When it comes to flowers in our garden, we automatically think of spring and summer, and you’re right. It’s through the warmer seasons that most flower species come into their own and bloom.
Then, when the weather cools, it signals the end of their cycle, and most stay dormant or die back until it begins the following spring again.
Unfortunately, this can leave your yard dull, messy, and sad. However, it doesn’t need to be this way or remain barren through the cold and frosty months.
There are more winter flowering plants than you think and plenty of early spring bloomers that will make you smile, even when the weather is miserable.
Many hardy little plants aren’t too bothered about freezing temperatures and will continue to bring color and variety regardless of the dips in temperature.
So if you’re keen to keep your yard alive even when we all want to hibernate inside, think about planting these top 9 frost-resistant flowers.
Pansies come in various vivid colors and make any pot or patch of the ground look cheerful.
You’ll know it’s a pansy by its soft, heart-shaped petals. Although they look delicate, they’re very hardy.
Pansies are also easy to care for and are inexpensive, so if you want to brighten your winter yard with them, pop them in some all-purpose compost and make sure they don’t dry out.
Pansies love the morning sun, and to keep them coming back, pinch off any dead heads, and before you know it, more will poke through.
When you visit the store or garden center, search for suitable pansies, as depending on your area, not all varieties will make it through the winter.
You’d be surprised, though, as long as the temperature where you live isn’t extreme, both summer and winter varieties may bloom for the majority of the year.
Snowdrops are winter flowers through and through.
Often, they will flower as early as January, even with the weather is incredibly cold, but will bloom nonetheless and stand proud on their bright green stem.
Snowdrops are easily recognizable because of their white flower that hangs like a tiny bell.
If you’d like your garden to bloom with snowdrops, the best time to plant is early fall when the weather is still reasonably mild, which gives them enough time to settle in preparation for the first months of the year.
They are easy to plant, though, as long as you place them about 4 inches deep and 4 inches apart.
Snowdrops are perennials so they will return at the same time each year, and unless you’d like them to spread and cover large patches of ground, be sure to divide them often and pass them on to others or dispose of them.
The sight of tulips in March is a welcome sight because it means spring is well on its way, and it’s not long before you’ll feel the sun’s warmth on your face.
You also know these beautiful blooms have come to transform your yard into something other than just grass.
Early morning frost is about and can easily creep into April and May when tulips are emerging.
Still, luckily tulips are hardy to temperatures as low as 29 degrees Fahrenheit, so a touch of the white stuff won’t do too much damage.
Make sure to plant tulips in a sunny spot, during November, in moist soil that drains well. Following these simple instructions will ensure your borders and containers will be the envy of your neighbors.
Native to North America and Canada, the winterberry is a variety of holly that doesn’t have the iconic spikey leaves but does boast bright red berries.
Winterberries are deciduous, which means they will lose their leaves during the colder months. However, the berries remain, giving your yard the perfect splash of year-round color.
As the name suggests, the winterberry thrives in the coldest and darkest months and will continue to stand even at temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Winterberry bushes are also easy to grow and will tolerate most US soils that are neutral or slightly acidic, as long as it’s moist but well draining.
5. Double-Flowered Heather
When most other shrubs and perennials are shutting down for the winter, heather is just waking up and will keep your garden alive during fall and into the winter months.
They also provide an excellent food source for bees and other pollinators before they hide away for the winter.
Heather is stunning to look at, especially against the natural greens and browns of your yard. It is typically an upright plant with small and bright purple, white or pink buds that line each stem.
Heather is a very hardy perennial and happily tolerates freezing temperatures, and will continue to thrive under a layer of snow.
It’s best to plant winter-flowering heather during the milder fall temperatures before the ground hardens and in a spot that receives sunlight for at least half of the day.
They’re also easy to care for and, once established, rarely need watering.
The humble primrose is another beautiful bud associated with the start of spring. They are quaint little flowers arranged in small clumps of 2-3.
Primrose comes in various colors, from pale yellows to deep purples, meaning you can find the tone perfect for your yard.
Primroses are perennials, so they will return each year, and there are wild varieties you may notice in woodlands and parks.
However, you can also buy them from the store to plant where you like within your yard or in containers.
Primroses are happy enough in cold temperatures and will withstand mild frost without complaint; however, they won’t like the freezing temperatures and prolonged periods under a snow blanket.
Daffodils are well-known for their iconic bright spring flower and go by many names, such as the daffy-down dilly and the Lent Lily.
Unmistakable in appearance, with its sunny yellow trumpet, it is a sure sign spring is coming. Because they appear so early in the year, they are often caught out by late frost and even snow but will continue to bloom.
You can plant daffodils almost anywhere in your garden, as long as the soil drains well, and with thousands of varieties to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice.
The best time to plant your daffodil bulbs is during early fall, from September to November, which gives it enough time during the cold of winter to ‘hibernate’ before spring temperatures encourage them to grow.
Dig a hole around 6 inches for your bulbs, and leave about 8 inches between each one.
If you’ve not planted snapdragons in your yard before, it might be time to try them. They have a tall, striking appearance and come in many colors, and pollinators love them.
Most snapdragons varieties are annuals, meaning they only flower once; however, at the end of the season, they form seed pods, which are great self-seeders and will produce flowers for the following year.
Believe it or not, snapdragons prefer slightly cooler temperatures and thrive when daytime temperatures linger around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that snapdragons will be at their best in many parts of the world during spring and fall.
However, they love the sun and will not be happy if placed somewhere too shady.
With that said, they are semi-hardy and, once established in the ground, can withstand sub-freezing temperatures and a dusting of frost; however, it’s unlikely they’d survive long spells of sub-zero temperatures.
9. Siberian Iris
The Siberian Iris has a bushy, grasslike appearance and taller stems with delicate-looking pale purple flowers.
Although its prominent blooms only last for a short time during late spring and early summer, its foliage remains handsome year-round.
As the name suggests, this species comes from the cold northern regions of Russia, where the weather often dips into freezing temperatures.
This species of the iris can withstand the northern winter temperatures of US hardiness zone 3.
If you plant Siberian Iris in your yard, it’ll potentially be there for a long time.
They are straightforward to care for, and although slugs and snails may nibble on them, they will be left alone by large animals such as deer.
They will also spread, so be prepared to divide clumps every few years.