21 Flowers That Bloom in Winter & Best Winter Plants for Pots

Welcome to the world of winter wonder! As the chilly season approaches, we’re here to unveil nature’s resilience. In this article, we’ll explore stunning types of flowers that bloom in winter, as well as the best winter plants for pots, allowing you to cultivate beauty even in the frostiest months.

Discover the benefits of these winter-blooming flowers and potted plants that survive winter outside, all while uncovering the secrets of the best outdoor plants for winter, those cold-weather plants that will transform your garden into a year-round masterpiece. Embrace the magic of winter with us!

How to prepare growing flowers that bloom in winter?

When it comes to preparing your garden for the magic of winter blooms, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

winter blooming flowers, best winter plants for pots,
  1. First and foremost, you’ll want to carefully consider the right plants for your region and climate. Check the USDA hardiness zone to ensure your chosen flowers can withstand the winter chill in your area.
  2. Next, understanding the different types of plants is crucial. Annuals, perennials, bulbs, and flowering shrubs all have unique requirements when it comes to planting and care. Research each type and plan accordingly.
  3. When it’s time to plant, pay close attention to the timing. Some plants do best when planted in the fall to establish strong roots before winter, while others are better suited for late winter or early spring planting.
  4. Soil preparation is equally vital. Ensure your soil is well-draining, as waterlogged roots can be a death sentence for winter-blooming plants.
  5. Lastly, monitor the temperature and provide any necessary protection during particularly cold spells.

Best Outdoor Plants for Winter & Winter Blooming Flowers

Curious about what flowers bloom in winter? Want to know which hardy winter plants thrive in containers? Well, say hello to the vibrant Pansies, the elegant Hellebores, and the fragrant Daphne. Winter doesn’t mean your garden has to go dormant, it is about to become a showstopper!

15 Types of Flowers and Plants That Bloom in Winter

Below, we’ve handpicked a stunning selection of 15 unique and eye-catching plants that will thrive during the chilly months, including flowers that bloom in January and December.

From the rare and striking Algerian Iris to the beloved Pansies and Violas, each plant brings its own charm to your winter oasis. For instance, the Algerian Iris boasts striking, delicate petals that add elegance to any space and is among those winter flowering annuals that will bloom in the cold.

But how do you care for it during the winter, especially in pots? We’ve got you covered with comprehensive tips for container gardening in the colder seasons, so keep reading!

English Primrose

Flowers that bloom in winter

English Primrose, a perennial, graces your garden with its delicate pale-yellow flowers from late winter to early spring, as early as March. Thriving in partial shade and moist soil, it’s perfect for woodland gardens. For this charming perennial, provide well-drained soil and keep it consistently moist. It’s an excellent choice for brightening up your garden during the cold months.

Winter Jasmine (Jasmine nudiflorum)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Often confused with forsythia, Winter Jasmine outshines its lookalike with longer-lasting, bright yellow blossoms that persist for up to eight weeks. Its willowy branches stay green even in winter, and it can be a ground cover or trained to climb. For this shrub, choose full sun to part shade and watch it bloom in late winter. Prune as needed to maintain its shape or use it as a groundcover.

Hellebore (Helleborus spp. and hybrids)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Known as Christmas or Lenten Rose, Hellebore is an evergreen perennial flower that bloom in December in warmer regions. In colder climates, it graces late winter with rose-like, double-petaled flowers in various patterns. Plant it in partial to full shade with well-draining soil. These exquisite perennials are sure to brighten your late-winter garden.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Winter Aconite, a bulb plant, is one of the earliest to bloom, sporting cheerful, buttercup-like yellow flowers in late winter. It’s perfect for naturalizing and will spread freely, forming a colorful carpet. These bulbs prefer full sun to part shade and grow to a height of 3 to 4 inches. They’re excellent for creating a dense burst of color.

Camellia (Camellia japonica)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Known as the Rose of Winter, this evergreen shrub graces Southern gardens with plush, rose-like blooms in shades of red, pink, or white as early as December. Some cold-hardy hybrids thrive in Zone 6. Plant a variety of early, mid, and late-blooming camellias for continuous flowers from late fall to mid-spring. Provide partial shade and shelter from the hot afternoon sun.

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Crocus (Crocus spp.)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Crocus bulbs signal the impending arrival of spring with their early bloom. The show starts with snow crocus, then Dutch hybrids that are more showy follow, providing a vibrant display for weeks. Plant in partial to full sun, and these bulbs will multiply in your garden, delighting you year after year.

Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)

Flowers that bloom in winter

This shade-tolerant evergreen shrub dazzles in late winter with clusters of lily-of-the-valley-like blooms in white, pink, or deep rose. Weeks of flowering are followed by vibrant new foliage in spring. In full sun to partial shade, Japanese Pieris thrives. There are compact cultivars available for smaller gardens.

Reticulated Iris (Iris reticulata)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Small in stature but big in wow factor, Reticulated irises boast vibrant royal blue flowers with distinctive white and yellow markings. Plant en masse for a striking display. This extra-early iris requires full sun or partial shade. To ensure consistent blooms, plant new bulbs every fall.

Winter Heath (Erica carnea)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Also known as snow heath, this low-growing evergreen shrub bursts with bell-shaped blossoms during winter, sometimes even on snow-covered ground. It is among the flowers that bloom in January and spreads quickly, forming an attractive carpet of needle-like foliage. For this shrub, choose full sun to partial shade, and enjoy the colorful winter groundcover it provides.

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)

Flowers that bloom in winter

True to their name, Snowdrops often bloom while snow still blankets the ground, offering a refreshing sight for winter-weary gardeners. They can flower as early as late January, but February or March are more common. These early-blooming bulbs thrive in full sun or partial shade. Left undisturbed, they multiply and create a beautiful, naturalized effect.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis spp.)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Witch Hazels are invaluable for winter interest, flowering abundantly from late winter through early spring, even in cold climates. The spider-like flowers, ranging in color from yellow to red, are often intensely fragrant. Plant in full sun and enjoy the vibrant winter blooms and stunning fall foliage.

Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen coum)

Flowers that bloom in winter

While cyclamen is often a houseplant, the hardy variety thrives outdoors during the winter months. It boasts heart-shaped leaves and delicate pink or white flowers from December to March. Grow in light to full shade, and enjoy this winter groundcover that readily self-sows.

Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Fall-planted pansies add a burst of color to late-season gardens, often blooming throughout the winter in milder climates. Resilient, they survive frost and bloom again in the spring. For these vibrant annuals, choose full sun to partial shade. In mild climates, you’ll enjoy two seasons of colorful blooms.

Ornamental Kale & Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Sometimes called flowering kale or cabbage, these showy biennials offer colorful, frilly foliage resembling flowers. The colors intensify in the fall, and they often remain attractive through the winter. Grow them in full sun to partial shade for a pop of color in cool seasons.

Viola (Viola spp.)

Flowers that bloom in winter

Like pansies, violas bloom through frosty weather and even light snow. They offer dainty, colorful flowers and come in striking combinations. Wait for cooler fall weather before planting these small, dainty flowers in full sun to partial shade. They often bloom all winter in moderate climates.

The enchantment of these winter flowers and plants will transform your garden during the colder months. Winter-blooming perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and annuals are all great options for sprucing up your garden at a time when it could use some extra cheer.

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Best winter plants for pots: Flowers that Bloom in winter

Container gardening can be just as charming during the winter with these robust and low-maintenance plants that withstand cold temperatures and even thrive during the chilly months. Here are some exceptional winter-hardy container plants to adorn your outdoor spaces that are easy to take care of in the winter.

Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)

Flowers that bloom in winter
Flowers that Bloom in winter: Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)

Wintergreen is an evergreen shrub with dark green, red-tinted leaves and bright red berries, providing a festive touch to your outdoor decor. It thrives in both full and partial shade, is drought-tolerant, and prefers acidic, moist, well-drained soil.


Flowers that bloom in winter
Flowers that Bloom in winter: Sedums

Sedums range from low-spreading to high-spreading varieties, making creeping and medium Sedums ideal for pots. They offer colorful foliage and can produce lovely flowers. Sedums are low-maintenance and thrive in any succulent mix with well-draining soil. Ensure pots have drainage holes, and avoid overwatering in winter.


Flowers that bloom in winter
Flowers that Bloom in winter: boxwood

A potted boxwood is a year-round living sculpture, maintaining its beauty in harsh winters and hot summers with minimal maintenance. Choose a large, well-draining pot with proper drainage. Boxwoods dislike sitting in wet soil. Water moderately throughout the year, reducing it in the winter.

ZZ Plant

Flowers that bloom in winter
Flowers that Bloom in winter: ZZ plant

The ZZ plant is a stylish, extremely cold-tolerant houseplant with glossy, oval-shaped, deep green leaves. They  are low-maintenance and thrive in low to medium light. Watering once a month in winter is sufficient, and an annual worm compost fertilizer application keeps them thriving.

Jade Plant

Flowers that bloom in winter
Flowers that Bloom in winter: Jade plant

The Jade plant is a succulent with thick stems and oval leaves. It produces white, mildly fragrant flowers in late winter. Use well-draining soil and avoid overwatering. Place it in indirect light to prevent foliage burn.

Lily of the Valley

Flowers that bloom in winter
Flowers that Bloom in winter: Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley boasts delicate, bell-shaped white flowers with a captivating fragrance. Growing them in pots allows you to enjoy their scent throughout your space. Choose a deep pot for proper root growth and place it in indirect sunlight. Water in the morning, and avoid wetting the leaves.

Japanese Skimmia

Flowers that bloom in winter:
Flowers that Bloom in winter: Japanese Skimmia

Japanese Skimmia is a cold-hardy evergreen with glossy foliage, star-shaped pink-tinted flowers in summer, and decorative red buds or berries in winter. Thriving in partial to full shade, it prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

These winter-hardy container plants are perfect for adding life and beauty to your outdoor spaces, ensuring that your pots remain appealing year-round.

Best Winter Flowers in South Carolina and Tennessee

In the vibrant gardens of South Carolina and Tennessee, winter unveils its own enchanting display.

Camellias (Camellia japonica) are the stars, gracing the landscape with their radiant red blooms, showcasing nature’s resilience even in cooler months.

Dianthus varieties add a burst of color, shape, and texture to the scenery, while Nandina, Big Blue liriope, and boxwood create a striking contrast with their deep red foliage.

Ligustrum shrubs, Euonymus, Arborvitae, Junipers, grasses, and Liriope come together, offering an array of colors and textures that paint a soothing winter picture.

The blue hues of Dianthus foliage amid the lush greenery provide an unexpected delight. In these Southern gardens, winter whispers promise of a vibrant spring.


What flowers live all winter? 

Numerous flowers thrive throughout the winter months, such as Camellia, Dianthus, Nandina, Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen), and Helleborus (Christmas Rose). These hardy perennials maintain their allure even in the coldest seasons.

Which perennials bloom winter?

Perennials like Camellia japonica, Helleborus, and Dianthus showcase their winter blooms in regions with milder climates, ensuring the garden remains lively during the chilly season.

Best Winter Blooming Flowers & Plants That Survive Winter: What to remember

In conclusion, winter gardening can be a mesmerizing journey into the world of flowers that bloom in winter and robust potted plants. Embracing the hardiness of these winter blooming flowers and the tenacity of potted plants that survive winter outside allows us to appreciate nature’s resilience. With the best outdoor plants for winter, like Pansies, Hellebores, and Daphne, your garden can thrive year-round, bringing color and life even to the chilliest months. So, don’t let winter’s frost deter you—plant these enduring beauties and create a vibrant winter oasis with flowers that defy the cold.