Before the winter storms roll in, ensure your garden maintains a little lively color by planting some cold weather plants that can survive the cold snap. Surprisingly enough, there are a wide variety of plants and even flowers that will bloom and thrive with the occasional freeze. So, before you settle in for a drab winter season, get these plants in the ground and enjoy them for the months to come.


Great for dry winters, sedum is a hardy creeper that is perfect for borders or areas that need coverage. It comes in either low or tall varieties and bloom with dusty pink flowers through drought and hot summers.


While peony flowers won’t bloom in the dead of winter they will burst in color for the early spring. With bright blooms that come in a rainbow of hues they are tough enough to survive long, frigid winters with deep freezes.

Coral Bells

Also known as Heucheras, these herbaceous shade perennials are known mainly for their robust and colorful foliage. They are easy to propagate through cuttings and great for cooler climates since they need a minimum of six-week cold period before planting in soil.


Coneflowers are as tough as they come and tolerate both heat and drought exceptionally well. They have large blooms in bright sunny colors, like red, orange, yellow, and while are great for pollinators. After the plant drops blooms and begins to die back, cut them down and protect the roots with a layer of mulch. Uncover again in the early spring and watch for new shoots.

Bee Balm

Part of the mint family, Bee Balm is another pollinator friendly addition to the garden. It develops large, aromatic flowers in orange, purple or white depending on the varietal and can last through cooler weather while maintaining blooms. A word of caution, watch where you plant it, since it does tend to send out runners to spread.

Siberian Iris

Great for areas where the temps dip below zero, this bulb comes in brilliant colors of blue, lilac, yellow, while and purple. It requires a bit of care but provides lasting beauty with its large green leaves and vibrant blooms.


Large, bushy, and fragrant, catmint produces lavender like flowers in the spring and starts to bloom almost as soon as it comes out of dormancy. Make sure to clip the plants back in the autumn to make room for new growth and deadhead any remaining blooms.

Boxwood Hedge

The dense leaves and rounded shape of the boxwood, makes it an excellent choice for winter gardens. It can stand up to snow and is a popular choice for topiaries. A staple in gardens around the country, it thrives in winter climates with lots of light.

Potted Blue Spruce

One of the more traditional holiday plants, blue spruce has a high tolerance for cold and chill. With needles instead of leaves, it maintains it’s look and wintery color through the spring. Cuttings can be taken for Christmas wreaths and enjoyed for weeks as the scent diminishes.

Ornamental Cabbages

While most cabbages are annuals, they are very popular winter plants since they maintain their color through the cooler months. They add texture and contrast with broad leaves and interesting shapes and sizes and once hardened off, will last through the year.

Holly Bush

A popular holiday plant, holly bushes boast an eye-catching display of glossy green leaves and bright red or even gold berries. They last through the winter and into spring, maintaining their cheerful look through the snowy season.


A wonderful winter flower, snowdrops are named for their delicate white petals that look like drops of ice. Plant in the fall for blooming in the frosty spring. The arrival of snowdrops out of the winter frost often marks the end of winter.

While this is only a sample of the wide variety of plants available, there are so many options for year-round beauty in the garden. With a little pre-planning your outdoor space can thrive through the autumn, winter and into spring while you enjoy the fruits of your labor year-round.