Ornamental Plants That Bloom In Winter

A garden in winter can be a striking study of contrasting shapes and textures, but it’s one mostly played out in black and white.

One way to create an unforgettable sensual impact in the winter garden is to add a splash of color during the dormant season. With a reliable palette of winter blooming ornamental plants, gardeners can create colorful garden sensations to tide them through the deep freeze.

Witch Hazels (Hamamelis spp.)

Witch Hazel

Depending on the variety, these deciduous plants are available as small trees or large shrubs. They’ll grow from 12′ to 20′ tall and grace the garden with flowers in early winter. Witch Hazels bloom on leafless branches, and the blooms are a beautiful yellow-gold. This plant is hardy from zones 3b to 8.

Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)

Japanese Pieris

Pieris serves up beautiful blossoms in bright red, pink, or white. This shrub is evergreen, and the flowers make a great accent against the green of the leaves in winter. Use Pieris in mass plantings, under ornamental trees, or as a single-plant accent.

Hellebores (Helleborus spp.)


These plants include Christmas Roses and the Lenten Rose. They bloom through winter and into early spring, sometimes even when snow is on the ground. Hellebore flowers are pinkish red, white, or maroon. These evergreen plants grow to around 2′ tall. Hellebores work best in the shade, so plant them in clumps beside a wall with a northern or eastern exposure, or as companions under taller shrubs. Some Hellebores have a sap that is a skin irritant; wear garden gloves and use care when handling cut plants.

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)

Flowering Quince

This deciduous shrub is hardy to zone 5 and blooms on bare branches in February, sometimes before Groundhog Day. It flowers on the previous year’s growth, so gardeners should use care in pruning. Quince blooms will attract birds, and make great cut flower arrangements. It’s a hardy plant that will withstand harsh growing conditions.

Fragrant Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)

Fragrant Tea Olive

A wonderful large evergreen shrub which may reach 20’ tall and 8’ wide, but is usually 8’ to 10’ in the landscape. Blooms heavily from October through March, but can hold sporadic blooms throughout the summer. Flowers are small but plentiful, not really showy except in mass. But gardeners should plant Tea Olive for its delightful apricot fragrance. Use this shrub at the corners of a house, between windows, or close to walks and entrances where the divine scent can be appreciated. Best grown from zones 8 to 10.

Homeowners searching for a sure cure to the winter blahs should consider adding these flowering plants to their gardens. Their vibrant blooms will brighten the winter day and remind gardeners of a warm spring coming soon.


About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...

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