Last updated on September 13th, 2021
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Winter is typically considered the garden downtime, that one time of year when nothing is happening and all is bleak and monochromatic outside. Most gardeners are under the impression they must wait until Spring has sprung to enjoy colour and beauty. But this is not the case. There are plenty of plants for winter pots that can be displayed to add some colour to your garden.
Winter plants for pots
There are many hardy winter plants that bring forth colourful stems, bright and verdant foliage, mixed with even brighter flowers, even vivid berries. You can find the right mixture of winter flowering plants for pots that leave a stunning impact but don’t require a lot of maintenance. Such flowers and foliage can make all the difference on an otherwise dull winter day.
Winter pansies or violas can be planted in autumn and will flower well into spring
You can include plants outside, robust varieties like the winter-flowering pansies or violas which have the smaller flower. These pansies can be found in white, purple, yellow, and more. They will bloom forth and continue flowering in winter, recovering even under the worst of weather and will flower well into spring. So, don’t worry if you are stuck in an area with hard frosts, because there is something for everyone.
You can follow my guide here on how to sow winter pansies from seed step by step
Winter pansies are excellent for pots and look stunning when planted with a small miniature conifer such as goldcrest in the centre
If you want to bring flying friends to your garden to help enliven your spirits over winter, you can grow things like snowdrops which supply nectar for solitary bees. There are many bulbs you can plant for autumn and winter colour, check out this article of some of the best bulbs for winter colour.
Other options to consider include the Gaultheria procumbens which is a small evergreen shrub with bright red berries in winter and Ajuga. Ajuga, for instance, is a rugged evergreen that spreads low in the container and can be used to trail over with leaves that are rounded purple or boastful of a variegated purple. Ajuga is a wonderful alternative to ivy, without destructive tendencies.
Santolina chamaecyparissus, Festuca glauca both of which are pictured above, and Phormium can add some festivity and colour to your garden. Phormium is best known as an architectural evergreen which brings arched shaped leaves in all manners of colour, some with stripes, pink tones, bronze shades, or purple hues. These make for excellent mixes among more contemporary garden designs. Phormiums work well when planted on there own or used as a centrepiece in a large pot.
Also a more contemporary option, Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ boasts jet black leaves that will take over in the form of long, slender leaves, juxtaposed well by things like the Cyclamen persicum which is a free-flowering and hardy plant. Normally though, the Cyclamen persicum is used as an indoor plant so it will mix well with Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ in pots.
Euonymus fortunei can bring some much-needed cheer to your garden, as can Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ thanks to the pinkbuds they hold through winter before opening to pale pink-white flowers in spring. This is rugged evergreen and provides colour all year round including the much-needed winter colour which makes it perfect for pots. It produces grape-like clusters of bright pink buds all winter long.
So no matter what you decide for your winter pots, rest assured there is something out there to brighten your dark days.