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Winter flowering shrubs: these woody plants make the drab garden more colorful in the cold season!

Is your garden also too dull in winter? Then winter flowering shrubs are exactly the right solution to the problem. What sounds unrealistic at first is actually possible. And here there are not only varieties that produce their flowering splendor only in late winter, but also those that do so in the middle of the winter season. Moreover, if you plant winter-flowering shrubs that bloom in late winter, you will be doing something good for the first insects that now go in search of food. But which plants bloom in winter? We’ve put together a handy list to give you an idea of the options.

Chinese winter flower with pleasant fragrance

Winter flowering shrubs - Chinese winter flower (Chimonanthus praecox) blooms from December onwards

If you also spend time in the garden more often in winter, Chinese winter flower ( Chimonanthus praecox ) will spoil you with its fragrance. Already in December begins the flowering period , which can last until March. The shrub is also relatively compact with its 1.5 to 2 meters height and width, so it is best suited for small gardens and beds. However, the plant, which blooms in December, requires a wind-protected location in full sun to partial shade.

Common daphne in pink

Winter flowering shrubs - Common daphne (Daphne mezereum) in pink

You can also get a small and compact, funnel-shaped specimen with the common daphne ( Daphne mezereum ). Since it begins to bloom at the end of winter (February to May), it provides an important food source for the first insects . In addition, the attractive flowers emit a pleasant fragrance. Important to know is that the berries of the bush are highly poisonous. Choose a sunny location.

Winter flowering shrubs – The native yellow dogwood.

Dogwood (Cornus mas) is native and hardy

For compact but tall winter-flowering shrubs, try Cornelian cherries ( Cornus mas ), also known as yellow dogwoods. With its many flowers, it provides a wonderful food source for insects that forage in late winter, as it blooms from February and through April. This hardy winter shrub likes a sunny to partial shade location where it can freely grow to its 5 foot height. Despite this considerable height of growth, it still grows quite compact.

The snow cherry can also become a tree

Snow cherry (Prunus subhirtella) can grow into a tree


With proper pruning, this pretty plant remains a compact shrub, otherwise it grows into a tree up to 5 meters high with an umbrella-like crown and a width of 3 to 4 meters. The flowering period is from November to April and the flowers themselves are reminiscent of the cherry blossoms we are familiar with, followed by ornamental fruit. In autumn, snow cherry ( Prunus subhirtella ) also impresses with colors, more precisely with a warm bronze tone.

Winter jasmine for yellow flowering shrubs in the cold season.

Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is creeping or hanging without support

Particularly noteworthy are the flowers of winter jasmine ( Jasminum nudiflorum ) in bright yellow, which will undoubtedly enhance the garden in winter and make it more attractive. It grows a little taller and wider at 3 meters, but still keeps within limits. The branches grow cane-like and sometimes upright, sometimes lying, sometimes creeping (without climbing aid), and are rather thin, creating a slender-looking shrub whose branches overhang only slightly, but still look somewhat chaotic. The flowers appear as early as December and some last until March. Find the robust winter-flowering shrub a wind-protected and sunny to semi-shady location so it can delight you with its long blooming season.

Winter flowering shrubs – Winter snowball is a pink flowering shrub.

Pink flowering shrub for winter - winter snowball (Viburnum bodnantense)


White flowers with pink discolorations and shades, the beautiful winter snowball ( Viburnum bodnantense ) gets as early as November and keeps them until April. These emit a sweetish fragrance, but are poisonous. The shrub tends to be one of the medium-sized ones, as it can grow 3 meters high and two meters wide, growing upright and, above all, very dense. Then, with age, the branches begin to overhang like arches, which makes the shrub even more interesting. Find him a place in the sun or at least in partial shade.

Shrubs that bloom in winter – witch hazel for larger gardens.

Winter flowering shrubs - Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) is a classic with interesting flowers

Witch hazel ( Hamamelis ) is also one of the plants that bloom in winter, impressing with flowers of interesting structure. From January to March, they also emit a pleasant, sweet scent that you can enjoy outdoors on milder winter days, while in the fall you can marvel at its red to orange coloring. If you lack space, winter-flowering shrubs of this variety are less suitable, because witch hazel grows rather bulky and sprawling. The location should be sunny. With pleasure, the fragrant branches are also placed in the vase, where they can last a surprisingly long time.

Winter flowering shrubs – Other beautiful specimens for the garden.

Winter flowering shrubs - Some species of mahonia (Mahonia) bloom in winter

Of course, there are other pretty winter flowering shrubs that you can choose for your garden design. Here are a few more winter flowering shrubs:

  • Bell hazel ( Corylopsis pauciflora ) – white-yellow flowers in late February through April; 1.5 feet tall and wide; fragrant and with fall foliage
  • Mahonia ( Mahonia ) – some varieties; yellow to green flower colors in late winter
  • Slimeberry ( Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ) – dwarf shrub with 60 cm height
  • Snow heather ( Erica carnea ) – dwarf shrub, also suitable as ground cover; different colors available; blooms all winter long
  • Winter hedge cherry ( Lonicera x purpusii )