Creating a year-round garden calls for winter-blooming plants to go with the spring, summer, and fall bloomers. While it may seem like there aren’t many winter flowers, there are some interesting choices available. There are a number of winter-blooming plants that will make standout statements in your garden.
Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), is a fragrant shrub. It will reach 6 to 8 feet in height and around 8 to 10 feet in width. Leaves are deciduous in the North and evergreen in the South. Flowers are in winter, white, and highly scented. Grow in partial shade or full sun. Propagate via seed. It is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
Thorny Elaeagnus (Elaeagnus pungens) from the oleaster family, is an evergreen, fragrant shrub. It is fast growing, drought resistant and it will attract songbirds. The plant can grow 15 feet in height and 20 feet in width. Bell=like flowers are cream-colored and appear in late fall into the winter. The flowers are followed by tiny reddish-brown fruits. Grow in partial to full sun. Propagate via cuttings (hardwood or softwood) and seed. It is hardy to zones 7 to 9.
Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), from the buttercup family, is an evergreen perennial. Compound leaves are dark green and up to 18 inches in length. Flowers are in winter, 2 to 3 inches wide, and greenish white. There are other color varieties depending on cultivar. Grow in rich, well-drained soil with heavy to light shade. Propagate via seed or division. It is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.
Leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), from the barberry family, is an evergreen, fragrant shrub that attracts songbirds. The plant gets 10 feet in height and 8 feet in width. The compound leaves are 18 inches in length. Flowers are yellow, fragrant, and 3 to 6 inches in length. Grow in shade to partial shade in moist, but well-drained soil. Propagate via seed or cuttings. It is hardy to zones 6 to 9.
Sandanqua virburnum (Viburnum suspensum), from the honeysuckle family, is an evergreen shrub that attracts songbirds. It will get 6 to12 feet tall with dark green leaves 3-½ inches long. Flowers are white and tubular, 1-½ inches wide, and will fade to have red berries in fall. Grow in moist, well-drained soils in partial sun to shade. Propagate via cuttings. It is hardy to zones 8 to 10.