When most plants have died down for the season, many December-blooming plants are in full bloom to provide color to the oftentimes colorless winter landscape. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, each with its own growing requirements, winter-blooming flowers oftentimes require well-drained, nutrient-rich soils to thrive. Tucked along a garden walkway or nestled within a winter garden, they are a burst of vibrancy to the landscape.
Christmas rose (Helleborus orientalis), also called lenten rose, is an evergreen flower that produces bright blooms in December. Growing 12 to 18 inches tall, the saucer-shaped flowers have a nodding-like shape. Grown in white, green, pink and purple, Christmas rose flowerheads are 2-1/2 inches wide. Christmas rose grows in upright clumps that are course in texture. The foliage on Christmas rose is dark green, shiny and leather-like. Frost-tolerant, Christmas rose is ideal tucked along the front of a flowerbed or border. Blooming when the temperatures are below freezing, Christmas rose provides a constant source of color in winter. After flowering, divide the Christmas rose to plant in other areas of the garden. Christmas rose requires light to moderate shade and well-drained, humus rich soil. The USDA Hardiness Zones for planting are 3 to 8.
Fragrant sarcococca (Sarcococca ruscifolia) is an evergreen plant with fragrant white flowers that emerge in December to light up the landscape. Growing 3 feet wide and tall, fragrant sarcococca have a slow to moderate growth rate and medium to fine texture. Drought-tolerant, fragrant sarcococca has dark green, leather-like leaves that contrast with the white blooms. Fragrant sarcococca have an upright, rounded form with arching branches, ideal planted as a specimen plant in the landscape. Fragrant sarcococca requires partial to full shade and well-drained, acidic soil that is moist and humus-rich. The zones for planting are 7b to 9.
Winter’s Rose Camellia
Winter’s rose camellia (Camellia 'Winter's Rose') is a slow-growing evergreen with pink December blooms that light up the winter garden with color. Growing 4 to 6 feet tall, winter’s rose camellia has a compact, spreading form, ideal tucked along a garden wall or nestled within a flower border for height and color. The 2-inch double flowerheads on winter’s rose camellia have a rose-like shape to contrast with the dark green, leather-like leaves. Winter’s rose camellia requires light shade and well-drained moist soils to thrive. The zones for planting are 6 to 9.