Cold weather plants are perfect for winter so that your garden won’t be dry and dreary until spring arrives.
Here are 17 cold weather plants that can survive winter outside and uphold your garden’s beauty all year round.
Winter Blooms: 17 Cold Weather Plants That Can Survive Winter Outside
1. Boxwood Hedge
The Boxwood Hedge’s rounded shape makes it a popular choice for topiaries. It is a staple in many gardens all over the country. Place this in a place it can get lots of light, like your front porch.
2. Brown’s Yew
Brown’s Yew is a low-maintenance cold weather plant that requires twice-weekly watering and exposure to sunlight. It grows slowly and can withstand heavy pruning, making it a great choice for homesteaders who want to explore making bonsai trees.
3. Japanese Yew
As the name suggests, this cold weather plant is native to Japan but is also popular on American soil. It’s especially popular for its red fruit (don’t eat them though!) and can survive even the harshest of winters and the driest of seasons.
4. Potted Blue Spruce
Nothing screams the holidays like the blue spruce. Many households amass these cold-weather plants to use for decoration during the Christmas season.
While it’s one of the most popular Christmas decorations, it’s also one of the most high-maintenance plants as they need constant watering and full access to sunlight to survive.
Also, make sure to place them in a pot with drainage holes if you decide to plant them in a container.
Snowdrops are named for their white petals, which look like ice drops. The best time to plant them is early in the fall, but they survive far into the winter months.
6. Witch Hazel
This plant is known for both its rich orange flowers and astringent properties (making it a potent skincare ingredient!). One good news for homesteaders in especially cold areas is that it requires cold winters to fully bloom.
Witch hazels can adapt to any soil type but are at their best in moist soil. They don’t require a lot of watering once they mature and just require some amount of pruning to maintain their shape.
7. Wheeler’s Dwarf Japanese Mock Orange
Wheeler’s Dwarf Japanese Mock Oranges can cover as much as 5 feet wide and reach up to 3 feet tall. They start blooming around summertime and reach full bloom during winter.
Its short stature makes it ideal for planting under your windows. Water them once a week and make sure they get at least partial sunlight to help them thrive.
8. English Primrose
The English Primrose comes in a variety of colors and thrives in cooler temperatures. They also don’t require a lot of sunlight and just a little water, which is just what you’re looking for during cold winters.
Don’t water them too much though, because you wouldn’t want them to rot.
Privets are especially hardy shrubs and can be shaped into various forms (hence why they’re used as privacy hedges very often). However, some types of privets are considered invasive species in various parts of the country so check any state laws in place before planting them.
What are invasive species? These are plants that can cause damage to their environment when planted in an area they’re not native to.
Like the Yew, this is another evergreen plant originating from Japan and China. These shrubs can thrive in a variety of soil types and survive even in partial shade.
Pansies come in a wide variety of colors, but the deep purple ones are the popular choice for winter planting. These colorful flowers love the morning sun but especially thrive in cooler weather.
As they tend to be a little tricky to grow from seed, buying a mature plant in your local nursery is your best option.
11. Winter Gem Boxwoods
Get one of these and watch them transform from spring green to a nice golden color during wintertime. While they’re relatively low maintenance, they need regular pruning as overgrowth can get out of control.
Honeywort leaves are a sight to behold due to the deep blue color they turn into when it gets cold outside. They’re self-seeding cold weather plants, ensuring constant plant supply all year-round.
It can grow in a wide array of soil types and survive in both containers and the ground. Place them outside in the sun if you want to get the most vibrant color out of your honeyworts.
13. Thread-Branch Cypress
You can spot a thread-branch cypress from its yellow-green threadlike leaves and drooping branches. During winter, the leaves transform into a strong golden color.
These weeping shrubs love the sunshine so better place them outside where they can get as much of it as they can. During strong winter winds, protect your plant with burlap so the new growth doesn’t get damaged.
They also don’t need a lot of pruning. Too much pruning can cause it to turn brown and look dead.
14. Algerian Irises
This beautiful purple plant requires a ton of care and patience but will reward you greatly if you’re looking for something to add color to a cold winter day.
Being a plant native to the North African region, it requires dry soil and tons of sunshine to thrive.
15. Lily of the Valley
The lily of the valley is stronger than it looks. It can even survive a bit of shade, unlike many other cold-weather plants, as long as you keep the soil moist.
Note: All parts of a lily of the valley are poisonous. Keep them away from children and animals.
16. Blue Colorado Spruce
Homesteaders with tiny yard space would love this spruce. Once it matures, it will reward you with its blue needles.
After it settles down, it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance and can withstand both dry and moist soil conditions. It can even survive urban areas, making it a good choice for homesteaders in city dwellings.
Contrary to its name, catmints don’t attract cats as catnip does. It also boasts of a long blooming period lasting from early summer to late fall.
It also looks attractive during wintertime, the time it graces gardeners with its silvery foliage.
Here are five cold weather plants from Garden Answer to add beauty to your garden this winter:
Winter is the time many plants die out or hibernate until spring arrives. But have some of these cold-weather plants that can survive winter outside in your home, and your gardens get a new lease of life as the winter season takes its course.
What are your favorite cold-weather plants to grow outside during the winter months? Let us know in the comments section below.
- 35 Cold Weather Hacks To Keep You Safe And Cozy This Winter
- Winter Storm Preparedness | Infographic
- 20 Garden Tips And Hacks To Become A Gardening Expert | Homesteading
Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 15, 2020, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.