What Shrubs Bloom In Winter? (The Ultimate Guide)

What Shrubs Bloom In Winter? (The Ultimate Guide) - Green Garden Tribe
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One of the great challenges that anyone with a “green thumb” struggles with is the seasonal change between fall and winter.

Beautiful fall foliage, a kaleidoscope of colors, inevitably gives way to the dull, gray, almost monochromatic aesthetic open winter – aesthetic that becomes very monotonous and almost overbearing sooner than most expect.

Sure, snow at Christmas is fantastic in the winter.

But a pop of color from your shrubs wouldn’t hurt to brighten things up during these cold, gray months, would it?

Of course not!

If you’ve ever wondered what shrubs bloom in winter, which ones can give your yard a bit of extra color to cut through the cold and the gray, and which ones don’t necessarily require a lot of “babysitting” along the way you’ve come to the right place.

We have all the inside information you could ever want to totally transform your winter landscape with flowering shrubs that are strong, hardy, and resilient.

Let’s dig right in!

What Shrubs Bloom in Winter?

Camellia

This winter shrub is absolutely stunning, with glossy green leaves and some of the most vibrant flowers you’ll ever see in the winter – incredible pops of red, yellow, pink, white, and even combination swirls of all those options.

It’s important to remember that you want to look for a winter variety of this shrub, though, as they come in more traditional blooming options as well.

The winter shrubs are (obviously) better suited to colder climates and less than ideal growing conditions. You’ll want to get them in the ground while it’s still warm-up, though, so that they have time to set their roots and establish themselves before the frost arrives.

The good news is that just a little bit of tending practically guarantees that these shrubs will continue to produce gorgeous bouquets of flowers in the dead of winter for years and years to come!

Firethorn

If you’d love to fill your landscape with shrubs that basically take care of themselves in the winter (eliminating the time you spend in the wind and chill doing a bit of gardening), you need to look no further than Firethorn.

These beautiful, low-growing shrubs are going to provide a pop of seasonal color throughout the winter months – especially around December – that adds a festive look and quite a bit of style to any outdoor space that would have otherwise been pretty bland and pretty gray.

Different varieties blossom with different flowers and berries, giving you the opportunity to grow golden Firethorn, red Firethorn, a gorgeous orange/red variety that is particularly easy to grow and works well as “accent shrubbery” too.

Just be careful when you lay these out on your landscape. Because of their heartiness, they can kind of take over without a bit of attention every now and again, choking out other shrubs and plants that would have otherwise done really well in the warmer months while Firethorn “goes to sleep.”

Beautyberry

There may not be another shrub that adds quite as much iridescent color to a winter landscape like this one, overwhelming your winter outdoor areas with pops of purple that just explode when surrounded by the grayness of winter.

These shrubs aren’t ever going to grow very tall or very wide (they stay between about 3 feet and 5 feet tall), but their impact is felt no matter where they are planted on your landscaping.

On top of adding quite a bit of color, they also bring extra food into the winter landscape, helping birds and other wildlife that might have had a tough time eating during the winter with emergency supplies of beautiful berries, too!

Red Twig Dogwood

When people ask, “what shrubs bloom in winter and throughout the rest of the year,” the inevitable answer comes back as red twig dogwood.

These dogwood shrubs are superstars of summertime, with gorgeous white flowers covering their deep red branches. Overtime (as you get deeper and deeper into the fall), those white flowers start to fall away, and berries take their place – with leaves wilting and falling to the ground, leaving a carpet of color before the snow arrives.

Unlike other summertime blooming shrubs, though, these “naked shrubs” provide a tremendous amount of bold, brilliant red to otherwise white out snowscapes and evergreens.

They look fantastic when they have been stripped down by adding all of that extra contrast, changing the way your landscape looks completely while also giving you dreams of spring even when you’re still months away from that revival.

Nandina

A strictly ornamental shrub that not only provides quite a bit of color but also a lot of texture and atmosphere as well, these very compact shrubs flower beautifully in the middle of winter – adding red, gold, and pink colors to your landscape in big splashes.

Sometimes called “heavenly bamboo,” you’ll be immediately taken by the aesthetics of these shrubs as soon as they go into their winter blooming season. It’ll be just as much fun to watch them start to change colors in the spring, with white flowers and red berries popping up throughout those fields of red, gold, and pink before these plants begin to rest up for another bloom in the following winter.

Edgeworthia

A lot of winter-blooming shrubs are going to bring pops of red and pink to your winter landscape, but this amazing little shrub is going to add huge explosions of yellow gold and sunlight.

In the warm parts of the year, you’ll see massive plumeria-like leaves sprouting out from the stands, but as soon as the mercury starts to drop in the early winter, you’ll see gorgeous buds begin to push through those leaves and establish themselves.

By the time December and January rolled around, those flower buds begin to pop open, exposing incredibly fragrant, almost honeysuckle clone flowers that change the whole atmosphere of a yard or front drive.

You’ll be able to enjoy those flowers for months as well (they hold they’re staying power through the month of April), making this shrub not only one of the most beautiful options to add during the winter but also one with a tremendous amount of longevity than most other flowering shrubs just don’t provide.

Mahonia

No list breaking down what shrubs bloom in winter would be complete without mentioning these beautiful little gems!

In the summer and through the fall, these shrubs have little pearl necklaces of yellow flowers that stretch all the way across the surface of their stands and branches – yellow flowers that turn into iridescent grape-like clusters of blue/green berries that look unreal against a snowy backdrop.

The tiny clusters aren’t just going to be fun to look at, though. They also provide quite a bit of food to winter birds that would have been having a tough time locating an excellent snack as soon winter weather starts to pile up.

Because of this, you’ll not only get a chance to change the way that your outdoor spaces look from a visual standpoint with these shrubs and berries, but you’re also get added flashes of color and action from all the birds that come to feed on these berries throughout the winter, too!

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, while most of us think of the winter months as a season of retreat and a season of dormancy, you don’t necessarily have to succumb to the monotony and monotone nature of the winter any longer – especially if you plant the shrubs that bloom in winter, we highlighted above.

Each of the options we described throughout this quick guide gives you a chance to totally improve your outdoor spaces’ aesthetic without having to tend your garden every day or fight through winter weather to keep these plants alive.

Instead, each and every one of them is not only known for their brilliance and their beauty but also for their heartiness and their ability to thrive when other shrubs – especially flowering shrubs – would have really struggled just to stay out of dormancy.

Some of these shrubs will probably look better in your landscape spaces than others, but truth be told, to get the best results, you’ll probably want to mix and match at least a couple of these shrubs together.

Think about how these shrubs can contribute to the overall aesthetic of your space, how to use contrast to add even more visual interest, and how to leverage the unique textures of different winter flowering shrubs to really change the way everything looks and feels in your backyard.

Some of these shrubs above may or may not be particularly well-suited to your climate or geographical location. But the chances are good that at least some of them are – and you’ll want to begin experimenting with them as your winter flowering shrubs ASAP!

Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself adding even more to your landscape once you see how much of an impact they can make, not only contributing positively visually but also helping to boost your mental health and energy during the winter months.

Jenny M
Tribal Writer

Edited by
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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