Winter Plants: Outdoor Winter Plants to Grow in The Garden or in Pots

Winter plants are excellent for keeping a garden landscape alive and vibrant throughout the winter. Several hardy plants that do not lose their foliage when exposed to freezing outdoor temperatures may be found throughout the winter. While the ground is still frozen or there is a blanket of snow, certain perennial winter plants produce flowers.

The greatest winter plants, which bloom in the winter months, maintain their color year-round. Winter plants are hardy in cold climates, unlike most fall plants that lose their leaves and die back. Winter scenes may be filled with pink, red, purple, blue, yellow, and white blossoming winter flora.

Winter blooming plants and shrubs are a fantastic way to update the look of your front or back yard. Along driveways, sidewalks, and mixed flower beds, you can grow cold-hardy shrubs. To add greenery to your deck area, patio, or entryway, try growing some evergreen winter plants in pots.

Trees, shrubs, and plants go into hibernation during the winter when their colorful blooms, leaves, and other plants are lost. In freezing climates, outdoor winter plants are exceptional survivors. The finest plants to grow outside in the winter are discussed in this article.

When you’re shopping for the finest evergreen trees and winter blooming plants for your front or backyard, descriptions and pictures of winter plants will come in handy.

How to Choose Winter Plants for Gardens and Pots

Picking the ideal plants for winter growth outdoors can be difficult. It is crucial to verify the growing zone on your garden plants to ensure that they flourish below-freezing temperatures. Plants that grow in USDA zones 5 and below are the best winter plants to grow outdoors.

When temperatures fall below -20°F (-29°C), plants that bloom in USDA zone 5 will not die. If you give the roots and canopy some frost protection, certain suitable plants for zone 6 may thrive outdoors in the winter.

Certain winter plants thrive in pots depending on the climate. In the harshest of winter climates, there are flowering winter plants that are not as cold-hardy. In very cold winters, you can bring potted plants inside and keep their roots alive by growing them in pots.

If you want potted plants on your balcony, patio, driveway, or to grace your home’s front door, growing flowering winter plants and tiny shrubs in pots is ideal.

The Best Winter Plants: Outdoor Winter Plants to Grow in The Garden or in Pots

From November through March, let’s take a closer look at the greatest winter plants. You’ll also find out about some winter-blooming and early spring-blooming flowers.

Winter Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Winter Gem’)

The boxwood cultivar ‘Winter Gem’ is an evergreen hedging shrub that may be grown in pots or outdoors as a winter plant. It’s suitable for zones 5 through 9. The leaves of this winter shrub are small and oval, and they turn golden bronze in the winter. Boxwood bushes may reach a height of 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters). You may, however, trim them to the desired form and height.

Boxwood is a shrubby plant that lends itself to creating formal hedges due to its dense foliage. Boxwood shrubs may be used as foundation plants, driveways, and privacy screens throughout the winter. From November to March, boxwood may be grown in pots outdoors. In the winter, prune boxwood trees to keep them low and trim their leaves.

English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’)

Because it’s a low-maintenance evergreen shrub, grow the tough English Boxwood as an outdoor winter shrub. The glossy green, ovate-shaped leaves of this common boxwood cultivar survive the winter and maintain their color. English boxwood grows between 2 and 3 feet (0.6 and 1 m) tall and 4 feet (1.2 m) broad as a cold-hardy, tiny shrub. Boxwood, or English boxwood, is a perfect winter plant for full sun or partial shade.

As a formal hedge, evergreen privacy screen, or in pots, English boxwood can be grown as a border shrub. Only during hot weather does boxwood need watering, and it is a drought-tolerant perennial shrub. This evergreen plant thrives in the winter without much care.

Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

For winter pots, choose a little Colorado blue spruce cultivar, which thrives in USDA zone 1 climates. The shrubby spruce tree has a columnar or conical form, and Picea pungens has evergreen foliage. The branches have a spiked appearance due to the foliage, which is composed of gray-green needle-like leaves.

The Colorado blue spruce grows to be 15 to 20 feet tall (4.5 to 6 meters). If you want greenery in a winter landscape, though, you can grow smaller cultivars in pots. A dwarf spruce with a spreading rounded crown that only grows between 3 and 5 feet (1.5 to 1.5 meters) tall, such as the Picea pungens ‘Glauca Globosa,’ is an example of this.

Spruces, on the other hand, are a long-growing species and may take many years to reach maturity.

Dwarf Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)

Dwarf Hinoki cypress is a tiny evergreen conifer with soft, feather-like foliage that ranges in color from bright yellow to green depending on the cultivar. It’s a excellent cold hardy shrubby tree for keeping your landscaped yard lush throughout the winter.

The dwarf shrubby tree thrives in full sun or partial shade and is a false cypress. It grows between 5 and 10 feet (1.5 and 3 meters) tall. In zones 5 through 8, grow dwarf Hinoki cypress.

Hinoki cypress shrubby trees are best used as privacy screens, specimen trees, or background plants in a mixed border because of their dense, pyramidal growth. Select little cold-hardy Hinoki cypress bushes that don’t grow larger than 3 feet (1 meter) tall to cultivate the dwarf Hinoki cypress winter plant in pots.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Pygmaea’ and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Minima Aurea’ are two examples of winter evergreen shrubs.

Golden Privet (Ligustrum ‘Vicaryi’)

The golden privet, often known as the Vicaryi, is a drought-tolerant shrub that thrives in winter climates. Green golden-yellow leaves grow up to 2.5″ (6 cm) long on this golden privet cultivar. In the spring, this hedge plant blossoms with a profusion of lovely white blooms.

The height of golden privet varies between 6 and 12 feet (1.8 and 3.5 meters). The fast-growing winter plant golden privet thrives both as a hedge and as an attractive foundation planting.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are ornamental flowering winter plants with flower heads on long stalks that can survive until the first frost. The flowers bloom in full sun to partial shade and grow between 1 and 4 feet (0.3 to 1.2 meters) tall. In USDA zones 3 through 8, Echinacea plants will bloom throughout the summer until the first frost.

Coneflowers bloom for a long time, giving you the opportunity to have gorgeous purple and pink colors in your garden. In the summer and late fall, daisy-like blooms attract pollinators to gardens. The flowers of coneflowers come back year after year, and they are plants that can withstand severe cold.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

During winter, coral bells will provide colorful ground cover, and there are various cultivars to choose from. Coral bells grow up to 1 foot (0.3 meter) tall as a clump-forming, low-growing winter plant. Pink, purple, golden yellow, red, lime green, and multi-colored leaves are among the colors of coral bells cultivars.

USDA zones 4 through 9 are ideal for coral bells. The spreading plant thrives in full sun to complete shade depending on the cultivar. Heuchera plants are ideal for full shade or sun-grown winter ground cover.

Winter Pansies (Viola hiemalis)

Winter pansies bloom throughout the winter to create garden landscapes bursting with bright yellow, purple, and orange hues. Winter pansies are cold-hardy winter plants that are also known as ice pansies or violets. Bedding plants that prefer full sun and grow to be 9 inches (23 cm) tall are low-growing.

USDA zones 4 through 7 are ideal growing seasons for winter pansies. In mild winter climates, several pansy species bloom from November through March. Plant pansies from the Viola hiemalis species if you live in cold, northern climates. Late winter and early spring are the best seasons to see these annual winter plants bloom.

Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata)

Winterberry holly has glossy green leaves and clusters of small flowers, as well as red berries, which add interest to the garden during winter. Winterberry’s vibrant crimson berries add vivid crimson hues to winter landscapes, which is what brings winter interest to the plant.

The berry clusters look incredible against the white snow because the deciduous shrub has no foliage. Between 3 and 15 feet (1.4 to 4.5 meters) tall, Winterberry holly shrub can be found. In full sun, the thicket-like growth creates huge dense thickets that are excellent for ground cover. In poor soil, where little else grows, winterberry shrubs are ideal.

Primrose (Primula vulgaris)

Primrose may be cultivated as an outdoor ground cover or as a blooming indoor plant in pots. Primrose prefers to grow in partial shade and is a tiny clumping plant. Up to 6″ (15 cm) tall and 9″ (22 cm) broad, the crinkly green leafy foliage grows. The semi-evergreen perennial returns every year with yellow flowers that last from winter to spring.

Mixed flower beds, borders, rock gardens, and pots are ideal settings for primrose flowers. You don’t have to bring pots inside to winterize primrose plants since they grow outside all winter. For its green leaves and yellow blooms, you may also grow primrose as a winter ground cover.

Catmint (Nepeta)

Catmint is a drought-tolerant and winter-hardy perennial plant that grows in zones 3 through 7. Catnip, also known as catmint, is a tall-branching herb with serrated margins that produces green foliage. Winter catmint has little purple, pink, or white flowers that bloom from spring to fall.

Catmint grows to be between 2 and 3 feet (0.6 and 1 meter) tall. In full sun or partial shade, grow catmint. Catmint is drought tolerant and may endure a variety of climate conditions, from hot summers to freezing winters.

Flowering Kale (Brassica oleracea)

Winter gardens with ornamental cabbages such as flowering kale include color and interest. Amazingly colored ruffled leaves in a rosette pattern that resemble flowers are seen on ornamental cabbages such as kale. Flowering kale foliage is usually retained throughout the winter months.

Between 1 and 1.5 feet (0.3 and 0.45 m) tall, flowering kale develops USDA zones 2 through 11 are suitable for growing ornamental kale. Interspersed with borders, in containers, or in mass plantings, the bright winter plant is appealing.

Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

Winter jasmine is a shrub-like vine with tiny yellow blooms that blooms during the winter. Jasminum nudiflorum is a winter-blooming plant with star-shaped yellow blooms that bloom in late winter. In the spring, little, ovate leaves emerge after blooming.

The trailing vines of winter jasmine can reach lengths of up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) when it is fully grown. For zones 6 through 9, winter jasmine is a hardy winter plant.


During the winter, the crimson or orange berries of cotoneaster shrubs add a beautiful touch to yards. However, all of the shrubby plants produce colorful berries that last from autumn through winter. The crimson or orange berries provide a burst of winter color to dull landscapes by growing on woody stems.

Little, ovate leaves of Cotoneaster shrubs turn crimson, purple, or bronze in the autumn.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier)

Serviceberry is a genus of deciduous shrubs that can thrive outdoors in winter climates as low as -30°F (-34°C) and provides year-round interest. In all seasons, Serviceberry bushes are interesting. Dainty white blooms bloom on the woody branches in the later winter or early spring.

Bunchy pome clusters emerge in the summer, turn purple or black, and then mature. Autumn brings vibrant orange, red, and yellow hues to the leaves.

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

Star magnolia has beautiful white flowers that bloom in the late winter. The tree becomes a sea of white flowers when magnolias bloom in late winter. Magnolia stellata, hardy cold weather tree, thrives in zones 4 and 5. The crown of the shrub-like tree is rounded or oval.

As a flowering specimen tree, foundation plant, or shrub border, star magnolia thrives best in full sun. A dense privacy screen may also be created by planting the shrubby trees in a row.

Japanese Camellias (Camellia japonica)

In zones 6 through 9, Camellia japonica is a hardy shrub with winter blooms. Large showy white, pink, or red flowers bloom on Japanese camellia bushes. The glossy evergreen foliage and lovely spherical form of the Japanese camellia bushes have made them popular.

Japanese camellias make excellent ground-cover landscape shrubs for mild winters. In colder climates, it’s preferable to grow little Camellia japonica cultivars in pots and bring them inside when the temperature drops below freezing.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Winter aconite is a little, spreading perennial winter plant with lovely yellow cup-shaped blooms that blooms in late winter. It is a great outdoor cold hardy plant. Winter aconite grows to 4 inches (10 cm) tall as a winter bedding plant. Tuberous roots distribute the ground-hugging plant.

Aconite’s blooms return year after year because it thrives in USDA zones 4 through 9. A bare, winter landscape can be transformed into a sea of yellow and green with winter aconite.

Hardy Winter Viburnum Shrubs (Viburnum)

Hardy viburnum shrubs have a rounded crown and may endure low winter temperatures. Viburnum leaves are dark green with prominent veins and serrated margins, and the shrubs feature them. Late in the spring, flower clusters emerge and turn crimson, eventually turning black in winter. Snowball types of viburnum are some of the most stunning winter plant.

Large white pompom-like clusters of white flowers cover these shrubs. American cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum), arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium), and dwarf European viburnum shrubs are among the cold-hardy winter viburnums available.

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