Perennial Plants for Winter and Spring

The bold colors and leaves on these perennials will take you from the chill of winter to the sunshine of spring.
From: DK Books - Learn to Garden

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing

Snowdrops

Lose the winter blues by planting playful snowdrops in your garden. These nodding white beauties appear in late winter.

Hellebore

Hellebore—Lenton rose or Christmas rose—blooms in late winter to early spring, with bloom color being dependent on the variety. After flowering, the petals fall, but leave behind the bright sepals which can stay attached to the plant for several weeks, or even months in some cases.

Brunnera

Brunnera, also known as Siberian bugloss, is an evergreen or semi-evergreen perennial with clumps of fuzzy, heart-shaped leaves that will provide interest through the cold months. Sprays of tiny, bright blue flowers appear in the spring. Hardy from zones 3-8, the plant prefers cool, moist shade.

Winter Windflower

Unlike other members of the windflower family, Anemone blanda has petals that resemble a daisy's. This anemone also blooms earlier than other varieties, appearing as early as March.

Hepatica

Hepatica, occasionally lumped into the anemone family, produces tiny, low-growing plant whose white, pink or blue flowers open as early as late winter or early spring onward.

Bergenia

Bergenia is an early-flowering evergreen that produces clusters of bright lilac-magenta flowers from early spring onward. The hardy perennial has glossy leaves that remain green throughout most of the year; in cooler climates they turn red or bronze in fall.

Purple Rock Cress

Often seen cascading over walls and rock gardens, Aubretia deltoidea is one of the earliest and most colorful spring-flowering perennials.

Candytuft

Perfect for rock gardens, candytuft is a woody evergreen in zones 4-9, though performs best in areas with milder winters. White flowers appear in spring; some varieties bloom again in fall. Image courtesy of HGTVGardens community member Laura K

Cyclamen

Cyclamen hederifolium is hardy performer producing prolific fall blooms, ranging from 3 to 6 inches tall in pink and white. They display very handsome attractive foliage that lasts from winter through spring, going dormant once the weather warms up.

Winter Heath

Heath is a low-growing, spreading evergreen with purple-pink flowers from late winter to spring. It makes a good ground cover plant.

'Sweet Kate' Tradescantia

This spiderwort has brilliant blue flowers and bright yellow foliage in early spring.

Mixed bulbs

Spring bulbs are easiest of all to plant in the fall

Daffodils

Hardy daffodils can be planted in the fall for spring flowers.

Coreopsis

This native wildflower brings cheer to sunny gardens and containers.

Dianthus

Many Dianthus flower very early through late spring.

Woodland Phlox

Phlox divaricata is an early-blooming, native woodland perennial.

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)

Bleeding heart grows best in a lightly shaded spot and delights in spring with its unique, heart-shaped blooms.

Creeping Phlox

Phlox subulata requires good drainage and is one of the cheeriest late winter flowers.

Blue Star

Blue star (Amsonia) has willowy foliage and sky-blue spring flowers.

Sweet Violets

Violets are the bane of lawn maintenance, but beautiful (and edible) late winter perennials for woodland gardens.

White Flag Iris

White flag iris (Iris albicans) blooms nearly a month before other bearded irises.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley is a traditional spring-blooming herbaceous groundcover for cold-climate gardens.

Red Columbine

Spring-blooming red columbine (Aquilegia formosa) spreads very well once established.

Trillium

There are many great trilliums for early spring woodland gardens.

Trillium Ovatum

Bright white Trillium ovatum shines in the spring woodland garden.

'Sarah Bernhardt' Peony

With large bubblegum-pink blooms, 'Sarah Bernhardt' is one of several very early-blooming peonies.