Fall is typically reserved for the final gardening chores, such as harvesting, cutting down flowers, and mulching. Green foliage and colorful blossoms are gone, which is a tell-tale sign that the colder days are coming.
But what if I told you that there are some breathtaking winter-flowering shrubs to plant in fall that will transform your garden into a colorful paradise?
I’ll show you these plants and tell you more about their basic requirements, so buckle up and let’s embark on this thrilling journey!
Scientifically known as Elaeagnus x ebbingei, oleaster is a gorgeous plant commonly used for hedging. It’s an evergreen species and features magnificent silverish-green foliage.
Gilt Edge is one of the most popular oleasters and the reason is its stunning variegations. The tiny white blossoms appear in the fall and last throughout the winter. They’re sweet-scented, which makes things even better!
These plants have a fast growth rate and add seasonal interest to our landscapes; as soon as winter ends, their orange berries steal the show.
Oleasters are an easy-to-grow plant species and the only thing to pay attention to is not to keep their soil overly wet.
2. Flowering Quince
This is one of the most popular red-flowering shrubs and it comes from the Chaenomeles genus. Flowering quince features spiny stems and captivating red blossoms that appear in late winter.
Landscapers use these plants for informal hedging but if you need cut flowers, this is the perfect plant for you. Additionally, cut stems can also cheer up your indoor space during cold winter months; simply put them in a vase and enjoy the view!
These plants tolerate different soil types but the essential thing to ensure is full sun.
I especially like the Scarlet Storm cultivar because of its spectacular double crimson-red blossoms.
If you live in warmer climates, Camellia is the perfect winter-flowering shrub for you. The gorgeous large blossoms look amazing in the garden and in vases.
This is a perfect flowering plant for those who seek privacy because it has a bushy growth habit and gets pretty tall under optimal conditions.
Shishi Gashira is a famous Camellia cultivar that features shiny green foliage and pink round blossoms with golden centers. The best thing about it is that it has a long blooming season and you can enjoy the flowers from January through March.
The key to a healthy Camellia is ensuring full sun or partial shade and free-draining and acidic soil types. Young plants require frequent irrigation until their root system is fully established.
You can help the soil retain moisture by applying a 2-inch layer of mulch; pine bark and compost are excellent options.
The splendid yellow blossoms of Forsythia plants have ensured the plant a spot in many winter gardens. They’ll definitely cheer up the landscape on cold and dull winter days!
Forsythia doesn’t need much to thrive but if you want an abundance of blossoms, you should plant it in a sunny location.
Landscapers love these plants because they come in various sizes. If you have a large garden, Forsythia x ‘Meadowlark’ will fit perfectly because it can reach up to 10 feet tall.
On the other hand, the cultivar Courtasol is better suited for smaller gardens but it also performs well in containers.
5. Sweet Box
If you want your garden to stand out and grow a plant that many don’t know of, Sweet box, aka Sarcococca, is the best choice!
This evergreen shrub features creamy-white fragrant blossoms that appear in late winter. The blossoms give rise to captivating berries, so your spring garden will get an amazing addition!
One of the best things about this plant is that it isn’t fussy over the growing conditions. All soil types, including chalky, sandy, loamy, or clay work well for Sweet box, and the same goes for all pH levels.
I use loam-based compost and it seems like my Sweet box is very happy about it. S. confusa, orientalis, and ruscifolia are some of the cultivars you can add to your garden.
Only be careful about Sarcococcas saligna because this cultivar isn’t as resilient as others. If you decide on growing it, make sure to protect it from the cold.
6. Witch Hazel
Here comes the perfect plant for winter gardens, captivating Witch hazel! Its coppery-red or yellow blossoms have strappy petals and smell amazing, making it a perfect addition to landscapes.
If you prefer brighter red hues, the Diane cultivar should be your choice.
These plants aren’t picky when it comes to growing conditions and they do well in both full sun and partial shade, making it perfect for easy-to-maintain gardens.
The only thing you must do is prune your Witch hazel in spring, i.e., after the blooming season.
7. Winter Jasmine
A winter garden without Winter jasmine? Not a chance! These resilient, drought-tolerant shrubs make perfect plants even for beginner gardeners.
Their lovely yellow blossoms appear in late winter, and the vining stems can climb upwards when provided with support, which adds vertical interest to your garden.
Many growers plant their Winter jasmine in containers, but in this case, pruning after flowering is obligatory for shape and size control.
You will notice Loropetalum blossoms in many gardens in warmer climates. The main reasons why gardeners choose these plants are the vibrant colorful foliage and pink or white spiky blossoms.
This plant also goes by the name Chinese fringe flower. Some cultivars grow pretty tall whereas others have a more compact shape.
Once established, Loropetalum is drought-tolerant and grows best in sunny or partially shaded locations with slightly acidic and free-draining soil types.
If you would like to make a scented garden, the Daphne will do the best job. This magnificent plant has a compact growth habit and is more suitable for smaller gardens.
It features clusters of adorable colorful blossoms that appear in late winter.
This is a low-maintenance plant and requires little pruning, making it perfect for novice gardeners. One of the amazing features of Daphne plants is that they’re resistant to deer.
You should plant your Daphne in the fall so that its root system has enough time to establish; also, provide some plant frost protection during the first year of growth.
Additionally, water frequently during the first year and apply a layer of mulch for moisture retention and weed suppression.
Your Daphne will benefit from slow-release all-purpose fertilizer applied in early spring.
We’ll end our list with the breathtaking winter-flowering shrub Mahonia. This flowering shrub is perfect for those with shaded gardens.
The clusters of yellow blossoms perfectly combine with spiky, evergreen foliage.
You should know that some Mahonias can also bloom in fall or spring so always check and look for varieties that bloom in winter!
Ensure a lot of space for your Mahonias and don’t forget to mulch!
If you want to add a winter-flowering shrub to your garden, now you know which plants are perfect for it! Pay attention to their hardiness zones and follow our care tips for a thriving and spectacular winter garden!