Skip to content

8 Shrubs and hedge plants that bloom in winter and provide a bit of color!

Shrubs and hedges that bloom in winter, have something particularly valuable. The sight of these charming and hardy flowers that defy frost, rain and snow, lifts our spirits on dreary winter days. Many of them also give off a lovely fragrance and can be cut for winter bouquets for your home. Here’s our list of the prettiest winter bloomers that can add some color to your winter garden!

1. laurel snowball ‘Gwenllian’ (Viburnum tinus)

Laurel snowball Gwenllian is a shrub that blooms in winter

Flowering time: November – April
Height of growth: 100 – 150 cm

Snowball bushes are evergreen gems that impress with their attractive presence even in winter. An absolute favorite variety of many gardeners is ‘Gwenllian’, which was bred in London about 50 years ago. While it is not quite as compact as ‘Eve Price’ and does not have pure white flowers like ‘French White’, the combination of deep pink buds opening to white flowers followed by blue-black berries makes this shrub a real showstopper.

winter flowering shrub snowball

2. bodnant winter snowball ‘Dawn’ (Viburnum x bodnantense).

Viburnum x bodnantense shrubs that bloom in winter

Flowering time: November – mid April
Height of growth: 200 – 300 cm

Bodnant winter snowball is another deciduous shrub prized for its combination of color and fragrance. Deep pink-red buds, which open to white-pale pink flowers, stand in clusters on the bare branches and are usually so profuse that the branches begin to droop. The flowers are also unexpectedly frost tolerant. You can cut the branches and arrange them in vases to enjoy the wonderful blooms at home.

winter flowering shrubs pink

3. mahonia ‘Winter Sun’ (Mahonia media) adds yellow accents in winter.

Mahonia winter sun blooms in January

Flowering time: January – April
Height of growth: 150 – 200 cm

Mahonias are hardy and hardy ornamentals that have evergreen, holly-like leaves and bear dark purple berries. Their best feature, however, is their long panicles of fragrant yellow flowers in late fall, winter and spring, which are a valuable food source for bees and other pollinators. With its bright yellow blooms, Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’ chases away the dreary gray of winter!

4. witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) in winter

Witch hazel shrub blooms in winter from January to March

Flowering time: January – March
Height of growth: depending on variety 100 to 350 cm

Witch hazel belongs to the genus of witch hazel. They are long-lived, robust shrubs that bear fragrant flowers like small flames on their bare branches in winter. Many varieties also delight with beautiful fall color. Among the most popular varieties are Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Barmstedts Gold’ with yellow flowers, ‘Orange Beauty’ with orange flowers and ‘Ruby’ with dark red flowers.

5. winter flowering heather (Erica x darleyensis)

Erica Darleyensis winter heather blooms in autumn and winter

Flowering time: depending on the variety, November to April
Height of growth: 30 – 40 cm

Erica x darleyensis includes many hybrids of Erica carnea and Erica erigena. The winter heather is popular mainly because of its magnificent and long flowering period, which begins as early as November and extends into April. This hardy, dwarf shrub can be grown in any garden and is also a favorite for winter containers. For a sea of pink, white, purple and red blooms, combine several species such as ‘White Perfection’, ‘Kramer’s Red’ and ‘Rubina’.

6. daphne ‘Jacqueline Postill’ (Daphne bholua).

Daphne shrub bears pink flowers in winter

Flowering time: January – April
Height of growth: 150 – 250 cm

Daphne can be demanding and difficult to grow, but it is worth the effort. A popular variety is D. bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ – one of the best fragrant flowering shrubs . Its rather upright habit is appreciated by owners of smaller gardens, and its red buds, opening to large white flowers, make a stunning winter decoration amid the normally evergreen foliage. And then there’s the fragrance, which can be almost intoxicating. Daphne is a great choice for a doorway or gateway that you walk by in the winter.

Daphne blooms from January to April with pink flowers

7. Chinese winter flower (Chimonanthus praecox)

Flowering time: January – March
Height of growth: 200 – 300 cm

If you plant this shrub in a sheltered, sunny spot, it will reward you with yellow, star-shaped flowers that have maroon stripes on the inner petals. The spicy scent of vanilla is very strong. Be patient, though, because Chinese winter flower may not bloom for a few years. But it’s worth the wait.

8. cornelian cherry ‘Golden Glory’ (Cornus mas) shines in late winter.

Cornelian cherry 'Golden Glory' blooms in winter and smells of vanilla

Flowering time: late February – early April
Height of growth: 250 – 400 cm

The yellow flower clusters of Cornus mas have long been appreciated, but ‘Golden Glory’ sets new standards. As a small tree or large shrub, ‘Golden Glory’ grows less spreading and blooms profusely even as a young plant. Cornelian cherry forms small umbels of golden yellow flowers on bare branches in February and March. It also bears red fruits that are edible but sour, and impresses with reddish-purple fall foliage. The shrub grows slowly and reaches its maximum size after 10 to 20 years.