20 Best Flowering Plants to Grow in the Wintertime

holly

Johnathan A. Esper, Wildernesscapes Photography

There's something beautiful about freshly fallen snow in the winter—everything looks clean and sparkles in the sun. While we love to see it, after a while, the gray skies can get a little dreary. Thankfully, some colorful blooms still make their way through the snow and ice, making the winter landscape look a little less bleak.

If you want to add some color to your garden in the winter, we've rounded up 20 flowering plants that will actually bloom in the snow. Read on for some of our favorites.

01 of 20

Daffodil

daffodil

Lady Landscape

  • Botanical Name: Narcissus pseudonarcissus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich, moist soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0

Perhaps one of the hardiest winter flowers is the daffodil. It springs up in bright yellow and orange tones, even through the snow. Just make sure you plant the bulbs in the fall, before the ground gets hard, for them to pop up in late winter/early spring.

02 of 20

Calendula

calendula

Lady Landscape

  • Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to shade
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0

Calendula flowers aren't necessarily winter flowers, but they tend to bloom earlier than others, especially in warmer temperatures. In the southern United States, they can start blooming in late winter through the spring. They can handle a bit of frost, but they won't do well buried under snow.

03 of 20

Winterberry

winter berry

Lady Landscape

  • Botanical Name: Ilex verticillata
  • Sun Exposure: Filtered light, can tolerate shade
  • Soil Type: Moist soil
  • Soil pH: 3.5 to 6.0

While you should probably transplant a winterberry tree in the spring or fall, it will keep its bright red berries through the winter. In fact, it's a great plant to have around if you're a bird lover. The berries keep birdies fed through the cold temps, and it keeps you from having to go out and fill the feeders in frosty temps.

04 of 20

Snowdrop

snowdrop

Benjamin Oberneder

  • Botanical Name: Galanthus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.5

Planting snowdrops in the early fall ensures the bulbs don't go bad, as they often aren't sold as dried bulbs that can be stored. Once they're planted, they should begin to peak in January and February.

05 of 20

Holly

holly

Johnathan A. Esper, Wildernesscapes Photography

  • Botanical Name: Ilex opaca
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Loamy, well-drained, clay soils
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 6.0

Most of us probably already think of holly as a winter plant and for good reason: the red berries and bright, glossy leaves are iconic against a white winter landscape. They tend to bloom (with teeny white flowers) in the spring, and then they hold on to their bright red berries through the winter.

06 of 20

Sumac

sumac

Lady Landscape

  • Botanical Name: Rhus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Any well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 4.5 to 7.5

Did you know that the red tips of the sumac branches are actually berry clusters? The plant flowers in the summer, and as time goes on, those flowers turn into berries that darken into the winter months.

07 of 20

Black Hellebores

black hellabores

Lady Landscape

  • Botanical Name: Helleborus niger
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained loamy soil
  • Soil pH: 7.0 to 8.0

It's not recommended to plant any kind of plant in the winter (after all, it's not fun digging in the frozen ground). Plant black hellebores in the late fall while the ground is still soft, and they will emerge as pink-purple blooms in early spring that darken to a deep, almost black color.

08 of 20

Crab Apples

crabapples

Lady Landscape

  • Botanical Name: Malus sylvestris
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Any well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 6.5

The leaves may fall off a crab apple tree, but the fruit will stay on long into the winter. The tiny apples sort of look like little cherries hanging from the branches, and we love the way they look when covered in frost or ice.

09 of 20

Pussy Willow

pussy willow

Oleg Elkov

  • Botanical Name: Salix discolor
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Any well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.8–7.2

These fluffy flowers will appear in late winter and early spring. Pussy willows aren't they most colorful, but their texture adds a lot to a winter landscape. Plus, they're fast growers. Some can reach heights of 25 feet!

10 of 20

Lenten Roses

snow roses

Franz Schallmeiner

  • Botanical Name: Helleborus orientalis
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.5 to 8.0

Hellebores are great winter flowers, and these lenten roses are no exception. Their blooms range from white to pink, and they will pop out of the snow in late winter or early spring.

11 of 20

Pansies

pansy

JACKY PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

  • Botanical Name: Viola tricolor var. hortensis
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.4 to 5.8

Despite the name, pansies are tough little flowers. These colorful blooms will grow and show off their petals all through the winter into the spring.

12 of 20

Primrose

primrose

NALIN NELSON GOMES, EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

  • Botanical Name: Primula vulgaris
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Soil Type: Moist well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.5

If you want to add a classic, dainty flower to your winter garden, look no further than the primrose. The small white blooms will begin to appear in late winter through the spring.

13 of 20

Mahonia

mahonia

Flavio Vallenari

  • Botanical Name: Mahonia aquifolium
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 8.0

Trailing yellow flowers are sure to make a statement in bleak winter landscapes. The mahonia flowers in late winter through the early spring, producing small, but fragrant, yellow blooms.

14 of 20

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

I love Photo and Apple./Getty

  • Botanical Name: Cyclamen persicum
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: Around 5.8

While cyclamen often first appear in fall, they continue to show their heart-shaped blooms in winter, too. The bright pink flowers are hard to miss!

15 of 20

Crocus

crocus

DINEX DESIGN

  • Botanical Name: Crocus sativus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0

You've probably noticed tiny crocus flowers popping up out of the ground in the early spring or late winter, and the small blooms are often the first time spring is on its way.

16 of 20

Ornamental Cabbage

ornamental cabbage

stsvirkun

  • Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.8 to 6.5

Who thought cabbage could be so pretty? These purple and green plants will keep their color through most of the winter, and they can survive temperatures as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

17 of 20

Witch Hazel

witch hazel

Jacky Parker Photography

  • Botanical Name: Hamamelis
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full sun
  • Soil Type: Acidic well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 7.4

Not only does witch hazel bloom earlier than most plants in the fall, but it holds on to its bright yellow blooms through the winter. We love the cheery look of the small yellow flowers.

18 of 20

Winter Jasmine

winter jasmine

Dragan Todorovic

  • Botanical Name: Jasminum nudiflorum
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, or neutral (about any pH)

As the name suggests, winter jasmine often blooms in January. The yellow blooms are set off by bright green leaves.

19 of 20

Siberian Squill

scilla siberica

YURY KISIALIOU

  • Botanical Name: Scilla siberica
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.6 to 7.8

You'd think with a name like Siberian squill that a plant would have to hold up to the frost and snow. These purple flowers do, in fact, push through the snow and frost and bloom in late winter.

20 of 20

Winter Aconite

Winter Aconite

Martin Ruegner

  • Botanical Name: Eranthis
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Type: Rich well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.6 to 7.8

Winter aconite will bloom in February, but that doesn't mean it isn't picky. The flowers will open up in bright sun, but they'll close up when it's gray and dreary out.

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