Whether you're starting a new garden or refreshing an established one, growing plants in a cold climate can prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of cold-hardy plants that thrive in regions with short growing seasons. From attractive flowers to delectable fruit-bearing plants, a winter garden is achievable.
The camellia plant is an evergreen shrub, native to parts of south Asia. It can reach anywhere from 2 to 20 meters in height and produces long, waxy, green serrated leaves. The flowers of the camellia are fragrant and large, varying in color from white to pink, and some varieties are yellow and red. It prefers moist, but not wet, soil with partial shade and partial sun, and can tolerate cold and freezing temperatures. However, the camellia plant yields more and bigger flowers during the spring and fall seasons of most climates. The leaves of the camellia can be harvested and used to make teas as well.
Chrysanthemums, also known as "mums," are perennials with hardy roots that thrive in cold weather. As long as the ground isn't frozen solid, Chrysanthemums will continue to thrive and bloom throughout the fall and winter seasons of many gardening zones. The soil should be loamy, and the plants should be planted in a sort of indentation in the ground or in a lowered flower bed. Chrysanthemums are popular ornamental plants that produce a wide array of large, fragrant and colorful blossoms.
Edible gardens can benefit year-round from a cabbage crop. Cabbage is a cold-hardy plant when planted in the summer months, giving it time to strengthen for the winter season. It's a large plant that produces several large, wide leaves that house the forming head of the edible part of the plant. It can be grown in a greenhouse or directly outdoors, as long as the ground isn't frozen solid.
The poinsettia is native to Mexico and is a perennial plant that thrives all year long in the southwest United States. It is an ideal winter plant for desert landscapes and can grow in a greenhouse through the winter months in temperate climates as well. The leaves are deep green, and the thick, hardy stem offers wispy blooms of crimson red. Rocky soil with long, infrequent waterings once a week keep this plant healthy.