As the temperatures drop and snow falls, winter-blooming flowers emerge to provide a warm respite to the dreary winter landscape. Many winter flowers, each with its own distinct color and shape, peek through the snow to provide a showy garden display with their bright colors and interesting foliage. Some winter flowers are evergreen and retain their bright green leaves throughout the season to add much-needed color to the garden.
Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) is a perennial flower that blooms in winter. Growing 3 to 5 inches tall and wide and in a clumplike shape, winter aconite is an ideal flower to tuck in groups along a front flowerbed or rock garden. Winter aconite has bright yellow blooms with six-petaled flowerheads that resemble small buttercups. Surrounding the winter aconite flower are bright green finger-shaped leaves that resemble a collar around the bloom. Winter aconite blooms require full sun and well-drained, humus-rich soils to thrive. They do not tolerate overly dry soil. The USDA Hardiness Zones for planting are 4 to 7.
Double Queen Hellebore
Double queen hellebore (Helleborus odorus 'Double Queen') is a perennial flower that begins blooming in winter. The double flowerhead on the hellebore is pink or white for a showy and vibrant landscape display. Double queen hellebore blooms have a moderate growth rate and clumping growth habit, ideal planted along a flowerbed or border. Versatile, double queen hellebores are deer- and frost-tolerant. Growing 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, they can be divided after their flowering season to transplant into other areas of the garden. As an evergreen, the foliage on the double queen hellebore remains green all year long, even during winter. Double queen hellebore requires part to full shade and neutral to alkaline soil that is nutrient rich and well drained. To ensure a long flowering season, cut back or deadhead spent blooms as soon as they are visible. The USDA planting zones are 4 to 9.
Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) is an annual flower that remains in bloom into the winter for a long blooming season. The five-petaled flowers on the pansy grow in a rainbow of colors that brighten up a dull winter landscape. The flowerheads on pansies are composed of one lower petal and two upper and lateral petals that are often referred to as the "face" of the pansy. Tucked into containers or along a flowerbed border, pansies provide a splash of color to the garden. Pansies prefer full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil that is humus rich. To promote a long flowering season, deadhead or remove the spent blooms as soon as they are noticeable.