The winter season does not have to mean you cannot grow plants. Choose plants wisely that thrive during the cold time of the year and you can add color, fragrance and natural beauty to your otherwise dreary winter landscape. You can even grow several vegetables in the winter months. Select winter plants cold hardy to your specific location for best results.
Winter Ground Covers
Add color to your yard using ground covers. Place these low-growing plants under trees, on slopes or other areas around your house that need to be filled in. Select a cold-hardy euphorbia variety to grow, or plant some Christmas fern and use it during the holidays to decorate. Winter ground covers that blossom include purpleleaf wintercreeper and vinca, which is available in several different colors. Plant Japanese spurge, a shade-loving ground cover, under trees or other shaded areas in your yard. Other winter plants in this category include English ivy or the succulent "hens and chicks."
Enjoy the beauty and color of flowers throughout the cold season with plants that blossom during that time of year. Plant flowers in areas not prone to frost for a longer growing season. Mix several types of winter flowering plants together that bloom at varying times for continuous and changing colors. Use mulch around your winter plants for extra protection against the cold, to retain moisture in the soil and keep any weeds from invading. Choose varieties like hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, pansies, snapdragons, sweet peas, dianthus, calendulas, cyclamen, violets, camellias, freesia and others offered in your area.
Add bushes or shrubs with dramatic greens or some that produce blossoms and take pleasure in them all winter long. Found on the perimeter of houses, walkways or yards and used as wind barriers or walls, shrubs can withstand most of the cold temperatures winter provides. Choose from varieties of green shrubs, such as American arborvitae or boxwood. Plant blooming varieties like witch hazel, winter jasmine, wintersweet, heath, February Daphne, hazelnuts, willow, honeysuckle, viburnum or rhododendron to enjoy blossoms in a variety of colors.
Grow a winter vegetable garden and benefit from the satisfaction of eating fresh picked produce from it long after everyone's summer garden disappeared. Plant your vegetable garden in a sunny location, away from breezes and low-lying areas. Cultivate the soil in the growing area and replenish nutrients through adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, along with a fertilizer before you plant. Know the length of time needed to grow your vegetables and when your area is prone to frost or freezing temperatures. Check with your local gardening retailer or extension for details pertaining to your specific region regarding the types of vegetables you can grow in winter.