When flowerbeds become barren in the winter, it’s the perfect time to use potted plants to add much-needed curb appeal. Finding plants that can add interest and color to the front of your home while withstanding cold temperatures can be challenging. Here are a few winter favorites that will make your container gardens –and your home — look fantastic.
Hens and chicks succulents are a cool-season favorite. These plants look sort of like an artichoke, and come in a variety of colors, including the classic bright green with purple. They grow best in full sun, which also helps maximize their color. Hens and chicks species are very easy to grow. With the right light and very well-drained soil, they’ll do well and look great.
Violas and pansies aren’t just for spring and fall. These hardy plants can survive temperatures as low as 20°F and keep flowering. In even lower temperatures, damage may occur, but typically the plants bounce back. They are available in almost every color of the rainbow. To grow, place your violas or pansies in full sun and well-drained soil. Tip: Don’t let them dry out or they’ll stop blooming.
Red twig dogwood is a stunning specimen that provides a colorful architectural element in containers. In winter, this shrub features multiple stems of blazing red branches. Place this dogwood in full to partial sun and water one a week. Water more frequently as temperatures rise, and you’ll be rewarded with white flowers in summer.
Thread-branch cypress is a false (dwarf) Japanese cypress that makes a wonderful addition to potted arrangements. Its foliage is yellow-green to golden in color with soft needles that appear lacy and weep down from branches. Place your cypress in full sun and water once weekly (more often when temperatures get hot).
Ornamental kale might make you think of salad, but with rich green and purple vegetation, this plant will bring texture and color to your winter containers. These cabbages grow up to two feet tall and form large rosettes of purple, pink, white, or yellow. The color becomes brilliant in cold temperatures and lasts until spring. For best results, plant ornamental kale in full to partial sun, provide regular water, and fertilize biweekly.
Golden sword yucca is an evergreen that grows in clumps and has blade-like leaves with green and pale stripes. It offers an interesting texture contrast in containers and is easy to grow. Clumps can grow up to three feet tall, and in the spring, spikes of fragrant white flowers grow up to five feet tall. Plant yucca in well-drained soil and place in full sun. Once established, this plant doesn’t need much watering or other care.