26 Plants For Winter Colour In Your Garden

Cyclamen

The weather here in dear Old Blighty can be very drab during the autumn and winter, so below is a list of some of our favourite plants to brighten up your containers and add some colour to your garden during the colder months.

Before we begin with our list here are a few tips to make and keep your autumn and winter containers look their best.

When the temperature dips plants tend to grow very little, so make sure you have enough plants that they are a good size to fill all the container you wish to plant, also by doing this it will give an instant splash of colour in your garden.

To ensure your plant’s foliage stays healthy and green throughout the winter months position your containers in a position where they will receive as much light as possible.

To care when watering containers in winter, check compost regularly as it soon dries out in a mild spell, and smaller plants are more susceptible to under or overwatering.

Remember that the plants in your containers will not need feeding during the colder months.

To help prevent your pots cracking in freezing conditions raise them off the ground onto pot feet or bricks, this will also help with drainage of your containers.

Bubble wrap your containers in the most severe weather to reduce damage to the plant’s roots.


Bellis

Bellis

Bellis is a hardy perennial with daisy-like flowers. They can be used as edging for beds or planted in window boxes, container pots or hanging baskets. Bellis can also be used to fill empty areas at the front of a border and blend well into rock gardens.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-15cm (4-6in)

Spread: 10-15cm (4-6in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Alkaline, Acid, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained


Buxus (Sempervirens)

Buxus

Also known as box hedging, buxus is a vigorous, bushy, upright, evergreen shrub. Its dense habit makes it ideal for hedging and can be closely clipped into different shapes and sizes.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 4-8m (13-26ft)

Spread: 4-8m (13-26ft)

Time to ultimate height: 20-50 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Clay, Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Calocephalus

Calocephalus

A hardy perennial with an unusual bushy silver foliage, that provides a useful contrast in patio containers and hanging baskets from winter into spring.

Type: Perennial

Height: 45cm (18in)

Spread: 30cm (12in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained


Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

A hardy perennial that produces flowers from late summer to late autumn. Ideal for borders, beds, patio pots and containers.

Type: Perennial

Height: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Cyclamen

Cyclamen

A hardy perennial that puts a splash of colour in your borders, patio containers and hanging baskets all autumn and winter long. Cyclamen can also be used as a house plant if kept in a cool position.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-20cm (4-8in)

Spread: 10cm (4in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Partial Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Alkaline, Acid, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained


Ellwoodii

Ellwoodii

Ellwoodii are a very slow-growing evergreen conifer. Ideal for borders or patio containers. Ellwoodii are also an excellent choice for the middle of a hanging basket in autumn and winter.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 4-8m (13-26ft)

Spread: 1.5-2.5m (4-8ft)

Time to ultimate height: 20-50 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained


Erica

Erica

An evergreen shrub that is also known as bell heather. Ericas dislike lime but will withstand drier conditions than many other heathers. Ideal for borders, patio containers or the centre of a hanging basket in autumn and winter.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 5-10 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Euonymus

Euonymus

One of the most versatile and least demanding evergreen shrubs. Happy in full sun or fairly deep shade and dry soils.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Spread: 100-150cm (40-60in)

Time to ultimate height: 10-20 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Gaultheria

Gaultheria

Gaultheria is a dwarf evergreen shrub, that produces red berries, which are aromatic when crushed. Ideal for borders, patio containers or hanging baskets in the winter months.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Time to ultimate height: 5-10 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Goldcrest

Goldcrest (Cupressus macrocarpa)

Cupressus macrocarpa a fast-growing, evergreen conifer, that produces a bright golden yellow foliage persisting into winter. Goldcrest can be planted in borders or containers and can also be clipped into different shapes and sizes.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 2.5-4m (8-13ft)

Spread: 1.5-2.5m (4-8ft)

Time to ultimate height: 10-20 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained


Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)

Grape Hyacinth

A bulbous perennial, that produces small blue or white bell-shaped flowers in spring. Grape hyacinth are also winter hardy and easy to grow that no garden should be without them. Muscari can also be grown in pots indoors to brighten up the home in the winter months.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10cm (4in)

Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Hardy Fern

Hardy Fern

Ferns belong to the oldest plant variety on earth. There are more than 10,000 varieties of ferns found all over the world. They reproduce by spores and filter polluted air and produce pure oxygen. These evergreen shrubs are ideal for the garden, or in tubs as a terrace plant. Ferns love the shade but should receive much light indirectly.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 100-150cm (40-60in)

Spread: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Time to ultimate height: 5-10 years

Position: Partial Shade, Full Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Heather

Heather

Heathers are a low growing or dwarf evergreen shrub, that grow in well-drained acidic soil in full sun. Heathers are ideal for banks, slopes, rockeries and borders. The winter flowering varieties are an excellent choice for patio pots and hanging baskets in autumn and winter.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Hebe

Hebe

An evergreen shrub, that produces flowers in summer and autumn. Hebes can tolerate shade but are best suited in full sun, they also need to have well-drained soil with some humus such as compost worked in to prevent the roots from becoming too dry.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 5-10 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Heuchera

Heuchera

A clump-forming evergreen, that looks good used around the edge of a border or grown in swathes with gold or silver variegated plants.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Hyacinth

Blue Hyacinths

Hyacinths are a bulbous perennial, that produce highly fragrant flowers in the spring. They come in shades of white, peach, orange, salmon, yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender and blue. Hyacinths are ideal for borders or patio pots. They can also be grown indoors or used as a cut flower.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10cm (4in)

Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Ivy

Ivy

An evergreen climber, that is excellent for covering a bare wall. Ivy suits a variety of locations as a ground cover plant and there are many colours available that will brighten up a dull corner. Ivy is also an excellent trailing plant for summer and winter hanging baskets or can even be used as a houseplant.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 2m (6ft)

Spread: 2m (6ft)

Time to ultimate height: 5-10 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Loam

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Lavender (Hidcote)

Lavender

English lavender hidcote is a bushy dwarf evergreen shrub, that produces silvery-grey leaves and small deep violet-purple flowers. Suitable for growing in borders or as dwarf hedging.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 10-60cm (4-24in)

Spread: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Clay, Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained


Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses can be a herbaceous or evergreen shrub. A low maintenance plant, that is ideal for a cottage garden’s, rockeries or patio containers. One of the most popular varieties, festuca glauca ‘intense blue’, is hardy down to a temperature of -18°C.

Type: Evergreen, Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Pansy

Winter Pansy

A popular bedding in summer and winter. 1979 was the year that universal pansy first made its appearance and changed our winter gardens forever. Ideal for borders, pots or hanging baskets.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Primrose

Primrose

Primroses are a herbaceous perennial, that are one of the most popular bedding plants for winter and spring. Primulas are ideal for borders, patio pots or hanging baskets.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Rosemary

Rosemary Plant

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub with aromatic leaves, which can be used as a culinary and medicinal herb. Their flowers attract bees and butterflies. Plant in a position where it is brushed in passing to release its scent. Trim after flowering to keep plants in shape.

Type: Semi-Evergreen

Height: 100-150cm (40-60in)

Spread: 100-150cm (40-60in)

Time to ultimate height: 5-10 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Skimmia

Skimmia

A slow-growing compact evergreen shrub, that has aromatic leaves and produces small white or yellow fragrant flowers in April till May. It can be planted in the garden or a patio pot or container.

Type: Evergreen

Flowering period: April-May

Height: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Spread: 50-100cm (20-40in)

Time to ultimate height: 10-20 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Loam,

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Tête-à-tête (Mini Daffodils)

Tête-à-tête (Mini Daffodils)

A bulbous herbaceous perennial, that produces flowers in early spring. Ideal for cottage gardens, rockery, hanging baskets and cut flowers.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10cm (4in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Moist but well-drained


Viola

Voila

A popular bedding in summer and winter. 1979 was the year that universal pansy first made its appearance and changed our winter gardens forever. Ideal for borders, pots or hanging baskets.

Type: Perennial

Height: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Spread: 10-50cm (4-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained


Winter Cherry (Solanum)

Winter Cherry

Winter cherries are a small bushy evergreen, they produce round orange ornamental fruits in winter. Ideal for winter hanging baskets and patio containers, or planted in a border. Solanum can also be kept as an indoor plant.

Type: Evergreen

Height: 20-50cm (8-20in)

Spread: 20-50cm (8-20in)

Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years

Position: Full Sun

Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Soil Moisture: Moist but well-drained

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