Every spring, avid gardeners run outside to spruce up their landscaping for the seasons ahead. It’s great to have plans for beautiful spring and summer flowers, but what about outdoor winter plants to keep your landscaping looking striking all year round?
We’ve put together our guide to outdoor winter plants that thrive in the cold. Just because the temperatures have fallen doesn’t mean your landscaping has to be dreary! Check out our tips for winter outdoor plants, how to care for them, and be the envy of your neighbors every season.
Using Outdoor Winter Plants for Your Landscaping
When you think about landscaping, most homeowners jump to thoughts of bright spring flowers, full trees, and additional elements like water features. When the weather turns cold and the days grow shorter, however, there are still loads of opportunities to make your landscaping shine.
There are perennials, annuals, and shrubs that produce blooms during the winter months, giving you the chance to spruce up your landscaping with outdoor winter plants that boost curb appeal and make you the envy of the neighborhood. Winter blooming plants and evergreen shrubs add vibrancy to the barren winter season and can even have a positive impact on your mood. They make your home more welcoming to guests as well as make ideal landscaping additions if you happen to be selling your home in winter.
As a bonus, caring for winter outdoor plants is typically pretty easy, as they don’t require much maintenance. This means your winter landscaping is likely the easiest garden to maintain. You can also get creative with outdoor winter decor ideas, carefully adding plants to backyard water feature installations like fountains for a burst of life after having been drained for the winter.
Best Outdoor Plants for Winter
So which outdoor winter plants should you be adding to your landscaping? There are lots of options to choose from that thrive in the Upstate NY area. Some of our favorite winter plants and shrubs for Upstate NY include:
- Winter jasmine
- Holly bush
- Abelia shrubs
One of the best outdoor plants for winter in Upstate NY is the camellia. While many varieties of this plant cannot thrive in the colder regions, the Camellia japonica “Korean Fire” variety is the hardiest in North America and can withstand the harsher winter months.
🪴Plant Tip: These plants are very easy to care for and thrive when planted in the shade or with partial sun (morning sun, afternoon shade). It’s best to mulch around the plant and not cover them in too much soil, as they do best when not planted deep. Water them when dry to keep them moist and use well-drained soil for planting.
A very early bloomer, winter jasmine is an outdoor winter plant that produces buttery yellow blooms starting in January. Super easy to grow, these outdoor winter outdoor plants are perfect for homeowners looking for low-maintenance landscaping ideas to spruce up their homes during the colder months.
🪴Plant Tip: Winter jasmine does well in well-drained soil and with full sun to partial shade. When planted in heavy shade, the number of blooms will be reduced. After it flowers, you can rejuvenate winter jasmine with substantial pruning to keep it looking great.
The holly bush is one of the most iconic outdoor winter plants and a favorite amongst homeowners everywhere. An evergreen plant, holly bushes keep their vibrant green leaves and may produce bright red berries. Most varieties of holly bush have male and female plants, so it’s important to note that only female plants produce berries.
🪴Plant Tip: These are some of the best outdoor plants for winter that love sunlight and well-drained soil. Water them daily for the first week after they’re planted and then twice a week until they’re established and thriving. Holly bushes do require some pruning to keep them from suffocating themselves.
Another evergreen on our list of the best outdoor plants for winter is the abelia shrub. These shrubs have pretty red foliage during summer that deepens and stands out for all the best reasons during winter.
🪴Plant Tip: Abelia shrubs love full or partial sun, and will spread out wide, so choose a prominent place in your yard to showcase these for a splash of winter color. They’re low-maintenance, requiring watering only a couple times a week during hot temperatures and even less during the winter months. The best time to prune them is in late winter when new growth begins.
Caring for Winter Outdoor Plants
Outdoor winter plants are often very low-maintenance. That doesn’t mean you can leave them entirely to their own devices, however. A thorough watering followed by fresh mulch to retain that moisture is the perfect start before frosts set in. You may also need to prune away any dead leaves before winter sets in to prevent disease or other sicknesses that can devastate your winter landscaping.
You’ll be able to cut back on watering and skip the fertilizer during the winter months. Even outdoor winter plants won’t grow as much during the cold season, making it unnecessary to add fertilizer into the mix.
We hope this guide to outdoor winter plants has inspired you for the next cold-weather season! Just because the sky is gray and the temperatures have fallen doesn’t mean your landscaping has to be bland. Add some pops of color with winter outdoor plants and shrubs and keep your home looking incredible all year long.