Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii)
  • Boxwood (Buxus)
  • Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
  • Witch hazel (Hamamelis)
  • Camellia (japonica)
  • Christmas rose (Helleborus niger)
  • Sweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana)
  • Mock rush (Pennisetum glaucum)
  • Like our slideshows?
  • flowering-quince-chaenomeles
  • snowdrop-galanthus-elwesii
  • boxwood-buxus
  • winterberry-ilex-verticillata
  • witch-hazel-hamamelis
  • camellia-japonica
  • christmas-rose-helleborus-niger
  • sweet-box-sarcococca-hookeriana
  • mock-rush-pennisetum-glaucum
  • more-slideshows
  • Image: HeatherOnHerTravels.com
  • Image: Malcolm Bell
  • Image: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects/Linda Oyama Bryan, photographer
  • Image: Ellen Sousa, Turkey Hill Brook Farm
  • Image: Jeff Biggin
  • Image: Creativ Studio Heinemann/Westend 61
  • Image: A Gardener in Progress
  • Image: Photo by H.U.Taylor
  • Image: Creative Commons