Cold weather doesn’t have to mean boring, barren gardens. Despite popular belief, there are plenty of perennials that offer winter blooming flowers to fill your garden with seasonal color. When we think of gardens, and plants in general, we often assume they need full sun in order to survive. While this is the case for some plants, winter perennials, like the ones listed below, often prefer full to partial shade and cooler soil. A shade garden is the perfect way to turn your landscape into a winter wonderland this season!
Here are a few of our favorites:
Tiarellas, also known as foamflowers for their clustered florets, are a herbaceous perennial that blooms pink and white flowers. Growing to be about 12 inches tall, this plant’s care needs and unique look make them a great addition to any woodland garden where it can receive partial shade and cool soil. Because its leaves become bronzed in the winter, Tiarella offers year-round interest beyond the winter season.
The Hellebore is recognized and adored for its downward, rose-shaped blooms and long-lasting qualities. Whether the ground freezes or is covered in snow, you can count on this perennial to survive harsh weather conditions. Be sure to plant these close to the surface, as hellebore does not do well when planted too deep. Like most winter perennials, the Hellebore prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. Because heat causes this plant to go dormant, it is a great option for your winter landscape.
Bergenia’s compact clusters of bright blooms are the perfect way to brighten up the darker spots of your winter perennial garden. As a shade-loving perennial, Bergenias prefer only partial sun and moist soil. This plant is also referred to as “Pigsqueak” because when you rub two of its leaves together, it makes a squeaking sound. While this fun fact gives the plant even more character, it’s also a testament to just how hardy its leaves are.
The rustic texture of the Tassel Fern not only makes it a classic ground cover option, but also a means of showcasing and complimenting the surrounding shade-loving perennials. Caring for Tassel Ferns is fairly simple, as they do well in both partial to full shade locations and enjoy a moderate amount of water. This plant’s lush green foliage offers your garden texture and movement during the winter months.
Heuchera’s foliage, which can be found in shades of vibrant green to deep burgundy, is what makes them a solid choice to fulfill your winter gardening needs. As a fellow shade-lover, this plant is known to be a companion of the Tassel Fern (see above). While its lush foliage is enough to draw attention, the Heuchera also produces tall flowers which attract hummingbirds. Cutting off old leaves will ensure your Heucheras grow back colorful and lively for the next season.
In the spring, Brunneras bloom bright blue flowers that give a pop of color to any shade garden. Brunnera don’t like dry or soggy soil, so when caring for them be sure to keep the soil moist. Their glossy, at times variegated, heart-shaped foliage creates a lush, green environment and serves to further accentuate other neighboring plants.