As winter bears down upon the garden, bringing cool soil and outdoor temperatures, February-blooming flowers emerge to light up the landscape with color. Grown in a wide range of sizes and shapes, winter-blooming flowers are hardy and adaptable plants. Nestled along a garden path or flanking a front entry, they provide a burst of vibrancy to the often colorless February landscape.
Hellebore ("Helleborus orientalis") is an evergreen perennial. They are about the earliest of all perennials to bloom, and they will stay in bloom from February through June, according to University of Missouri Extension. Growing 12 to 18 inches tall and in upright, erect clumps, hellebore flowers have course texture and a slow growth rate. Frost-tolerant, hellebore flowers appear as if they are nodding down with their saucer-shaped blooms. The 2.5-inch wide blooms grow in a wide range of colors, including pink, lavender and white. The shiny, dark green, leather-like leaves of the hellebore have a toothed edge and keep their color all winter long. Hellebores can be divided after flowering to plant in other areas of the garden. They require full to part shade and well-drained, humus-rich soil that is neutral to alkaline. Tolerant of high humidity and heat, the hellebore is an all-around adaptable and hardy plant. The USDA Hardiness Zones for planting are 4 to 9.
Winter Daphne ("Daphne odora 'Marginata' ") produces fragrant flower blooms in February that last into spring. The rose-to-pink buds of winter Daphne open to white for a showy garden display. Growing 3 to 6 feet tall and wide, winter Daphne has a moderate growth rate. The variegated foliage on winter Daphne is bright green and edged with yellow for a striking contrast. Frost-tolerant, winter Daphne is ideal planted along a patio or porch for bright winter color. Winter Daphne requires full sun to part shade and fertile, nutrient-laden soil. It prefers slightly acidic to alkaline soil but cannot withstand overly dry soil. It also resents being transplanted, so use caution when doing so. The zones for planting are 7 to 9.
Japanese camellia ("Camellia japonica") produces bright flowers in February for a burst of color to the garden. Known as "queens of the winter garden," camellias create a striking display. The blooms colors of Japanese camellia include, red, white, pink and variegated. The single-to-double blooms are tightly wound and produce a magnificent design. Growing up to 15 feet tall and wide, Japanese camellias are ideal planted along a garden wall or used as a privacy hedge. Japanese camellias require full sun to part shade and rich, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. The zones for planting are 7 to 9.