Tired of staring at leafless trees and patches of snow in your yard each winter? We’ve chosen nine great winter garden plants that add greenery and 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.
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.
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowSnowdrop (Galanthus elwesii)
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.
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowBoxwood (Buxus)
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.
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowWinterberry (Ilex verticillata)
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.
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowWitch hazel (Hamamelis)
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
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowCamellia (japonica)
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
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowChristmas rose (Helleborus niger)
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.
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowSweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana)
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.
9 Winter Garden Plants That Dazzle Even in SnowMock rush (Pennisetum glaucum)
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
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