10 Outdoor Plants For Winter Containers - Backyard Boss
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10 Outdoor Plants For Winter Containers

The cold, winter weather can surely dampen your landscape. Add color to your outdoor space this winter with beautiful, cold-hardy plants perfect for containers. From bright flowers, stunning foliage, and charming berries, you’ll be sure to add visual interest. 

To help you plan your cold-weather arrangement, check out this list of 10 outdoor plants for your winter containers.

1. Winter Heather

Pink winter heather
Image credit: akirEVarga via Pixabay

It’s no wonder that Winter Heather, a flowering evergreen shrub, thrives in cooler temperatures. Known for its incredible pink blooms, this plant is magnificent as a centerpiece or to add some height to your container. Depending on the variety, the blooms may slow down over the winter, but the leaves will stay green all year. Be sure to plant early to give time for the roots to establish.

2. Snow Crocus

purple and white crocus
Image credit: Nowaja via Pixabay

When creating your winter containers, it’s a good idea to plant a base layer of flower bulbs. In the spring, they will burst through, bringing life back to your fading winter garden. Crocus are a perfect choice, with exquisite purple, yellow, and white petals. Snow Crocus, in particular, will greet you earlier than other varieties.

3. Winter-flowering Pansy

Purple and white pansies
Image credit: Vijay Kumar Gaba via Unsplash

Pansies are a popular spring flower, but did you know that this seemingly delicate flower also thrives in the winter months? Known to survive deep freezes, pansies are an incredibly cold-hardy flowering plant. The winter-flowering Pansy is especially resistant to the cold, pushing out blooms even amidst the snow.

4. Coral Bells

Purple coral bells
Image credit: HilherC via Pixabay

With an array of stunning foliage, coral bells are an ideal choice for your large winter containers. From deep purple to lime green, the wide variety of colors will complement the flowers in your arrangement. Coral bells are best-suited for temperate climates over winter, so check the variety; some are more cold-hardy than others. Protect your plants from the cold winter wind by placing them near a structure, or by burying the pot(s) in the ground.

5. Cyclamen

Pink Cyclamen
Image credit: Big_Heart via Pixabay

This spectacular plant boasts both attractive foliage and beautiful blooms that will wow you all winter long, especially in temperate climates. The heart-shaped, silver-marked leaves are as striking as their pink blooms. Cyclamen parviflorum, a small and cold-hardy variety, is one of the better options for outdoor winter containers. In cooler regions, it’s a good idea to insulate your containers as they won’t be as protected as plants that root in the ground.

6. Wintergreen

Tender wintergreen plants presented on market stall
Image credit: Uriel Mont via Pexels

It’s no surprise that evergreens are a popular choice for outdoor gardening. Wintergreen is a classic for winter containers, with its lush green foliage and bright red berries. This low-growing plant is great as a border for your containers and will trail over the sides for a striking look. And if you do get snow in your region, the berries set against the white snow will have you ready for Christmas.

7. Boxwood

Boxwood Plant on Pot
Image credit: Mushtaq Hussain via Pexels

Boxwoods are a low-maintenance and popular evergreen that brings a lush dark-green color to your containers. They are shallow-rooting shrubs, making them suitable for container gardening. Impressive on their own, or with flowers tucked around the base, boxwoods shine in the winter months and make a great feature piece.

8. Japanese Yew

Japanese yew tree with red berries found along a street in Otaru, Hokkaido in winter.
Image credit: Ian Lai via Unsplash

If you are looking for a bold statement in your winter containers, then a Japanese Yew may be what you need. This tall and compact evergreen, adorned with red berries, looks outstanding at the entranceway or walkway to greet your guests. This plant is low-maintenance, but be sure to give it a large pot to protect its roots. Plant it on its own, or add flowers to the base for a pop of color.

9. Juniper

Potted juniper plants placed on stall
Image credit: Uriel Mont via Pexels

Juniper is a great low-maintenance coniferous evergreen that is perfect for container gardening, keeping its color all winter long. If you have trouble with it taking over your garden, then you may want to try it in a pot. Its ability to quickly grow makes it fantastic for winter container gardening, and the creeping varieties are ideal for complementing other plants.

10. Ornamental Kale and Cabbage

 Bunches of potted ornamental kale in glasshouse
Image credit: Nguyen Hung via Pexels

Ornamental kale and cabbage are interesting and gorgeous additions to your winter containers. Their eye-catching pink, red, and white colors actually become more vibrant as the temperatures drop. Known to survive down to five degrees Fahrenheit, they will outlast other plants until the summer heat rolls around. While they are technically edible, you are better off enjoying their beauty than attempting kale chips.

Winter is Looking Brighter

These are just a few of the remarkable plants you can use for your winter containers to keep your outdoor space vibrant all year. With a mix of colorful flowers, stunning foliage, and lush evergreen, you will feel like summer never left. Be sure to check the particular plant varieties to ensure they will thrive in your climate.

Do you plant outdoor winter containers? What are your favorite winter plants?