Best Ornamental Flowering Plants for the Winter Season

Updated on July 12, 2019
Vellur profile image

A graduate in botany, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.

Winter can be harsh, making your garden bleak. Brighten your garden with plants that bloom during winter. Here is a selection of ornamental flowering plants that bloom during winter adding a splash of color to your garden.

Calendula | Source

1. Calendula

The calendula (Calendula officinialis), commonly called the pot, marigold is an easy to care annual plant that blooms during winter. The flowers of these plants are long lasting and brighten the garden during the winter season.

The calendula is a flowering herb that needs little care. It can grow in poor to average soil conditions and needs a little watering when the soil becomes dry. The flowers bloom in colors of bright orange and yellow and can last long after the onset of winter.

It can bloom from spring through fall and winter if deadheaded regularly. Pinching off spent flowers will help to extend the blooming period.

The roots of the calendula plant adapt quickly to the space provided and can be grown in containers or beds. The flowers last longer in shady areas since the calendula prefer cold temperatures. Calendula can be directly seeded outdoors after the last frost. Adding mulch to the soil helps to keep the soil moist.

Carnations | Source

2. Carnation

The carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) is a herbaceous perennial plant with purplish pink flowers and leaves that are greyish green to blue-green. The flowers are sweetly scented and grow up to two centimeters in diameter and bloom during the late spring. The plant varieties that are grown from dianthus bloom in shades of red, pink, white, yellow, and purple.

Dianthus caryophyllus grows to a height ranging between 15 to 18 inches. These plants flourish in fertile, well-drained alkaline soil. Water the plants when the soil is dry and apply fertilizer every six to eight weeks. Plant carnations in areas that will receive four to five hours of sunlight for best growth.

These plants need air circulation around the stems at all times. Do not overwater dianthus, as this will lead to yellowing of the leaves. Prune the plant to the size and shape that you prefer. Pinching plants back stimulates new growth and encourages the flowers to bloom.

Remove spent flowers for the best display of your garden. Sow the seeds before late frost with a spacing of 6 to 10 inches.

Winter aconites
Winter aconites | Source

3. Winter Aconite

Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) is a tuberous perennial that grows in clumps up to a height of 4 inches. The flowers are cup-shaped, bright yellow surrounded by leafy bracts. The leaves are rich green and divided into several lobes.

These plants grow well in fertile, alkaline, and well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade. Winter aconites look stunning in garden beds, along paths, rock gardens, or as groundcovers.

Winter aconites can be propagated through seeds by sowing them in containers in a cold frame in late spring or through tubers after flowering in late spring. Soak the tubers overnight before planting.

The winter aconites bloom in February to March and survive sleet and snow. It is one of the earliest bulbs to bloom.

Christmas rose
Christmas rose | Source

4. Christmas Rose

Christmas rose (Hellebores niger) is a hardy evergreen perennial plant that can withstand temperature as low as 5°F. It blooms in the middle of December. The flowers are large, saucer-shaped, and white or a pinkish white. The leaves are dark green and leathery.

The Christmas rose is a small plant that grows up to 0.3 meters in height and 0.45 meters in width. It is a clump-forming plant that grows well in heavy, neutral to alkaline soils in partly shaded areas.

Plant the Christmas rose from fall to spring avoiding the deep cold weather. It grows well in rich, well-drained soil. Add organic matter to encourage blooming. Remove wilted flowers and damaged leaves. Propagate this plant by separating the young shoots that appear around the clump.

Oregon grape
Oregon grape | Source

5. Oregon Grape

Oregon grape plants (Mahonias aquifolium) are easy to grow evergreen shrubs with leathery, dark green leaves. These plants produce clusters of long stalks with lightly scented yellow flowers that turn into dark purplish berries.

The Oregon grape can grow to a height ranging from 3 to 10 feet tall and 2 to 5 feet wide. They grow well in moist, well-draining soil that is acidic or alkaline. These plants flourish in partially shaded areas but can also grow in full shade. Too much sunlight can scorch the leaves.

The Oregon grape can be propagated through seed germination, cuttings, or by dividing the existing plant. You can prune the plant once it finishes blooming.

Pansy | Source

6. Pansies

Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are fast-growing plants that can survive temperatures below 32°F. These plants grow from 6 to 9 inches in height and spread to a width of 12 inches.

The flowers are mildly fragrant, have five petals, and are entirely yellow or yellow with black lines radiating from the center. Some flowers have “faces” in the center.

Plant the pansies from September to October, as the roots of pansies grow during warm winter days. They prefer full to partial shade with well-draining soil with a pH of 5.4 to 5.8. Add organic mulch to the soil bed, and plant them 6 to 10 inches apart so that they can spread without being crowded. Remove faded flowers to encourage blooming.

You can choose from many varieties of pansies that bloom in different colors to plant in your garden. Pansies can be easily propagated through seeds.

Which plant is your favorite?

See results

© 2019 Nithya Venkat


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    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 months ago from Dubai

      Pansies are great until the heat of the summer. Thank you for your comments and vote.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I have often planted pansies in the fall of the year. They thrive all winter until the heat of the summer hits. I love their perky faces. You can probably guess which way my vote went in your poll. (Smile)

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      9 months ago from Dubai

      Thank you Marlene, I hope Pansies are a great success in your garden.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      9 months ago from USA

      Great information and inspirational. All of the plants are gorgeous, but I think Pansies will grow well in my area (Northern California mountains). I'm going to try growing some since it is September and the suggested time to plant them.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Genna East marigolds are pretty, thank you for your visit.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love Marigolds. The fact that my neighboring rabbits who like to munch on my flowers dislike them, is a definite plus. Those Christmas roses are beautiful!

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Thank you Dora Weithers, marigolds are beautiful.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the suggestions. I'm quite acquainted with the marigold. They grow so lavishly that one has to purge them continually, but they're worth it. All these flowers are gorgeous.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Thank you Chitrangada, flowering plants are a delight to the eyes. The plants must be flourishing in your excellent care.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A well illustrated and informative article for garden lovers.

      I love growing all sorts of plants. Flowering plants need lot of care and one must have knowledge about the soil, the seasons, and other conditions, in which they grow.

      I love all the flowers, which you have illustrated in your article.

      Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Yes, pansies are lovely. Thank you for your visit.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These are all pretty flowers. Pansies are my favourite. They are so colourful and attractive. They are a very cheerful sight.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Thank you Mary, these flowers are all so pretty.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Liz Westwood carnations are beautiful and yes the cut variety keeps fresh for a long time.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are pretty flowers and wish I can see them flower in our winters. I have seen them in some countries with milder winters than ours and they are spectacular.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      This is a very interesting and well-illustrated hub. I have carnations in my lounge at the moment. They are a favourite of mine because the cut variety keep fresh for such a long time.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      Bill am sure a great farmer like you will be able to keep them alive. Thank you for your visit,

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      It is wonderful to know that you can grow plants all year around! I hope you enjoy growing carnations. Thank you visit.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      FlourishAnyway thank you for reading and commenting. Pansies are my favorite too,

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information! Color like this can help combat the winter blues. Now I just have to learn how to keep them alive. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff here. You got me fired up. I live in such a place that with care I can grow all year around. I have never grown a Carnation - this will be fun.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      12 months ago from USA

      I love pansies in particular for all of the vibrant colors you can find them in, especially purple. I’m not good at growing plants. I totally forget to water which tends to be a deal breaker.


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