Gardeners are often disappointed when the last summer flowers stop blooming, followed by trees losing their leaves and the dormancy of a winter landscape. Although most plants will not thrive in extremely cold conditions, there are indeed many exceptions. Winter blooming flowers will add cheer to the grayest of winter days as well as give a splash of color to a barren white yard or garden.
Lenten roses bloom from December through early April. They are a perennial flower, which means that they will bloom year after year. The leaves are evergreen, meaning they do not shed. Lenten roses belong to the buttercup family. The flowers of the Lenten rose grow in clusters of white blooms that are between 2 to 3 inches wide. The plant grows to a height of approximately 18 inches. These plants grow well in shade and can tolerate dry soil. They are a poisonous flower so children should be carefully supervised. They are also a deer-resistant plant, so Lenten roses are a good choice for deer-proofing a garden in any season.
Wintersweet is also known as Chimonanthus praecox. This shrub is a deciduous plant that may grow as tall as 15 feet, with a spread as wide as 12 feet. The leaves are long and medium to dark green in color. During the winter months, very small flowers appear on the shrub. These flowers are yellow or white with purple centers. The entire flower is usually less than 1 inch wide. Wintersweet plants grow in nearly any type of soil as long as it is well drained. The flower can be planted in either full sunlight or partial shade.
Winter jasmine flowers will bloom continuously throughout the winter months. The flowers are tiny five-spoked blooms that are white or yellow and emit a very light fragrance. These flowers will be replaced by deep green leaves in spring. This plant grows best on a trellis and can reach a height of up to 9 feet tall. Winter jasmine can be planted in full shade or partial sun. It needs well-drained soil in order to thrive. Cutting back on water to this flower during the fall will increase blooms that same winter. Winter jasmine will bloom year after year when pruned and watered during the summer months
Poinsettia flowers begin blooming in December. These flowers have pointed red, yellow, white or orange petals surrounded by a center of tiny green berries. The leaves of the plant are slightly rounded on the sides with a pointed edge and are a medium to dark green in color. Poinsettia plants are grown in all 50 states although California produces more than any other. Although poinsettias bloom in winter, they need to be kept indoors at temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. They will do best if placed in a window that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.