Winter is a time of year normally associated with bleak, bare land and blankets of snow. While this is common to some regions, a dedicated gardener can still produce stunning flowers during the cold winter months. For those living in regions that receive heavy snowfall, flowers will need winter protection. Some tactics for protecting the plants and ensuring winter blooms include raised beds, flower boxes, window greenhouses or northern exposure protective walls.
Johnny jumpups (Viola tricolor) can survive in all winter hardiness zones. For those living in especially cold areas, zones 1 through 5, consider placing the plants in raised, protected beds with southern exposures. This petite plant is a member of the violet family and produces small purple and yellow flowers.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum) thrive in hardiness zones 4a through 11. These winter wildflowers produce large, showy clusters of flowers in various colors including red, orange, yellow, purple and white. Snapdragons prefer a mildly acidic soil between 6.1 and 6.5. Snapdragons should not be grown in areas where children or pets could have access to them, as the seed and plant in its entirety is poisonous.
Sweet alyssum (Lobularia) is a plant used for its stunning ground cover appeal. This tiny plant does not grow taller than 6 inches from the ground, prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. It is an annual plant that prefers acidic to neutral soil. Sweet alyssum can be grown in winter in zones 9 to 11, where there is no danger of frost. If the weather remains mild enough in these regions, the alyssum will remain through April and attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.