Best Plants for Winter Color

Cool-season flowers bring a splash of color to your garden right when you need it most.

Where freezes are infrequent, you can plant cheery pansies (pictured), snapdragons, English daisies, and more from early fall through late winter. They'll overwinter, filling your borders, containers, and pocket gardens with months of flower power.

In cold climates, plants will die off in winter but can be planted again in spring.

Daisy-like calendula provides easy color from late fall through spring in mild-winter climates, and are long lasting in a vase.

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Candytuft plants grow 8 to 12 inches high and wide; their narrow, shiny dark green leaves look great all year.

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Made for the shade, florists' cineraria adds intense color to dark corners of the garden.

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Few blooms say winter like cyclamen. Pretty flowers in shades of white, pink, rose, and red are carried atop an attractive clump of leaves. Flowers resemble shooting stars or butterflies.

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English daisy
Plump, perky English daises make great edging plants. Or slip a few into your lawn for unexpected bursts of color.

Erica is grown for small, needlelike leaves that become showered in small flowers. Blooms that may be bell shaped, urn shaped, or tubular.

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Plant hellebores for distinctive flowers in winter and spring. Flowers are usually shaped like cups or bells, either outward facing or drooping.

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Iceland poppy
With their tall, leafless stems that dance in the breeze, Iceland poppies are graceful companions to many cool-season plants.

Nemesia grows to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide, with small bright green leaves and upright stems. All nemesia need well-drained soil, full sun, and regular water. Some nemesia have intensely fragrant blossoms; others are unscented.

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Ornamental kale
Giant rosettes of frilly leaves in lavender, rose, white, and creamy yellow make ornamental kales favorite additions to the winter garden.

How to grow kale in containers

These low-growing plants (6 to 10 inches tall) with five-petaled flowers are top sellers year after year for good reason.

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English primrose
Most primroses bloom in spring or summer, but English primrose (as well as fairy primroses and Chinese primroses) are also excellent choices for winter color.

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Snapdragons are among the best flowers for borders and cuttings, and they'll bloom all winter in mild-winter climates. (In cold climates, plant in spring.)

Plant this old-fashioned favorite for its narrow gray-green leaves and profuse spikes of spicy-sweet smelling flowers. Take your pick of white, pink, red, purple, lavender, blue, yellow, and cream.

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Winter jasmine
The slender, willowy stems of this jasmine stand out beautifully in a winter landscape. Bright yellow flowers appear in winter or early spring, before handsome glossy, three-leafleted leaves unfurl. Don't be disappointed though - the flowers on this jasmine are unscented.

Like their relative the pansy, violas light up gray days with happy colors and sweet fragrance. They're a wonderful overwintering plant and self-sow readily.

More about growing viola

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