Plants That Flower in Winter

There's no need to wait till spring for outdoor flowers: grow a few of these winter-blooming perennials and shrubs in your backyard.

Some mahonias — leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei) and selected cultivars of M. x media — bloom in winter; these shrubs are hardy in USDA Zones (6)7 to 9. A close relative, Oregon grape holly (M. aquifolium) flowers in early spring and is hardy to USDA (4)5.

The ultra-fragrant flowers of many daphnes, including Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill', appear in midwinter. 'Jacqueline Postill' is evergreen. USDA Zones 7 to 9.

The flower buds of Pieris japonica persist from fall through winter. Give this evergreen shrub moist, well-drained, acid, organic soil. In the South, site it in shade. USDA Zones 4b to 7.

The so-called Christmas rose is actually a hellebore (Helleborus niger), and for areas of the country where winter flowers are a rarity, hellebores are a delight. These long-lived perennials love shade or dappled sun and moist, organic soil; there are thousands of cultivars in a range of colors from white and cream to pink, rose, burgundy and light green. USDA Zones 4 to 8.

Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) blooms in January, making it a great candidate for creating a mid-winter color splash on retaining walls and banks. Hardy in USDA Zones (5)6 to 10.

The coppery orange flowers of 'Jelena' witchhazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena') appear as early as January. The shrub also offers orange-red fall color. Hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 8.

The red river lily, or Kaffir lily (Schizostylis coccinea) typically blooms in fall but you can still expect to see them reappear on mild days through midwinter. In the wild, these perennials occur in wet areas. USDA Zones 6 to 9.

Next Up

Plant a Winter Garden

Add pops of color to your winter landscape with plants and shrubs that add interest and will attract and support wildlife.

Planting Winter Rye

Improve your vegetable garden soil with a cover crop of winter rye, a deep-rooted grain that breaks up hard soil.

Plant a Winter Window Box

A window box planted with hardy flowers and foliage offers a garden view when it's too cold to stay outside.

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

How to Plant Perennial Flowers & Plants

Perennials are the mainstay of the traditional flower garden. When planted correctly, they are long-lived.

Flowers that Bloom in Winter

Fill your outdoor spaces with flowers that bloom in winter. Some of these bloomers can even start inside before shifting outdoors.

Make Your Home Winter Ready

Follow these steps to prep your house for cold winter weather.