13 Favorite Winter Flowers

Grow these flowers to keep your garden colorful throughout the season.

With a little ingenuity and the right plants, winter doesn't have to be a write-off for your garden. In fact, winter can be a great time to add these plants and shrubs, or even use some colorful garden art to bring a pop of color to your yard. Lighting is another wonderful way to brighten a dreary winter garden and a fresh layer of mulch can do wonders to tidy things up.

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose Gold Collection® ‘Pink Frost’

Lenten Rose Gold Collection® ‘Pink Frost’

Lenten Rose Gold Collection 'Pink Frost'

Photo by: Monrovia

Monrovia

Lenten Rose Gold Collection 'Pink Frost'

Unlike most hellebores, or Lenten roses, Gold Collection ‘Pink Frost’ holds its blooms upright, so their white, pink and deep rose colors are easier to see in winter. The plants have attractive burgundy stems. Use these deer resistant plants as groundcovers or perennials in shady spots.

Primrose

Primrose 'Pacific Hybrids'

Primrose 'Pacific Hybrids'

Primrose

Photo by: Walters Gardens

Walters Gardens

Primrose

While most primroses flower in early spring, some species add color to the late winter garden. Sow the seeds outside from January to March, or look for potted primroses in bloom at nurseries or garden centers. Enjoy them as houseplants, but don’t feel guilty if you toss them when the flowers fade. It’s tricky to keep them going. 

Camellia

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’

Camellia Japonica 'Magnoliaeflora'

Photo by: Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

Camellia Japonica 'Magnoliaeflora'

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’, with its blush-pink blooms, is a good choice for winter color if you live in a mild region of the U.S.  It's an evergreen, hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10, but its flower buds can be damaged by the cold. Grow the plants in filtered sun.

Jessamine

Carolina Jessamine

Carolina Jessamine

Vining Carolina Jessamine 

Photo by: Geoff Bryant/Richard Shiell/Monrovia

Geoff Bryant/Richard Shiell/Monrovia

Vining Carolina Jessamine 

Vining Carolina Jessamine unfolds its yellow blooms from late winter into early spring. Don’t be afraid to grow it on a wall or fence; it won’t overtake nearby shrubs and trees. It’s also pretty on a trellis or arbor. Grown in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9, it performs as an evergreen or semi-evergreen.

Japanese Pieris

Japanese pieris 'Cavatine'

Japanese pieris 'Cavatine'

Japanese Pieris

Photo by: Bailey Nurseries

Bailey Nurseries

Japanese Pieris

Pale green flower buds appear on 'Cavatine', a small, evergreen Japanese pieris, in winter. By early spring, they open into creamy white blooms that lure pollinators. These plants like rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Lily of the Valley

‘Impish Elf'® Lily of the Valley

‘Impish Elf'® Lily of the Valley

'Impish Elf' Lily of the Valley

Photo by: Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

'Impish Elf' Lily of the Valley

Plant this shrub in masses for sweeps of winter color. The buds start out a dark, purplish-pink and open to bell-shaped flowers. ‘Impish Elf' Lily of the Valley (Pieris japonica) can be used as a container, foundation or border plant. It's hardy in USDA zones 6 to 8. 

Winter's Bark

Pewter Pillar® Winter’s Bark

Pewter Pillar® Winter’s Bark

Pewter Pillar Winter's Bark

Photo by: Dan Hinkely/Monrovia

Dan Hinkely/Monrovia

Pewter Pillar Winter's Bark

In late winter, this evergreen shrub or small tree, Pewter Pillar Winter’s Bark (Drimys winteri var. chiloense), opens clusters of lovely white blooms followed by small fruits. The glossy leaves have silvery-white backs. The plants are hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10.

Flowering Quince

Japanese Flowering Quince 'Cameo'

Japanese Flowering Quince 'Cameo'

'Cameo' Japanese Flowering Quince

Photo by: Richard Shiell/Monrovia

Richard Shiell/Monrovia

'Cameo' Japanese Flowering Quince

If you’re a bird watcher, grow ‘Cameo’ Japanese flowering quince; birds often visit this shrub’s quince-like fruits. The apricot-pink flowers open before the leaves and last a long time. These deciduous shrubs are hardy in zones 5 to 9.

Grevillea

Grevillea x 'Noell'

Grevillea x 'Noell'

Grevillea x 'Noel'

Photo by: Monrovia

Monrovia

Grevillea x 'Noel'

Deer resistant Grevillea x 'Noell'  is a low-growing, evergreen shrub that's useful to grow on a bank, or as a hedge or border. Rose and white blooms stud its graceful branches, adding splashes of color for a long time in winter. The plants tolerate poor soil and drought after they're established. 

Sausage Vine

'Cathedral Gem' Sausage Vine

'Cathedral Gem' Sausage Vine

'Cathedral Gem' Sausage Vine

Photo by: Monrovia

Monrovia

'Cathedral Gem' Sausage Vine

Named for the sausage-shaped fruits that appear in summer, 'Cathedral Gem' sausage vine is semi-evergreen. Its stems can grow to 25 feet long; in winter, they’re ornamented with white buds that become dangling flowers in shades of cream to dusky mauve. Grow it on a trellis or arbor near a patio, deck or door, so you can enjoy its perfume.

Spike Winterhazel

Spike Winterhazel

Spike Winterhazel

Spike Winterhazel (Corylopsis spicata)

Photo by: Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

Spike Winterhazel (Corylopsis spicata)

Spike winterhazel (Corylopsis spicata) opens its fragrant, primrose-yellow blooms from late winter to early spring. Try these deciduous shrubs in a woodland setting; they prefer partial to full sun. While they need regular watering, you may need to water more than once a week after the weather heats up.

Polyspora

Fullmoon® Polyspora

Fullmoon® Polyspora

Fullmoon Polyspora

Photo by: Monrovia

Monrovia

Fullmoon Polyspora

Grow Fullmoon Polyspora as a shrub or small tree for its big, single, white flowers, which appear in late winter. This evergreen's new leaves are also colorful, opening red and maturing to glossy green.

Winter Daphne

Winter Daphne 'Maejima’

Winter Daphne 'Maejima’

Winter Daphne 'Maejima'

Photo by: RIchard Shiell/Monrovia

RIchard Shiell/Monrovia

Winter Daphne 'Maejima'

Sweet-scented, dark pink blooms stand out against this winter daphne’s variegated leaves. The flowers open from late winter to early spring on shrubs that reach 3 to 4 feet tall. This variety, ‘Maejima’, has good deer resistance.

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