In the Weeds: Winter Jasmine

Easily confused with forsythia, winter jasmine has buttercup-yellow flowers and blooms late-winter.

Winter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine

Jasminum nudiflorum or winter jasmine is an exceptionally trouble-free plant to grow.

Jasminum nudiflorum or winter jasmine is an exceptionally trouble-free plant to grow.

By: Ben Ford

Jasminum nudiflorum or winter jasmine is an exceptionally trouble-free plant to grow. No pest and disease problems, tolerates sun or shade and grows well in almost any soil. Winter jasmine has very small leaves hardly even noticeable which make the plant look “naked” in the summertime as well. The stems are light-green and add interest to the garden in the winter. Easily confused with forsythia, winter jasmine has buttercup-yellow flowers and blooms late-winter.

Forsythia Versus Winter Jasmine

Winter jasmine blooms first in late-winter, though in mild winters it blooms much earlier. Forsythia blooms early-spring.

Both plants have a cascading habit, but forsythia grows well over 10-feet tall depending on the variety. Winter jasmine only grows to about 4-feet tall.

Forsythia’s flower show is much more dominant in the landscape than winter jasmine. This is only because winter jasmine blooms continuously for over two months, and forsythia knocks it out all in a short two-week show.

Winter jasmine is a very low-maintenance plant that grows rapidly. Once the weeping branches touch the surface of the soil, they immediately send out roots. This feature makes this plant perfect for retaining slopes with very minimal effort for the gardener.

15 Striking Plants for Winter Color

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Cabbages and Kales

Ornamental kale and cabbage are some of the most popular winter annual plants. They lend a completely different texture to a winter landscape bed. Once the plants are hardened by cooler night temperatures they can survive most cold winters.

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Camellias

Camellias prefer acidic, moist yet well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. They flower in the fall and winter when their display of colorful blooms is most appreciated. The waxy-petalled flowers linger long on plants, displaying shades of red, pink, coral, white and bicolors. Plants are evergreen, growing to form shrubs or small trees. Once established, camellias are drought-tolerant.

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Winter Jasmine

Jasminum nudiflorum or winter jasmine is an exceptionally trouble-free plant to grow.

Holly Bush

Hollies bring an eye-catching display of evergreen leaves that is often punctuated with bright red or gold berries.

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Winterberry Holly

Winterberry hollies are deciduous, and the berry-bedecked branches truly stop traffic. (Even this lizard stopped to take a gander at the beautiful berries!)

Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster is another leafy evergreen that you can depend on for a dazzling berry show in even frigid winters. It's a fast-grower and can be used as a striking groundcover.

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Japanese Maples

Japanese maples often have artistically shaped trunks. The contorted branches on this shrub or small tree come into focus as winter arrives.

Nandina

Nandina shows off its berries in areas with milder winters. Tuck these plants in front of solid backdrops so the berries can shine.

Native Serviceberry

Native serviceberries also earn rave reviews for snow-covered branches. Watch for white blossoms in spring, followed by tasty berries in June. Birds love the berries, so if you want any for a pie, net trees. Fall color features shades of red and orange.

Doublefile Viburnum

Doublefile viburnum has a symmetrical, tiered branch structure that’s beautiful when covered with snow.

Red- and Yellow-Stemmed Dogwood

Red and yellow twig dogwood each inspire with their colorful winter stems, which show up best against dark evergreens or a snowy landscape.

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Witch Hazel

Witch hazel, a native shrub or small tree, opens strappy flowers in late winter to early spring. The blooms offer shades of yellow or orange and a sweet fragrance. Fall foliage is a striking gold, so this plant pulls double-duty in terms of seasonal interest.

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Star Magnolia

Star magnolia opens pale blush to white flowers with a sweet fragrance in late winter to early spring.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Ford

Snowdrops

Close out winter with a flourish of color, courtesy of bulbs and perennials. Snowdrops grow from bulbs and return reliably year after year. Make sure to plant the bulbs during fall to give them the chilling period they need to bloom.

Lenten Roses

Lenten roses (hellebores) offer leathery evergreen leaves accented with rose-like flowers in shades of pink, red, maroon, chartreuse and white. Plants self-sow readily, forming low-maintenance colonies.

Winter jasmine tolerates sun or shade, but will flower best in sun. It can grow well in almost any kind of soil, and is very drought-tolerant once established. It blooms on last year’s growth, so pruning must be done immediately after flowering. For a tidy appearance, winter jasmine can be cut back nearly to the ground. The cascading branches will quickly be rejuvenated by new growth. This plant is available at most garden centers throughout the country and is hardy up through zone 6.

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