How to Grow Winter Plants


Winter plants are classified as plants which keep foliage, fruit and flowers late into the fall and early winter, as well as early blooming flowers and winter hardy evergreens. Many plants prefer the cold of winter and thrive well throughout the entire winter. During the bleak days of winter a splash of color on your landscape is a welcome change from dead grass, bare trees and snow. Choose from a variety of green, berry-laden or flowering plants to grow in your winter garden.

Step 1

Research what growing zone you live in. Zones are numbered with the highest number being the most temperate zone, the lowest number being the coldest zone. Use this information to choose plants which have the best chance of surviving your winter weather. Also research the soil and sun needs of your individual winter plants.

Step 2

Grow a variety of evergreen plants. Some popular evergreen plants, which keep their green foliage all year round, are evergreen vines, Christmas ferns, junipers and nandina. Evergreen holly grows red berries. Bergenias and camellias are both flowering evergreens.

Step 3

Grow winter hardy flowers and berries. Berries attract birds to your yard. Some berry bushes to grow in your winter garden are firethorne, chokecherry, Virginia creeper and chinaberry. The viburnum tinus flowers and grows berries. Winter jasmine and winter heather provide flowers throughout the winter. Lavender and rosemary are herbs that bloom throughout mild winters.

Step 4

Plant late and early blooming flowers. Several varieties of flowers bloom late into early winter as well as blooming early in late winter. Plant sheets of pansies and polyanthus in early or late winter. Hellebores, foxglove, snapdragons, nasturtiums, calendula, bachelor buttons and sweet alyssum are other flowers you can plant to bloom in late winter. Plant the bulbs of snowdrops, daffodils, day lilies, iris, tulips and ranunculus in the fall for a show of color in your late winter garden.

Step 5

Use a cold frame or raised beds to lengthen the growing season of your winter vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, leeks, mustard, onions, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips are all vegetables that can last into early winter with a little help from the help of cold frames and raised beds, which raise the temperature of the soil and help prevent damage from frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Evergreen plants
  • Winter hardy plants
  • Young flowers
  • Flower seeds
  • Flower bulbs
  • Raised beds
  • Cold frame


  • Gardening Activities for Fall and Winter
  • Ornamental Plants for Winter Gardens
  • Plants for the Winter Garden

Who Can Help

  • Top Ten Winter Plants
  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: winter garden, winter vegetables, growing winter plants

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.