8 of the Best Winter Flowering Plants

Winter doesn't necessarily mean death for all plants and flowers. Here are the best winter flowering plants that bring color to the snowy landscape.

A flowering pink rose with snow falling.

Winter is known as a time for the death of plants. Everything turns gray or brown and you look over the sad remains of your landscaping and garden feeling down. But you don’t have to rely on berries and evergreens to add color to your outdoor areas.

There are many winter flowering plants that can add a riot of color and life to any winter landscape, filling up those gray and brown areas with vivid hues. Fill your outdoor spaces with the best winter flowering plants and fill your life with color and beauty year-round.

Winter Flowers

Flowers in winter? Yes, it’s possible. There are actually many plants that produce beautiful flowers in winter and there are some that will blossom even in the snow. If you’ve got the right plants, you can add beautiful color to any winter landscape and bring all your outdoor areas back to life.

Purple crocus flowers on a snowy ground.

Crocus flowers add a bright pop of purple to any winter garden. They’re also extremely hardy and will actually bloom through the snow. These flowers make an appearance in late winter when most other plants have stopped blooming completely.

Crocus flowers can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8, which covers a huge chunk of the U.S. This means you can grow these winter flowers just about anywhere. They grow well in partial to full sunlight and well-drained soil. They don’t need to be pruned. Just give them a little mulch and they’ll be fine.

A look at colorful English primrose flowers.

English primrose isn’t like its own primrose cousins, which mostly bloom in the spring and summer. This pretty flowering plant blooms in shades of red, pink, blue, white, yellow, and orange, depending on the species, and they bloom in the winter. The pretty flowers and dark green leaves are a colorful, pretty addition to any winter garden. English primrose will grow nearly anywhere, thriving in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8.

A close look at a flowering Camellia flower during winter.

Camellia flowers look a lot like roses but they aren’t nearly as picky about their temperature conditions. These pretty pink blossoms will usually appear right around the holiday season, which makes them a perfect addition to the winter garden if you plan on having guests over. They will marvel that you have rose-like flowers blooming in the grip of winter cold.

These plants thrive in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9, which includes all of the southern U.S. and the southwest U.S., most of the West Coast and a large chunk of the Midwest and New England. These plants do very well in well-drained, somewhat acidic soil. Give them fertilizer and they will shine. Camellia is drought-tolerant, so they will survive if you forget and skip a watering day.

A close look at white flowering Christmas roses.

Christmas roses, also known as hellebores niger, don’t look a whole lot like roses. They are pretty blossoms that show up in shades of bright white. These flowers are known as Christmas roses because they tend to bloom in mid to late December. The flowers look delicate and pretty but this is a tough plant that can thrive in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. This plant grows just fine with moderate sun and water, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time fussing over these flowers.

A close look at clusters of winter heath with snow.

Winter heath adds a riot of color to any winter garden. This plant blooms with bright purplish-pink flowers from January to March in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 8. They will even bloom in the snow, so this is a perfect plant to add to any winter landscape. Winter heath is a shrub, so be sure to plant it where it will have room to grow. This plant makes it easy to add a big block of color to your outdoor space.

A snowy garden with flowering blue scilla.

Scilla will grow just about anywhere, thriving in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 8. These little flowers appear in shades of blue, white, pink, and purple to add bright color anywhere you plant it. Plant scilla in clumps to create an eye-catching effect in the winter garden. Scilla is grown from a bulb and these plants are very tough. They’ll grow in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

A couple of purple winter pansies surrounded by snow.

Winter pansies are a bright, vividly-colored addition in any winter garden. These little flowers grow well in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9 and can survive even very cold temperatures. Winter pansies will stay strong even against temperatures down in the teens.

These flowers are little, but they’re tough. They will start to bloom in December or January in a huge range of colors, depending on the species. Winter pansies appear in bold shades of yellow, red, blue, and orange. They’ll grow in all light conditions, from full shade to full sun and they can survive in most types of soils.

Clusters of white gentle snowdrops surrounded by snow.

Snowdrops will poke up through the snow with pretty white flowers that droop slightly on their stems. They’ll appear in January in zones 3 through 8. Give these flowers well-drained soil and a little fertilizer and they will thrive.

They grow best in full to partial shade and tend to spread out, so snowdrops make wonderful ground covers. Snowdrops grow from bulbs. They’re highly animal-resistant. Deer, rabbits, chipmunks, and mice won’t eat them as all. Pests don’t like snowdrops, either, which makes these a great addition to any winter garden. These are very trouble-free plants.

Growing Plants in Winter

You don’t need a greenhouse or plastic coverings or special heat lights or anything extra to grow beautiful plants even in the dark of winter. There are many plants that are suited to cold and shade that still produce colorful, lovely flowers that light up all those dark, dreary spaces. Winter flowers chase the cold weather blues away and keep the outside of your home looking prettying and appealing even in the ugliest weather.

Walking down a snowy walkway and seeing flowers bloom through the snow is an uplifting experience that you can give to anyone if you’ve got good winter flowering plants. Practice your gardening skills even in the coldest season of the year and start growing plants in winter.

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