31 Plants That Provide Beautiful Winter Interest

Is your winter garden giving you the blues? There are many plants you can add to your garden to provide growing-season and winter interest. In this article, gardening expert Jill Drago shares 31 of her favorite plants to provide winter interest in your garden.

A close-up of a Hellebore plant displays pristine white flowers and glossy green leaves which stand out against a snowy winter backdrop. The blossoms exude serenity, while the evergreen foliage promises life even in the harshest season.


If you are anything like me, you spend your summer days in the garden and your winter days dreaming about next summer’s garden plans! Winters can be dark and dreary, but they don’t need to be. Plants that bring winter interest can transform a boring landscape. 

While planning our gardens, we often think of the blooming season. Many plants on the market have a great blooming period that leads into a winter of bright, colorful berries. Many perennials are tough enough to resist the cold and hold their shape throughout the snowy seasons. 

If you want to add plants with a pop of color or life to your winter gardens, check out this list of 31 plants perfect for giving your garden winter flair!  

American Beautyberry

A close-up of American Beautyberry reveals a sturdy branch adorned with bright green, serrated leaves, contrasting the clusters of vibrant purple berries. The leaves display veins and fine textures, providing a lush background for the stunning berries that form tight clusters, creating a mesmerizing contrast of colors.
These berries persist throughout the winter, standing out against bare branches.
botanical-name botanical name Callicarpa americana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 3-6 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-11

American beautyberry is a year-round beauty. The shape of this shrub is elegant, with long arching branches. These shrubs will be covered in green leaves through the summer and will produce small, indiscreet flowers.

The show truly begins in the fall. In place of the flowers, bright purple berry clusters will wrap around the branches. Lasting throughout the winter, these berries will be the only thing present on the shrub. 

American beautyberry makes a great specimen shrub but is also nice when added to foundation gardens. Prune these shrubs back to one foot from the ground in late spring or early winter. They bloom on new wood. 

American Holly 

A close-up of American Holly showcases branches laden with glossy green leaves that glisten in the sunlight. Among the foliage, red fruits peek through, adding a touch of festive allure to the scene. The branches twist gracefully, their vibrant red berries echoing the spirit of the season.
The beauty of this large plant lies in its slow growth, so having ample room is a must.
botanical-name botanical name Ilex opaca 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 15-30 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

If you are a fan of hollies and you have the space in your yard, an American holly will make quite the statement. Growing up to 30 feet tall, this large conical-shaped holly just screams Christmas!  With the classic, glossy evergreen leaves and bright red berries, American holly is what winter garden dreams are made of.

This is a large plant. You truly need to have the room for it. The good news is that it is slow-growing. Plant American hollies as a lovely evergreen hedge for privacy and beauty. 

Blue Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’

A close-up of Blue Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’ showcases delicate grasses swaying gracefully in the breeze. Their slender blades display a striking steel-blue hue, creating an exquisite and calming texture. The ornamental grasses evoke a sense of tranquility and beauty in any garden.
Divide your blue fescue every few years to promote new growth and maintain plant health.
botanical-name botanical name Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8 inches to 1 foot
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-11

Blue fescue is a sweet, small, ornamental grass with beautiful bluish-silver foliage. These short tufts of grass produce tall, tan flowers during summer. The foliage will remain year-round, adding a nice texture to your otherwise bare perennial beds. 

Blue fescue loves full sun and tolerates even the poorest soils. Divide your blue fescue every few years to encourage new growth and keep the plants healthy. 

Blue Lilyturf

A close-up of potted Blue Lily Turfs reveals slender leaves with a rich green color and a slight arching form. Rising from the foliage, spikes of lavender blooms create an elegant contrast. The combination of the graceful leaves and vibrant spikes adds charm and elegance to the garden.
For maximum effect, consider planting blue lilyturf in clusters or broad sweeps.
botanical-name botanical name Liriope muscari
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to full shade 
height height 1-2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Blue lilyturf is an evergreen perennial grown just as much for its foliage as it is for its flowers. Resembling an ornamental grass, the foliage on blue lily turf is dark green and grows in a lovely arching shape. The clumps of foliage create a perfect bed for the spiked flowers, which bloom from summer into fall.

Blue lilyturf makes the most impact when planted in a grouping or a swath. Use this perennial as a low-growing hedge along a walkway or a front border plant for your flower beds. 

Buttercup Winterhazel

A close-up of Buttercup Winterhazel captures a branch adorned with a burst of yellow flowers. The vivid, star-shaped blossoms stand out against the brown branch, adding a bright and cheerful touch to the garden. The flowers radiate warmth and beauty in their natural setting.
The buttercup winter hazel is an excellent garden shrub if you desire autumn and late winter hues.
botanical-name botanical name Corylopsis pauciflora
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 4-6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

The buttercup winter hazel is a great garden shrub if you are looking for fall and late winter colors. Throughout the spring and summer, the leaves are not very notable. In autumn, the leaves will turn a fiery orange before dropping.

In late winter, red flower buds will appear on the branches and soon open to buttery yellow flowers. These flowers are long-lasting, blooming for many weeks to months!

Buttercup winterhazel is a nice specimen plant, grown mostly for its wintertime show. Add this slow-growing shrub to a woodland garden or a shrub garden in your yard. 


A close-up of a Camellia plant reveals a cluster of vibrant red flowers, their petals unfolding gracefully. Surrounding these crimson jewels, the deep green leaves stand proud, their glossy surfaces capturing the sunlight.
Consider incorporating these shrubs into foundation plantings or woodland edges.
botanical-name botanical name Camellia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to full shade 
height height 2-20 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

Camellias are quite possibly the most popular of the winter-blooming flowering shrubs. These shrubs have glossy evergreen foliage, which creates a perfect backdrop for the stunning flowers.

Blooming in widely varied colors, from white to pink and red, there is a camellia for every garden style.  Depending on where you live, these flowers can bloom from October until May. 

Camellias grow best in partial shade. The morning sun will help protect any flowers from being scorched by afternoon sunshine. Add these shrubs to a foundation planting or woodland edge. 

Chinese Witch Hazel 

A close-up of the Chinese Witch Hazel showcases an enchanting display of yellow flowers, each petal resembling a delicate spider's web spun in intricate patterns. These unique blossoms seem to dance in the breeze, casting a spell of wonder and admiration.
A late winter bloomer, Chinese witch hazel has striking golden blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Hamamelis mollis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 10-15 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Chinese witch hazel is a medium-sized tree known for its late winter blossoms. Throughout the growing season, Chinese witch hazel produces beautiful ovate leaves.

In late winter, Chinese witch hazel produces interesting and fragrant yellow flowers all along its bare branches. The yellow flowers are spider-like in appearance and open when the days are warm and sunny, and curl back up when it gets colder again.

Adding Chinese witch hazel to a border of shrubs makes a fun textural impact. The yellow flowers are welcome in any barren winter garden and amidst evergreen shrubs

Coral bark Maple ‘Winter Flame’

A close-up of the Coral bark Maple 'Winter Flame' unveils a spectacle of yellow-golden leaves, their hues igniting the landscape with a warm and inviting glow. The leaves, shaped like graceful fans, create a captivating mosaic of autumnal beauty, drawing the eye in.
During spring and summer, its foliage takes on a pleasant mid-green hue.
botanical-name botanical name Acer palmatum ‘Winter Flame’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 8-10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

If you have never encountered a coral bark maple, I urge you to check this tree out. As the name states, the tree’s bark is a striking shade of coral.

The foliage will be a mid-shade of green throughout the spring and summer. When fall rolls around, the leaves turn golden-orange before falling to the ground, fully exposing the decorative bark

 A relative of the Japanese maple, the coralbark maple is shorter and makes for a great specimen plant in a sitting area. Due to the smaller size of this tree, it will rarely need to be pruned. 

Cornelian Cherry 

A close-up of the Cornelian Cherry plant features branches heavy with hanging, shiny red fruits, like nature's ornaments glistening in the sun. Nestled amongst these ruby treasures are the leaves, lush and green, providing a vivid backdrop to this fruitful scene.
You can cultivate cornelian cherry trees as ornamental shrubs or trees.
botanical-name botanical name Cornus mas
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 15-25 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

The cornelian cherry is a specimen tree that provides year-round interest. Throughout the growing season, the leaves are light green and lush.

The magic of this tree begins during late winter when small yellow clusters of flowers appear. Once these flowers fade, they will transform into bright red berries in midsummer. 

Grown typically as an ornamental shrub or tree, plant cornelian cherry trees as a specimen plant, or add it to a shrub border. 

Curly Willow

A close-up of the Curly Willow presents golden-yellow branches that spiral and twist with an almost whimsical grace, adding a touch of playfulness to the landscape. Against the backdrop of a clear blue sky, these contorted branches create a striking contrast and a sense of natural artistry in motion.
Plant your curly willow in a damp garden area as they thrive in wet soil.
botanical-name botanical name Salix ‘Golden Curls’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 20-30 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

The curly willow is a quick-growing willow that will spread nicely. The golden yellow branches are curly and twisty as they reach for the ground, adding drama to your winter gardens. In the springtime, these curly branches will be covered in narrow, medium-green leaves. 

Plant your willow in a wet part of your yard. They love wet soil. Plant them in a mass for a swirly display!

Early Stachyurus

A close-up of Early Stachyurus reveals a delicate branch adorned with white racemes of flowers that gracefully hang like nature's ornaments. The lush green leaves frame this botanical spectacle, offering a vivid contrast to the ethereal blossoms, creating a serene botanical tableau.
One of the most captivating late winter blooming plants is the early stachyurus.
botanical-name botanical name Stachyurus praecox
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 4-10 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-9

If you have room for a large shrub, early stachyurus is one of the most glamorous late winter blooming plants. Towards the end of winter, this shrub will produce four-inch-long racemes of flowers that are said to resemble pearls. 

This shrub can get quite large, but it is well renowned and loved as a winner of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Plant this tree as a stunning specimen in your yard. 


A close-up of Firethorn showcases the vibrant red-orange fruits, glistening like fiery jewels amidst a backdrop of lush green leaves. The juxtaposition of these striking colors in nature's palette is a captivating sight, promising both visual and potentially edible delights.
Plant firethorn to create a dense and beautiful privacy screen.
botanical-name botanical name Pyracantha coccinea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 6-12 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

Firethorn is a semi-evergreen shrub that remains evergreen in mild climates. The deep green leaves create a dense screen. In the summertime, this shrub will be covered in small white flowers. Once the flowers have faded, scarlet red berries will appear and last through much of the winter. 

Firethorn is a useful shrub in many landscape instances. Plant firethorn as a dense and beautiful privacy screen. 

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick 

A close-up of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, the gnarled and twisted brown branches take center stage, showcasing nature's artistry. Nestled among these unique branches, pale yellow flowers in the form of catkins add a soft, delicate charm to the otherwise rugged landscape.
Be sure to remove any suckers promptly to preserve its shape and prevent unruliness.
botanical-name botanical name Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 8-10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Harry Lauder’s walking stick is a uniquely fun shrub. Not only does it have twisted branches that beautify your garden year-round, but the flowers that bloom in the late winter will bring some much-needed color to your flower beds. These flowers are pale yellow and grow in catkins. 

Plant the walking stick as a central part of any garden. No matter the season, this shrub will attract a lot of attention, but it will add immense interest in the wintertime. Remove suckers as soon as possible to maintain a pleasing shape and keep the shrub from getting unruly. 


A close-up of Heath highlights the dainty peach flowers, their bell-shaped petals delicately perched above the needle-like green leaves. This floral display forms a charming contrast, creating a picturesque composition in the world of botanical wonders.
Thriving in sandy soil and full sun, Heaths are great for borders, rock gardens, and containers.
botanical-name botanical name Erica spp. 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Heaths and their cousin plants in the heather group are evergreen perennials well-loved for their winter interest. These perennials are compact and grow in mounds covered in needle-like foliage.

These perennials will bloom from late winter into the spring. The flowers are often found in shades of pink or white.

Heath loves sandy soil and full shining sun. These plants make excellent border plants or additions to rock gardens and containers. 


A close-up of a Hellebore plant reveals its striking cup-shaped magenta flowers with uniquely patterned centers. The lush green leaves and sturdy stems stand out against the rich brown soil where it's rooted.
These shade-loving perennials make excellent additions to both foundation gardens and flower beds.
botanical-name botanical name Helleborus spp. 
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 1-2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Hellebores, commonly called Lenten roses or Christmas roses, are tough perennials that bring joyful winter color into our stark gardens. Hellebores have large leathery leaves, which are sometimes evergreen.

The show’s star, however, is the gorgeous cup-shaped blossoms that emerge anywhere from the middle of the winter into the spring. These flowers bloom in a variety of colors, from white to black. 

Hellebores are shade-loving perennials and make great additions to a foundation garden and a flower bed. Spruce up your spring containers by adding a few hellebores and then adding them to your garden once the blooming period has ended. 


A close-up of Hydrangea plants with clusters of delicate light purple and pink flowers. Their vibrant beauty is complemented by the lush green leaves. These Hydrangea plants are thriving in a bed of lush green grass.
Most hydrangeas thrive in the shady areas of your garden.
botanical-name botanical name Hydrangea spp. 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-20 feet, varies significantly between species
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

You may not think to add these summer beauties into your garden if you are searching for winter interest, but the truth is hydrangeas can beautify your yard any time of the year. Hydrangeas come in all shapes and sizes, from smaller shrubs to climbing vines.

Yes, these shrubs are deciduous, but if you choose not to deadhead your hydrangeas, they will last nicely through most of the winter, collecting frost and snow elegantly. 

Most hydrangeas prefer to grow in the shady parts of your garden. However, panicle hydrangeas love the sun. These hydrangeas don’t need to be pruned, but if you choose to prune, it should be done in the late winter. This pruning schedule will give you lots of time to enjoy those dried hydrangea blossoms you worked so hard on all season. 


A close-up of an Inkberry plant showcases its intricate branches adorned with dark, glossy leaves. Among them, dark purple small circular fruits add a touch of intrigue, with emerging green fruits promising future growth and abundance.
Just like other holly varieties, inkberry thrives in acidic soil.
botanical-name botanical name Ilex glabra 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 3-10 feet, varies significantly between variety 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Inkberry is a very versatile shrub. You will see it in many different styles of gardens due to its deep evergreen leaves and natural rounded shape.

In the springtime, inkberry shrubs will produce small white or light green flowers, which are not notable. However, these flowers will develop into deep blue, nearly black berries in the fall that will persist through the winter. 

These shrubs are low maintenance and will not require pruning unless you are trying to maintain a certain size or shape. As with other hollies, inkberry grows best in acidic soil.

Japanese Barberry ‘Rosy Rocket’

A close-up captures the exquisite charm of Japanese Barberry 'Rosy Rocket' with its small leaves marbled in dark pink. The intricate branches create a visual spectacle, showcasing the plant's unique elegance and vibrant coloration.
This plant is a beloved choice among gardeners due to its reliability and vibrant, deep red leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Rosy Rocket’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 3-4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Gardeners have loved Japanese barberry for quite some time due to its dependability and its deep red foliage. ‘Rosy Rocket’ adds an extra pop of color to the mix. In the springtime, new growth is light pink, aging to red as the season progresses. During fall, the variegation in the leaves becomes more pronounced, and bright red berries appear. The berries will remain through the winter, even after the leaves drop. Beware of the thorns!

Japanese barberry has become invasive in many regions of the United States. Check with your local extension office before planting.

Japanese Stewartia

A close-up of the Japanese Stewartia plant. A pristine white flower takes center stage, its purity and grace captivates the eye. Surrounding it are lush green leaves, framing this natural masterpiece with their vibrant backdrop.
The white cup-shaped flowers of Japanese stewartia add to its year-round charm.
botanical-name botanical name Stewartia pseudocamellia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 12-40 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Japanese stewartia is a stunning tree to add to your landscape. Another year-round beauty, the bark is the star of this show in the winter. The exfoliating bark is multi-colored and remains attractive throughout the year.

The fall foliage is quite notable. The ovate leaves are a crisp green all summer and turn to a fiery orange or deep red in the autumn. The white cup-shaped flowers begin to bloom in the early summer and are long-lasting. 

The Japanese stewartia won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society. This tree makes a stunning specimen plant and a great addition to flower beds or your woodland gardens

Northern Sea Oats

A close-up of Northern Sea Oats reveals vibrant green leaves adorning delicate, thin branches. In the softly blurred background, lush green foliage adds a serene touch to the image.
Ensure ample space for northern sea oats since they tend to spread.
botanical-name botanical name Chasmanthium latifolium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 2-5 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

As with most other ornamental grasses, northern sea oats add great winter interest if you do not cut them back until the spring. Northern sea oats grow quickly and produce lovely ornamental leaf blades. The seed heads this grass produces look like small oat flowers, adding a touch of coastal whimsy to your garden. 

Northern sea oats will spread a bit, so make sure you have room for this grass. In the late winter or early spring, cut these grasses back to about six inches to one foot from the ground. 

Paperbark Maple

A close-up showcases a Paperbark Maple branch, proudly displaying its exquisite paper-like bark. The intricate texture and warm hues of the bark create a captivating focal point in the frame.
The paperbark maple is an excellent choice for those who appreciate the birch tree’s appealing peeling bark.
botanical-name botanical name Acer griseum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 20-30 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Paperbark maple is a great option for those who love the look of a birch tree’s exfoliating and peeling bark. Birches can have health issues, while this maple is dependable and tough. The bark on this maple tree will continue to peel, with each peel revealing more cinnamon-red bark beneath it. 

Plant this tree as a specimen tree, or add it to a foundation garden or large flower bed that needs an anchor. 


A close-up of the Paperbush plant. The slender brown branches come to life with the promise of white and yellowish flower buds. Each branch exudes the anticipation of blossoms, inviting the viewer into the world of this lovely shrub.
This shrub offers year-round beauty with its attractive form and foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Edgeworthia chrysantha
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 4-6 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Paperbush is a year-round beauty! Throughout the growing season, this beautifully shaped shrub will be covered in blue-green leaves.

In the summer, you will notice silver flower buds beginning to appear. These flower buds will hang on until late winter when clusters of white flowers will begin to appear. The clusters can have up to 40 small flowers, creating a snowball-type show!

Add paperbush to your shrub border or use it as a specimen plant around your yard. 

Red Chokeberry 

A close-up of Red Chokeberry offers an intimate look at its sturdy branches, adorned with glossy green leaves. Clusters of radiant red fruits dangle from the branches, creating a picturesque scene of nature's bounty.
By planting this shrub, you can draw both pollinators and wildlife to your garden.
botanical-name botanical name Aronia arbutifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 5-10 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Red chokeberry is another beautiful four-season shrub. In the winter, this shrub will be covered in red jewel-toned berries. These berries will form after a season-long bloom of white or light pink flowers.  In the fall, the leaves will turn a brilliant red before dropping. Red chokeberry is semi-evergreen in warmer climates. 

Red chokeberry is native to North America, making it a tough and dependable garden shrub. Plant this shrub to attract pollinators as well as wildlife to your yard. 

Red Twig Dogwood

A close-up of Red Twig Dogwood showcases its striking leaves, their deep red hue providing a vibrant contrast against the backdrop. The slender branches and stems complete the picture, forming an intricate and graceful composition.
A hedge of red twig dogwood is a splendid year-round enhancement to your landscape.
botanical-name botanical name Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 6-9 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Red twig dogwood is probably one of the more popular shrubs grown for winter interest, and it is easy to see why. Not only is it easy to grow and very tolerant of many different growing conditions, but it sports the most stunning red stems that contrast so nicely against winter snow. During the warmer months, the red twig dogwood will be covered in medium green, ovate leaves that turn a fiery orange in winter. 

The red twig dogwood will make a statement no matter how you plant it in your yard. However, a hedge of this shrub makes for a beautiful year-round addition to your landscape. 

Sea Holly

A close-up of Sea Holly plants reveals intricate details. The vibrant flowers are striking with their silvery-blue spiky petals, creating a captivating contrast. The serrated leaves are silver-green, adding a unique texture to the plant's overall appearance.
Sea holly produces fascinating flowers that remain attractive throughout winter if not deadheaded.
botanical-name botanical name Eryngium spp. 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

This lovely herbaceous perennial produces interesting spiky flowers. It is the flowers that can provide winter interest in your gardens. They are long-lasting and will last throughout the winter if you do not deadhead them. They look especially lovely with a dusting of snow. 

Start your sea holly from seeds, or purchase mature plants from your garden center. Sea holly loves to grow in poor soil and full sun. This perennial makes a great addition to your flower beds and your cutting gardens. 


A close-up of Snowberry displays a branch adorned with clusters of white berries and lush green leaves. The round, pearl-like berries glisten among the vibrant foliage, creating a beautiful natural arrangement.
This shrub boasts white berries that persist throughout the winter.
botanical-name botanical name Symphoricarpos albus
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to full shade 
height height 3-6 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

Snowberry should be a requirement for gardens that are seeking winter interest. This shrub is notable for its white berries that remain on the shrub all winter long. In the summer, the shrubs have lush green leaves and discreet flowers that attract many pollinators. When the flowers fade, the berries appear, helping to bring beauty to your yard while feeding animals throughout the winter. 

Snowberry is a very low-maintenance plant. Grow this shrub along a woodland edge or a less manicured part of your garden for the best results. 

Stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’

A close-up of Stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’ reveals clusters of pink flowers, their delicate petals forming a beautiful rosette. These blooms contrast vividly with the succulent plant's thick, fleshy green leaves, creating a stunning natural composition.
This perennial doesn’t demand a lot of water or fertilizer.
botanical-name botanical name Sedum telephium 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 1-2 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

‘Autumn Joy’ stonecrop is a four-season perennial if you allow it to be. Growing as a light green succulent throughout the summer, this variety of stonecrop will produce beautiful red flowers toward the end of summer that last well into the fall. If the flowers remain and age on the plant, they will stay intact through the winter. 

Sedum grows very nicely in sandy soil and full blazing sun. This perennial does not require much in the way of water or fertilizer. Pair your ‘autumn joy’ with ornamental grasses, and add them to your raised beds. 


A close-up of the Viburnum plant showcases graceful white flowers that dangle from its branches like delicate ornaments. The broad green leaves beneath the blossoms provide an elegant backdrop, enhancing the overall visual appeal of this garden gem.
Viburnums are versatile, serving as hedges or standout specimens in foundation beds.
botanical-name botanical name Viburnum spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to full shade 
height height 2-30 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-10

When selecting a variety of viburnum for your yard, you pretty much have the world at your fingertips. This genus of shrubs is full of four-season beauties. From clusters of blossoms in the spring and summer to brightly colored berries in the fall and winter, you really can’t go wrong.

Viburnums make great hedges, as well as specimen plants in foundation beds. These shrubs tolerate many different growing conditions and are very low maintenance. 

Winter Aconite

A close-up of Winter Aconite unveils charming yellow cup-shaped flowers, each petal catching the sunlight. Beneath these bright blooms, the lush green leaves form a verdant carpet.
This low-growing perennial features bright yellow cup-shaped flowers atop deeply cut green bracts.
botanical-name botanical name Eranthis hyemalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 4-6 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

If you want a ground cover to brighten your winter garden, look no further than winter aconite. This low-growing perennial will emerge from the ground in the late winter before crocuses emerge. The bright yellow cup-shaped flowers bloom on top of deeply cut green bracts.

This perennial will go dormant by the end of the spring and would make a perfect addition to flower beds that are full of color in the summer but could use some help in the cooler months. 

Winter Daphne

A close-up of Winter Daphne displays clusters of pink flowers. The deep green leaves on the gracefully arching branches frame these blossoms, adding a touch of elegance to the winter garden.
Consider planting this fragrant shrub where you can savor its delightful scent.
botanical-name botanical name Daphne odora
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun 
height height 3-4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-9

To know a Daphne is to love Daphne. This beautiful shrub is a smaller size, which makes it versatile and easy to add to your landscape. The evergreen leaves remain elegant and deep green year-round. In early to mid-spring, the flower show begins. After the flowers fade, they will be replaced with bright red berries. 

Daphne makes the perfect addition to a pollinator garden. Plant this shrub somewhere you can enjoy its aroma, such as a patio or walkway. 


A close-up of Winterberry features bare brown branches adorned with clusters of vibrant red-orange berries. These striking berries pop against the stark branches, creating a captivating display that adds a burst of color to the winter landscape.
Winterberry is a deciduous shrub with glossy evergreen leaves and vibrant red berries.
botanical-name botanical name Ilex verticillata 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 6-10 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

This wintertime stunner is a member of the vast holly family. These shrubs are known for their glossy evergreen leaves and red berries. Winterberry, on the other hand, is a deciduous shrub. Its stems will become wrapped in red berries for most of the winter or until a critter eats them!

Winterberry makes a great addition to a border garden. Prune in the spring before any new growth appears to encourage blooms.

Final Thoughts

When deciding which plants to add to your garden for winter interest, it’s a good idea to look at the bigger picture of your yard overall. Where do you need color? Do you want berries or flowers, or will lush, glossy, evergreen leaves do the trick? Each garden is unique, and your plant list should be uniquely yours. 

If you want to start small, add one or two smaller perennials to a flower bed. If you are searching for your perfect hedge, reach for hollies or another evergreen option. Get creative, and choose something you love!

Cold hardy red rose growing in garden sun


17 Different Varieties of Winter Hardy Roses For Cold Climates

Have you always wanted roses, but feared losing them to harsh winters? If you thought you couldn’t grow roses due to your winter climate, this article is for you! Even gardeners with extreme winter temperatures can plant and enjoy roses. In this article, gardening expert and rose enthusiast Danielle Sherwood lists her favorite cold-hardy rose varieties, with names and pictures of each!

In a beautiful English-style cottage garden, pink and purple peonies thrive alongside companion plants boasting white blossoms. The garden's expanse is lush and inviting, creating a picturesque scene of floral abundance.

Gardening Tips

How to Create A Cottage Garden

Interested in creating a charming cottage garden in your yard? In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss will walk through the steps and elements of creating a wonderfully wild cottage garden.

close up of a branch laden with bright green leaves and ripening fruit.

Gardening Tips

What Trees Work Best in a Permaculture Garden?

Are you starting a permaculture garden and wondering what trees to grow? Permaculture is a great way to create a sustainable garden in your own yard! You can grow a wide variety of plants and enjoy an edible landscape. In this article, gardening enthusiast Liessa Bowen will discuss the types of trees that work wonderfully in a permaculture garden.

a tree is loaded with round, ripe, yellow fruits and green foliage in a sunny garden.


14 Beautiful Edible Shrubs for Your Garden

Foodscaping has gained momentum in recent years as gardeners combine ornamental plants with edibles. Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares 14 beautiful edible shrubs that lay a foundation for your edible garden.

Frost sparkles on the cupped leaves of a green winter cabbage,


15 Cold-Season Vegetables That Get Sweeter After a Frost

While autumn frosts wipe out warm-season crops like tomatoes and basil, they boost the sweetness of cold-season crops. That’s because cold temperatures cause crops to concentrate simple sugars, leading to sweeter veggies. In this article, vegetable farmer Briana Yablonski shares some fall vegetables that are sweeter after a frost.