Winter’s arrival may seem like a time of dormancy in the garden, but there are some shrubs that surprise us with a burst of vibrant berries. These colorful berries not only add beauty to your winter landscape, but they also serve as a valuable food source for wildlife.
What’s also great is that there are numerous options to choose from – you can opt for dark purple berries to create a dramatic effect, pink berries for adding a soft touch, or yellow berries to make your garden look more lively and cheerful!
In this article, we are going to talk about 5 beautiful shrubs that produce vibrant berries throughout the cold winter months. Keep reading to learn more about these shrubs and how to take care of them.
1. Skimmia Japonica Reevesiana
If you have limited garden space, then Skimmia Japonica Reevesiana is the perfect choice for you!
This compact evergreen shrub can produce bright red berries along with leathery, dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers that bloom in spring. You can grow this winter shrub in containers on a balcony or patio.
Most Skimmia plants require both male and female plants in order to produce berries. However, that’s not the case with Reeve’s skimmia because it is a type of self-pollinating plant that can produce berries on its own!
When it comes to plant care, Skimmia Japonica thrives in well-draining soil that is also fertile and slightly acidic. There’s no need to prune this plant but you can do it to maintain a certain shape and size. These winter shrubs are generally low-maintenance and relatively cold-hardy.
You might also be interested in: 24 Plants To Keep Your Garden Vibrant And Lively During Winter
2. Dwarf Burford Holly
We have to mention another charming evergreen shrub that is perfect for small gardens!
Dwarf Burford Holly is a variety of dwarf holly that produces lovely red berries during the winter season. These berries contrast beautifully against their small, glossy, dark green leaves. Burford holly is known for its hardiness and adaptability to various garden conditions.
This is one of the best plants for wildlife during winter. With holly in your garden, you will keep birds and other animals very well fed during a period of scarce food sources.
This gorgeous shrub has a slow-to-moderate growth rate, so you don’t have to worry about pruning frequently. You can grow it as a border plant, in a hedge, or as a statement plant in the garden.
Remember to make sure that the soil is well-draining. You don’t have to worry about sun exposure because holly can tolerate both full sun and partial shade.
3. Scarlet Firethorn
Scarlet Firethorn is another stunning, evergreen shrub that is known for its display of bright red berries that persist through winter. It produces prickly leaves and small white flowers that bloom in spring and summer.
They produce a lot of berries that will attract birds to your garden, thus providing them with a good supply of food during the winter months.
Scarlet Firethorn is an easy-to-grow shrub that will thrive in most soils as long as they are well-draining. It’s quite cold-hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures. Be cautious when handling, as its thorns can be sharp.
Cotoneaster is a versatile shrub that produces red, orange, or yellow berries depending on the variety. For instance, The ‘Pink Champagne’ variety produces pink berries, while ‘Fructuluteo’ produces clusters of creamy-yellow berries.
They can be both evergreen and deciduous, and their growth habits might vary from spreading to compact growth. ‘Rothschildianus’ cultivars can also grow quite tall, but they all produce remarkable berries that fit perfectly in a winter landscape.
Cotoneaster shrubs also produce white flowers that bloom in spring. These easy-to-grow shrubs can thrive in different soil conditions, and you don’t need to prune them frequently.
5. American Cranberrybush
The American Cranberrybush is a unique specimen with dense foliage and spreading growth habits, which makes it perfect to use as a screening plant. It offers a delightful display of bright red berries in late summer through the winter.
These berries resemble cranberries, although they are not the same fruit as the edible cranberries commonly found in stores. However, that doesn’t stop the birds from eating them during the cold winter months!
American Cranberrybush can grow in both full sun to partial shade, although it produces more berries when exposed to ample sunlight. It requires frequent watering and pruning after flowering.
Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub famous for its stunning clusters of bright purple berries that appear in the fall and persist into the winter. The berries are often striking against the plant’s yellow or green leaves.
This shrub is an excellent choice for adding a pop of color to your winter garden. Besides vibrant berries, one of the main reasons to grow beautyberries in your garden is their ability to repel pests and bugs.
You can grow a beautyberry in a container or add it to a sunny border. The plant thrives in most soil types as long as they drain well. The most popular varieties include ‘Profusion’ and ‘Leucocarpa’.