The leaves have fallen off the trees, the days have gotten shorter, and there’s a chill in the air that’s not going to let up until spring. Just because the season is changing doesn’t mean you have to let your garden suffer. Luckily, there are plenty of plants that survive through the winter so they’re still fresh and vibrant when the days start to get longer and warmer.
The United States is separated into different zones, which helps you identify which plant will grow in your area. There is a total of 13 hardiness zones in the United States. This is a great way to help you choose plants for your garden that will thrive in temperatures in your zone. For example, if you’re in Zone 4, you’re somewhere with a cold climate in winter with temperatures at -20°F to -30°F. In Zone 3, temperatures get as low as -30°F and -40°F during the winter. In Zone 2, temperatures get to -20°F and -30°F. If you live in zones 1-7, then it’s a good idea to check out some of the perennials and flowers below so your garden flourishes all year long. That way, you’re not left with a dead garden when springtime finally breaks the frost!
Many of these plants are easy to care for and don’t need a lot of attention in order to show their vibrant colors. If you’re looking for ways to give some colorful life to your garden this winter, then check out these 20 best plants that survive the winter.
A member of the mint family, this plant can come in colors of pink, white, or lavender. As long as you choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil, these plants will thrive. Once they’re rooted after one year of good sunlight and watering, they can survive in drought. Catmint is also resilient to deer. It’s a perfect plant to have during the dry, sunless, winter months. Catmint thrives in Zone’s 3 to 9.
Suited for many different locations in the United States, the Blue Spruce is a beautiful plant that looks magical covered in snow. It has a vibrant blue hue that will brighten up your yard during the dark winter months. It’s one of the most popular evergreens due to its color and ability to adapt to many different soils – loamy, moist, clay, sandy, and acidic. The deep root system allows it to survive wind better than many other spruces. Blue Spruce loves Zone 2 to 7.
Coralbells come in a beautiful variety of color that ranges from green, red, purple, and orange. You’ll get white bell-shaped flowers in the early summertime. In order for these flowers to survive the winter, you need to make sure you plant them at least one month before winter comes. They love zone 4 to 9.
Native to eastern North America and Zones 4 to 7, the winterberry will brighten up your landscape during winter because of its bright, vivid red color. It has little disease or insect problems, making it an easy plant to care for in your garden. It loses its leaves in the autumn. Once the leaves fall to the grown, bright red berries pop up, making the plant one of the most vibrant ones out there.
This beautiful plant is a vibrant addition to any garden located in zone 4 to 8. You’ll have to give it plenty of insulation during the winter so it does not die. Phlox will also keep deer away, so if you have plants that deer love to munch on, then add these to your garden.
Drought tolerant and resilient to both hot and cold temperature extremes, sedum is a great plant to grow in your garden to survive through the winter. They’re hardy until Zone 4 and tend to bloom in late summer or the fall. Let them poke through the snow for some added decorations this winter.
Coneflowers survive winter as long as you cover them with one to two layers of mulch after the fall. These flowers come in a wide number of varieties, like orange, yellow, and white, that bloom in the summer and fall months. Once they go dormant after fall, they will bloom again after the winter months. They thrive in Zones 3 to 9.
One of the plants that tolerate winters the most, hostas love the shade and experience significant growth every year in Zones 3 to 9. Make sure the roots or crown are not exposed when planting them since they might die if they’re exposed to cold temperatures.
These droplet-like flowers survive all through the holidays and Christmas in Zones 3 to 7. The small, inner petals have green markings, while the droplet like flower has six petals.
These flowers will brighten your garden due to the wide variety of colors to choose from. They can survive below freezing temperatures in Zone 4 to 7. If you plant them in September or October, they will become bright blooms during the spring and summer.
Hellebores Winter Flowers
These beautiful flowers have late winter blooms that last from February – March. They do well in partial shade and moist soil in Zone 6 to 9. They’re low maintenance flowers and deer-resistant, meaning you won’t have to spend much time with them in order to have the best results.
These flowers are better suited for Mediterranean climates. One of the most interesting parts about these plants is that they turn a deeper shade of blue as it gets colder outside! You can watch these flowers change as the temperature outside changes as well, and thrive until Zone 5.
Best suited for winter and spring, the Sweet Alyssum flowers love frosty temperatures. They have a sweet, subtle scent. You can set these flowers out during early springtime. These flowers are easy to grow and will attract bees and many other insects. They’re covered in beautiful white flowers for a majority of the season until Zone 6.
These plants are easy to care for, as they only require partial or full sunlight and not-to-soggy soil. What they lack in looks, they make up for in fragrance. They are some of the most fragrant flowers you can have this holiday season. Bees love them for their nectar, and birds love them for their berries. They thrive in Zone 2 to 5.
These flowers come in a wide array of colors, from white, yellow, lilac, blue and purple. They can be several feet tall and can thrive in Zone 3 winters. You need to make sure the soil is rich and moist, and check every so often for rodent damage from mice or rabbits.
If you want to go big, add Witch Hazel to your backyard. They can grow up to 30 feet tall with beautiful yellow flowers. These will brighten up your backyard during the winter and add a nice fragrance to your yard. They love Zone 5 to 8.
Add Dogwood to your garden for a more colorful look during the winter months. Dogwood can be bright yellow or red and looks vibrant against the white winter snow. These are easy to maintain, as you only need to plant them the one time and let them grow, as long as it’s in Zone 4 to 9.
These shade resilient flowers thrive during the freezing winter months. They have deep, rich, green leaves and white flowers. These flowers come in white or pink varieties. Deer love perennial gardens, so make sure to choose lily-of-the-valley especially in winter to prevent any damage. They’re hardy to Zone 3.
As long as these gorgeous pink flowers receive four to six hours of daylight per day, they’ll be in full bloom throughout winter. They’ll survive temperatures below freezing as long as they’re protected from icy winds in Zone 6.
One of the most beautiful parts about these flowers is that they provide a source of nectar for migrating monarch butterflies. They’ll sustain Zone 4 winters and grow up to six feet tall.
These are 20 plants that survive winter so you don’t have to suffer through a dead garden that doesn’t give you any vibrant colors or hope for spring! With preparation and planning, you can prepare your garden before winter comes. Many of these plants do well in different zones depending on where you live, so make sure you’re planting a garden that suits your environment.
These plants and perennials are colorful, easy to care for, and even keep deer away. You’ll also need to make sure you prepare your garden for winter by adding mulch, which can be done using supplies already in your backyard like bark chips and straw. Cleaning up trees and shrubs and removing any invasive weeds that seem to have wound their way around your precious plants is another way to help prepare your garden.
Head out, buy some perennials, and start gardening!