While many gardeners give up on flowers during the winter, some gardeners can get some flowers blooming during the colder parts of the year. Flowers can be added to a garden in order to add color and attract birds that are out and about in the winter. Gardens that are maintained through the winter are also already prepared for spring. All that’s needed is proper preparation and wisely chosen flowers.
Mulch and Compost
Mulch and compost should be added to winter gardens to give flowers extra nutrients to increase their chances of survival and add insulation to flower roots. Mulch also reduces soil erosion, according to DIY Guides. The mulch should be added after the first frost so that rodents do not burrow through the mulch and destroy it; the freezing ground will make burrowing difficult for the rodents. Monitor the quantity of nutrients in order to ensure that enough are added. Some universities and counties offer soil nutrient testing services that will analyze samples of your soil for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, according to Michigan State University. There are also test kits that can analyze the nutrients in the soil by adding a special chemical to samples of soil in a test tube and comparing the color that the soil changes to with a chart that tells you how much of the nutrient there is. For instance, soil that has a lot of phosphorus turns grayish blue when using the phosphorus kit.
Flowering plants encourage the soil to absorb heat faster, keeping the roots of the flowers from freezing, according to DIY Guides. Roots that freeze have a greater chance of rotting.
Flowers can be removed from the ground and placed in pots. The pots can then be moved indoors or placed in a greenhouse, according to DIY Guides. When doing this, be sure to water the plants thoroughly. Make sure that the plant soil drains so that the plants do not become waterlogged.
Perennial flowers can be pruned during the winter months. Removing some of the flowers reduces the chances that the flowers will hurt the perennials by attracting bacteria, according to DIY Guides. Some of the flowers can be left alone if the gardener likes seeing the flowers in the winter.
Rudbeckia, echinacea, achillea, and buddleia can be kept in a garden to attract birds, according to DIY Guides. Some flowers also survive better in the winter than others. The best surviving winter flowers are witch hazels, camellia, senna, quince, wintersweet, winterhazel, japanese pieris, Glory-of-the-Snow and winter jasmine. The Organic Gardener recommends firethorn, snowberry, honeysuckle, mahonia and corkscrew hazel. According to Design-Gardens, those who like flower smells should add hamamelis and viburnum.
At some point, the ground becomes so frozen that even the hardiest flowers cannot survive. No matter what a gardener does, really cold winters make flower growing impossible. According to Service Magic, planting shrubs will maximize the chances that there will be flowers in the winter.