Winter is usually the time of year when flowers go into a dormant state; in Ontario the temperatures drop and most plants need extra protection to survive the winter. Blooming flowers are a sign spring has arrived, but there are actually some plants that blossom during the winter months in Ontario. There are indoor and outdoor varieties that will bud despite the colder climate. Cold weather plants add color and cheer to the long bleakness that Ontario winters can bring.
The cyclamen is a native Mediterranean plant that is usually purchased in the winter months. This col- weather plant grows flowers in the cooler months of autumn through spring, blooming in colors of red, pink, white and lavender. The foliage on the cyclamen develops white spots in unusual designs upon the green leaves. During the summer months this plant becomes dormant. Water the cyclamen when the soil becomes dry, and be sure to snip dead leaves and flowers from the plant regularly.
Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) are very easy to care for and grow lasting flowers that will stick around all winter long. This flower is a tropical native plant in Asia, but is able to adapt well to an indoor environment. The plant’s name is derived from its angled stems and flat flowers that resemble a moth taking flight. Flat, broad leaves adorn the moth orchid with silver or white colored roots. This plant blossoms just once a year, usually in winter; it grows pastel colored flowers in an array of white, pink, lavender and yellow. The blossoms have colorful designs with different geometrical shapes on them.
The amaryllis is a perennial flowering plant that blooms from late December all through June. This plant grows two stems that reach heights between 20 to 22 inches long. The plant has three to seven leaves that are narrow and flat. The amaryllis cultivates flowers that usually are a dark red with shaded markings, and are about 6 inches in diameter. The plant is a native of South American, Central America and the Caribbean, but is dispersed throughout the world. Water this plant regularly and remove any spent flowers to keep the plant healthy.
The lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) is a native plant of Eurasia. These plants are winter-blooming flowers that can survive colder temperatures and snow. This plant has leathery dark green leaves that are compound and 18 inches long with a span of 16 inches in width. The lenten rose rises from a mound that reaches heights of 16 to 20 inches. During winter the plant blossoms rose-like flowers that come in several colors like pink, white, red and purple. This plant is best cultivated in thick, woodsy well-drained soil, and prefers heavy to light shade.