Though the winter season is a time of relaxation for most gardeners, some of us often find ourselves itching for flower beds to spring into life. As the end of winter approaches, it is easy to become impatient while waiting for the soil to once again become workable.
Fortunately for those of us who are eager to enjoy a new growing season, many ornamental flowering plants can provide a bright pop of color, even while snow is still on the ground. Though bloom time can vary greatly depending upon the growing zone, below is a list of five of our absolute favorite early season flowers.
Flowers That Bloom in Winter
- Crocus – Crocus bulbs are perennials that can be planted in the fall and will return each spring. Crocus flowers are most commonly found in shades of white, yellow, and purple. For larger blooms, make certain to select ornamental hybrid varieties. These bulbs are hardy to USDA growing zones 3-8, and may even naturalize where conditions are ideal.
- Daffodils – Daffodils are a long-time garden favorite. These bright ornamentals are frequently planted in large masses or near homes, barns, and other outbuildings. Bloom time of daffodils will depend greatly upon the variety, but there are several early season cultivars which may begin to open while snow is still falling. “Barrett Browning,” “February Gold,”
“Rijnveld’s Sensation,” and “Ceylon” are among the earliest daffodil varieties available to landscapers.
- English Daisies – Also known as Bellis perennis, English daisies are an early blooming perennial. Small, unique flowers open to display quill-like petals around a bright yellow center disk. The short stature of the plant makes it ideal for use in containers and at the front of flower borders. It is not uncommon for English daisies to begin blooming as early as February.
- Hellebores – Blooming sometime in very late winter, depending upon the zone, hellebores are a beloved perennial for flower borders. Hardy to USDA zones 6-9, hellebores are highly adapted to a wide range of growing conditions. In fact, the plants are able to thrive in both sunny and shady locations, providing that the site drains well.
- Snowdrops – Also known as Galanthus, snowdrop bulbs can begin blooming as early as February, while snow is still covering the ground. The snowdrop’s flower form is exceptionally unique, as it hangs downward from the plant’s stem. Though this bulb is hardy to USDA growing zone 7, their best performance occurs in colder winter climates.