Winter-blooming plants help to light up the garden with color and vibrancy during a typically colorless season. Some winter flowers are evergreen to retain their foliage and color all year long. Grown in a wide range of sizes and shapes, bloom colors and textures, winter plants are essential for creating colorful displays throughout the landscape. Tucked along a garden pathway or lining a front flowerbed, winter plants provide a warm welcome to the home.
Witch hazel (Hamamelis --- intermedia 'Arnold Promise') is a deciduous shrub with a moderate growth rate. Growing 10 to 15 feet tall and wide, witch hazel is vase-shaped with ascending branches that create a striking display among the garden. Beginning in winter, the large, fragrant yellow blooms emerge to light up the bear branches with color. The 1-inch flower clusters on witch hazel each contain four ribbon-like petals that are crinkled and narrow. The green foliage on witch hazel grows up to 6 inches long to turn yellow in fall. Witch hazel grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soils that is acidic to neutral. Plant witch hazel in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientali) is a winter-blooming evergreen with a slow growth rate and coarse texture. Growing in erect clumps, Lenten rose produces the 2 ½-inch saucer-shaped flowers around Christmas, hence the name. The solitary flowers grow in a wide range of colors including, pink, lavender and white. The blooms are known for their nodding appearance as if they are bowing down to the garden. Growing 12 to 18 inches tall, Lenten rose makes an ideal plant to grow along a shaded area of the garden for a bit of winter color. The shiny, leathery leaves of Lenten rose have a toothed edging and remain with color all winter long. They require light to moderate shade and well-drained soil. Plant in USDA zones 3 to 8.
Giant snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii) are a winter-blooming bulb that produces flower that resemble a drop of snow. Growing less than 6 inches tall and wide, giant snowdrops have a moderate growth rate and clumping habit. The nodding, bell-shaped blooms appear in late winter to light up the garden with their delicate blooms. Tucked along a flower border, they help to fill in low-growing areas of the landscape. Frost-tolerant, giant snowdrops have 4-inch long leaves. Plant in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil that is humus-rich. Divide after flowering to grow in other areas of the garden. Plant in USDA zones 3 to 9.