Winter is coming to the Midwest, and there is no better way to brighten up the winter doldrums than with plants and flowers! After the beauty of your fall flowers fade, you may believe it’s time to wait for spring to enjoy beautiful outside plants again. But some annual flowers, perennial flowers, and flowering plants and shrubs blossom all year long, even in the midst of winter’s cold. If you plan ahead, these beautiful blooms will help you add some color to your garden during the coldest months of the year.
Crocus plants produce beautiful purple, lavender, or white flowers. They are very hardy plants and will often bloom in the winter months before any other plants have started to grow again outside. Choose a ‘tricolor’ or ‘snow’ variety for mid-to-late winter blooms and plant them before the ground freezes, which is generally in October.
Christmas rose plants produce pink flowers that are cheerful and bright, even in the darkest days of winter. Although Christmas roses do not bloom until late fall or early winter, they will grow all year long to give you a beautiful display during these months when little else is blooming outdoors.
Leucojum plants are tall with white flowers. They are very hardy plants and grow well in the winter, even if the ground is covered by snow for weeks at a time! Leucojums are also called ‘snowflakes’ because their blooms look like delicate pieces of ice or snow.
With its scarlet, orange, and yellow berries, winterberry is a deciduous shrub that will look magnificent against the snow. The plants have a high tolerance for cold weather and will grow in winter as long as there isn’t an extremely harsh winter. The plants are often used as hedges because they form thickets quickly, so if you plant them along borders or boundaries of your outdoor space they can provide color year after year!
Kale and cabbage are among the hardiest plants on the planet, with some able to withstand below-freezing conditions. These plants come in shades of purple, rose, and cream, and have lovely frilly leaves, which brighten as the weather grows colder. They like it cool so don’t plant them while it’s warm.
Hosta plants have large, thick leaves that are a variety of forms, colors, and sizes. They thrive in chilly temperatures and get bigger and better over time. This plant allows even people in Zone 3 to create a lush, green garden during the coldest months.