Beautifying Your Winter Garden with Winter Plants

Beautifying Your Winter Garden with Winter Plants

Gardening
Outdoor and Gardening
By Dikran Seferian November 02, 2021

Whether you’re prepping your backyard for the colder season, remodeling your old garden, or starting a garden from scratch, you may want to get familiar with plants that fare better in a winter garden.

The main difference between a winter garden from a summer garden is plants - the former will be filled with plant life that naturally thrives in the cold weather. Whether you’re a winter person or not, creating a cozy and kempt environment in your garden to enjoy your mornings is a soothing luxury worth having. You can have droplets of rain gently dripping down a glass dome, birds chirping in the distance, and various shades of green bringing life to the frosty atmosphere. Spending time among — or looking out at — the winter greenery can also be a relaxing experience.

Although there are other aspects to consider in preparing your garden for the colder months, winter plants will be the ones owning the stage. To bring the best out of them, however, there’s a good deal of maintenance and design involved. With a few tips and a short guide on cold weather plantlife, you can transform a garden space into a winter haven.

What to Plant

Before deciding on what to plant in your winter garden, there are some factors you may want to take into consideration that may influence the survival rate of the plants you choose. One of them is the climate zone you live in. The spectrum of climates is divided into zones one (warmest) through three (coldest). A colder climate garden will have different needs in terms of preparation and maintenance. Another factor that comes into question is when to plant your flora and whether you’re planting seeds or already grown (and potted) plants.

Typically, and in this case, you would be setting up a winter garden for aesthetic purposes. Nonetheless, there are certain winter fruits and vegetables you can grow as well.  For the best results, try choosing plants that are not only fit for the winter but also compatible with each other in terms of shape, color, and texture. Mother nature offers a huge variety of winter plants and trees that may resonate with the vibes of the garden you have in mind.

Winter Honeysuckle

Also known as the Lonicera Frangrantissima, the winter honeysuckle is a winter flowering plant that will bring a strong yet pleasant aroma to your winter garden. This typically dense shrub can fill up a lot of space as it can grow to over six feet in height and width.

The Winter Honeysuckle Can Make for a Great Addition to a Winter Garden

The Winter Honeysuckle Can Make for a Great Addition to a Winter Garden

Winter Jasmine

The winter jasmine, aka Jasminum Nudiflorum, is an early blooming plant that often starts flowering around January, making it a perfect choice for a winter landscape. Despite its name, this plant looks and smells nothing like the commonly known jasmine. Its bright yellow color, however, will add warmth to the winter landscape.

The Winter Jasmine Adds More Than Just Aesthetic Value

The Winter Jasmine Adds More Than Just Aesthetic Value

Rosemary

If your winter yard happens to feature a glass dome design or you have a small greenhouse for herbs, then Salvia Rosmarinus (commonly known as rosemary) can be a great addition. Typically a Mediterranean species, this evergreen plant can survive the winter if given proper attention. While a glass dome is generally meant to guard the entire garden area against the elements, rosemary will be just fine with a small cover of its own — a mini greenhouse might be a clever idea.

Aromatic Herbs to Consider for a Winter Selection

Aromatic Herbs to Consider for a Winter Selection

Dwarf Japanese Yew

A hardy tree capable of withstanding the coldest of winters, the Japanese Yew (Taxus Cuspidata) is available in several varieties. For your garden, consider going for the dwarf type since the tree can grow quite big. Since the fruit of the Japanese yew is known to be poisonous, however, consider placing the pot where children and pets can’t reach it.

Pros and Cons of Having a Japanese Yew Plant

Pros and Cons of Having a Japanese Yew Plant

Boxwood

Just like the yew, boxwood (Buxaceae) is also available in many different varieties. A common variant is the winter gem boxwood. This typically bright green winter plant will change to a light bronze color during the colder months, adding some lovely contrast to your greenery.

Common Properties of the Boxwood Plant

Common Properties of the Boxwood Plant

Potted Cedar

This evergreen tree is a must-have for a winter garden. One of its most common variants, the Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus Libani), is capable of withstanding both cold and humidity. Its hardiness, combined with its unique grayish-green color, makes it an ideal choice for evergreen fans.

Getting Familiar With the Cedar Plant in All Its Evergreen Glory

Getting Familiar With the Cedar Plant in All Its Evergreen Glory

Hosta

The Plantain Lily of the genus Hosta is a perennial plant that can adapt to a variety of conditions, making it a great addition to your winter plant collection. Aside from its adaptability, the hosta plant features a mix of unique colors, with dark green leaves and blue flowers.

Perennial Plants That Are Hardy and Easy to Maintain

Perennial Plants That Are Hardy and Easy to Maintain

Leveling Up Your Green Thumb

Some plants are easier to maintain than others. While the ones mentioned above are relatively easy to take care of, others may require a somewhat higher level of maintenance. If you’re an enthusiast or up for the commitment, a selection of lovely options include:

  • Bonsai Trees
    Although the cold isn’t an issue for them, bonsai trees are prone to dehydration and may need a covered environment. 
  • Azaleas
    Despite the fact that they are winter flowers, azaleas are both tricky to maintain as well as poisonous to pets. A restricted location may solve the latter issue.
  • Orchids
    These lovely flowering plants are very sensitive when it comes to temperature, requiring a very steady balance between hot and cold.
  • Fiddle-Leaf Fig
    Even though it doesn’t mind the cold, this plant needs a very specific amount of sunlight.
  • Zebra Plant
    While these plants prefer cooler temperatures, they are very fragile in regards to humidity and sunlight requirements.

Besides ornamental plants, you may also be interested in some fruits and vegetables that typically grow in the cold seasons. Certain types of produce you can consider growing and harvesting at home are onions, garlic, cabbage, brussel sprouts, winter squash, and pomegranates.

Winter Flora Selections for the Seasoned Aficionado

Winter Flora Selections for the Seasoned Aficionado

What Not to Plant

While the list goes on, there are certain plants that aren’t really fit for a winter garden. These include types that normally thrive in warmer climates or require advanced care that only seasoned gardeners can provide. Common plants that can’t adapt to the cold include snapdragons, petunias, and most types of lavender. California garden plants and some indoor plants aren’t well equipped for the winter either.

Where to Plant

Now that you’ve chosen your plants, the real fun begins. This is where you’ll be doing some landscaping. To bring the best out of your winter garden, location is another element to consider.

Plants are diverse not only in color and shape but also in the amount of sunlight they need. A key factor to consider is that the sun shines from the south during winter. You should observe which areas of your garden get the most sunlight; that’s where the plants that require the most sunlight will go. See where the sun’s blind spots are, the plants that prefer shade will feel best there.

In the meantime, keep in mind the diverse colors of your winter garden plants. Here’s where your creativity will come into action. Let there be a celebration of colors. Maybe try placing a plant with red foliage among plants with two shades of green to add a hint of a Dutch garden. Mix and match until you get the set-up that feels just right.

Landscaping Tips for a Winter Backyard

Landscaping Tips for a Winter Backyard

Maintenance

Depending on how you’re planting your winter flora, there are certain measures that may help ensure their well-being.

To prevent the roots from rotting, a good drainage system will be necessary, especially for potted plants. Pots should have holes underneath them through which water can leak into a collection tray. As for irrigation, different plants have different requirements in terms of how often you should water them. In many cases, many of them may even require less watering in the winter than in the summer. One more thing to keep in mind is pruning; this task will help your plants grow a stronger stem while getting rid of any withering branches.

Gardener’s Tip


As exciting as it might be to just go on a plant-shopping spree, it is best to do a bit of research before getting started with your gardening project. Get to know the plants you are about to buy. Take note of all the conditions they need in order to thrive in your winter garden. It also helps to take a mental image of how you think the garden will look when it’s done. The more you invest in the planning phase, the easier it will be to get the project on its feet. Don’t hesitate to ask a gardening expert for advice. Most importantly, have fun with it all.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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