Time to brighten things up.
Advertisement

Come winter, you may think you have to close up shop and say goodbye to gardening until the weather warms up—but you don't. Instead of leaving your yard barren, choose from a wide range of winter flowering plants that thrive as the temperature drops. From climbing winter jasmine to romantic snowdrop, there's something to match every home, soil type, and level of sun exposure.

Winter Aconite Yellow Flowers on Snow
Credit: Getty/Martin Ruegner

Winter Aconite

During the gray days of late winter, winter aconite's vibrant yellow hue brings a much needed spot of sunshine. Also known as Eranthis hyemalis, this fragrant buttercup-like flower provides an early source of nectar for pollinators, a sign to all that spring is coming. Plant its tubers in a sunny or partially shaded spot with well-drained soil in zones 3-8. Important note: Winter aconite can cause harm if ingested, so make sure not to plant them anywhere pets or kids may wander.

Snowdrop Flowers in a Forest
Credit: Getty/© Jackie Bale

Snowdrop

Aptly nicknamed for its white droplet flower heads, Galanthus nivalis grows only a few inches tall but still makes a beautiful statement when it starts blooming around February in zones 3-7. For the best results, plant it in fall or spring under a tree or shrub so it has partial shade.

Pink Japanese Quince Flowers on Branch
Credit: Getty/Jacky Parker Photography

Japanese Quince

Japanese quince, also referred to as Chaenomeles japonica, is a hardy shrub with delicate flowers that can be reddish-orange or warm white. They do their best in full sun from late winter to early spring, but can also tolerate a little shade and still grow 2-3 feet. Once bloomed, the flowers last just under two weeks and then produce tiny fruits. This plant is popular because it takes little watering, tolerates any soil type in zones 5-9, and is generally easy to grow.

Purple Algerian Iris Flower
Credit: Getty/ErikAgar

Algerian Iris

The Iris unguicularis is beloved for its violet flowers with yellow and white centers that bloom between late fall and early spring in all soil types. Place it in the sun in any hardiness zone above 4, then get ready to enjoy its sweet fragrance.

Purple Eastern Cyclamen Flowers
Credit: Getty/PaulMaguire

Eastern Cyclamen

The Cyclamen coum is just the pop of pink (or red or white!) your winter needs. Just as perfect potted indoors as it is planted under a tree or shrub, the most important thing is that it has sufficient drainage and a little bit of shade. Enjoy its flowers from fall to spring, particularly in zones 5-9.

Yellow Winter Jasmine Flowers Covered in Snow
Credit: Getty/Dragan Todorovic

Winter Jasmine

Perfect for dressing a wall or trellis, winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is famous for its yellow star-shaped flower heads that smell divine. The plant typically blooms in early January and can grow up to 15 feet tall in zones 6-10. All you have to do is position it in full or partial sun in any well-drained soil.

Pink Winter Clematis Flowers
Credit: Getty/Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo

Clematis

A super popular blooming vine, Clematis cirrhosa produces bell-shaped flowers with freckles of rich purple. This fast-growing plant finds its best home in zones 4-9, with fertile soil and full sunlight to support.

Close Up of Two Christmas Rose Blooms
Credit: Getty

Christmas Rose

While it's formally referred to as Helleborus niger, the Christmas rose gets its name for how the rose-like hybrid can flower even in mid-winter. Plant it in a partially to fully shaded area in zones 3-8 with well-drained soil, and it should grow to up to 15-inches tall. Fun fact: This perennial is also deer- and rabbit-resistant.

Blooming Purple Flowering Heather Blooms with Snow
Credit: Getty/Volha Halkouskaya

Flowering Heather

Bright pink and purple flowers define the low-growing Erica carnea plant, which can be planted in the ground or in pots. Flowering Heather is fairly low maintenance, but does do best in zones 5-7 in a sunny spot with acidic or neutral soil.