Have you ever noticed how winter flowers can just brighten up a room? If you dread autumn because greenery begins to fade into a lovely memory, don’t fret about it.

Cold-tolerant plants and flowers are capable of turning your home into a winter wonderland. In fact, the variety of winter flowers on today’s market is so vast, colorful and diverse, that you don’t necessarily have to stick with traditional poinsettia to create your very own Christmas spirit.

We’ll start off with a couple of winter flowers that adapt beautifully to indoor conditions during winter time. And we’ll continue with those that thrive in outdoor temperatures. Be sure to check out your hardiness zone location.

Indoor Plants that Bloom in Winter

Are you looking for a plant that looks stunning all year round but truly shines during the cold season? These indoor winter flowers and plants might just be the thing!

1. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

Colorful? Oh, yes! These splashy blooms light up rooms, whether they’re white, yellow, pink, purple or red. Schlumbergera is actually a hybrid resulting from two plants that grow in Brazilian rainforests and it earned its popular name because it only blooms around Christmas.

Christmas cactus prefers indirect sunlight and humidity. That stated, beginning 6 to 8 weeks before Christmas, relegate your plant to a dark environment between 12 and 14 hours daily to achieve the showiest display.

Pay attention to its watering schedule – too much water can lead to root rot, while too little could mean fewer healthy flowers. Just like with most other succulents and cacti, it’s generally better to underwater this plant. However, it requires constantly moist soil during the flowering season.

Schlumbergera can also be grown outdoors in USDA zones 9 and above.

Soil Requirements:

Nutrient-rich, hummus-based soil

Light Requirements:

Bright, but indirect light

Water Requirements:

Medium to high in the flowering season, medium to low the rest of the year

Temperature Range:

70°F during the day/60-65°F during the night is ideal

Toxicity:

Non-toxic to humans and pets

2. Poinsettia (Euphorbia Pulcherrima)

It’s the most popular Christmas plant, a cultivar belonging to the Euphorbia pulccherimagenus/family. The look-alike blooms are actually young leaves that grow in clusters at the end of each branch.

Sub-tropical red poinsettias are the quintessential holiday plant. However, you can find Poinsettia in myriad colors these days, including cream, peach, pink, lemon, white and gold. Named for Dr. Joel R. Poinsett, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, poinsettia prefers sunny windows in winter.

Soil Requirements:

Loose, organic soil

Light Requirements:

Bright filtered light for at least 6 hours a day

Water Requirements:

Medium; avoid soggy soil at all costs

Temperature Range:

Between 60°F and 70°F during the day, around 55°F during the night

Toxicity:

Mildly toxic to humans and pets

3. Bat Flower (Tacca Chantrieri)

Here’s an example of cold weather flowers that comes with both a weird name and strange looks!

The Bat flower originates in jungles, but it happily makes its home indoors, albeit in an impressively-sized pot because it can grow as tall as 3 feet. Examine this bloom up close and marvel at the network of tiny buds, thin offshoots, and mysterious shades of black.

Bat flowers love filtered shade, soil that’s moist but not soggy, and because it’s a jungle plant, lots of humidity will help it flourish indoors, too.

Soil Requirements:

A peat-moss based, slightly acidic potting soil is ideal

Light Requirements:

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements:

Medium to high soil and air humidity

Temperature Range:

65-70°F all year around

Toxicity:

All parts of this plant are said to be poisonous to humans and pets

Outdoor Flowers that Bloom in Winter

These awesome plants that survive winter outside peak around Christmas and New Year. Pick any that fits the climate you live in to liven up your front or back yard during the cold season.

4. Harlequin Glorybower (Cleorodendrum Trichotomum)

This member of the cool-season flowers family is known by many names, including the Harlequin Glorybower and its formal name, Trichotomum.

Classified as a shrub, Clerodendrum can grow to 12 feet in an outdoor garden, and once you transfer it to a container, it will remain a tall and stately member of the winter flowers family.

The little blooms on this flowering bush are distinct: they look like tiny magenta stars with dark blue centers.

When wintering, keep Cleodendrum containers moist and give it at least 6 hours of sun daily.

If you prefer another member of this glorious family, check out its cousin, the Bleeding heart vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae).

Soil Requirements:

Nutrient-rich, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

Full sun to partial shade

Water Requirements:

Medium

Temperature Range:

Over 0°F (USDA zones 7-10)

Toxicity

Not listed; however, considering this plant is affected by very few pests and diseases, chances are it’s at least somewhat toxic to humans and pets.

5. Devil’s Tongue (Voodoo Lily)

Not everyone falls in love with this exotic plant, but if you want to impress fellow winter plant lovers, this strange-looking bloom with its dramatic center shoot will enhance your reputation.

Devil’s Tongue belongs to an equally wicked genus (Amorphophallus) that includes the voodoo lily and corpse plant.

As a houseplant, you can expect Devil’s Tongue flowers to flourish as long as you are a hospitable host.

These cool-season flowers love medium-to-bright indirect light for about 4 hours daily, but don’t expose these devils to direct sun or you risk scalding the plant’s fragile leaves.

Humidity can be critical to this plant’s display, so placing a humidifier nearby is a good idea.

Soil Requirements:

Nutrient-rich, organic soil

Light Requirements:

Partial sun or bright, indirect light

Water Requirements:

High; requires constant moisture, especially when growing and can even tolerate waterlogged soil during this time

Temperature Range:

Over 55°F (USDA zones 6-10)

Toxicity:

Not listed

6. Winter Heaths (The Erica Genus)

Are you passionate about British romance tales? You owe it to yourself to try your hand at growing Erica, the family name for heather and heath.

In fact, the Ericaceae family is so robust, diverse and prolific, there are 605 species that fall under its umbrella.

Allow plenty of room for these plants to spread out (especially if you’re eager for a voluminous heather display), and plan to re-pot as the plant grows.

Good drainage is essential, and you can ensure healthy growth by potting with soil formulated just for this genus.

These plants love the sun, but in case that’s in short supply in your geographic area, partial sun exposure will do.

Soil Requirements:

Poor, lime-free soil

Light Requirements:

At least 6 hours of direct sun per day

Water Requirements:

Medium

Temperature Range:

46-54°F during winter, 65-77°F during summer (USDA zones 9-10); can also be grown as an indoor potted plant

Toxicity:

Not listed

7. Iceland Poppy (Papaver Nudicaule)

Poppies have gotten a bad rap because people associate them with opium harvests and drug lords.

Happily, the Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule) is so benign and pretty, it’s legal to grow them anywhere.

Enjoy white, yellow, pink and red blooms within more than 80 varieties of this showy plant. Iceland poppies grow to varying heights, so give these beauties lots of room to thrive.

Botanists recommend installing multiple plants, spaced 8- to 12-inches apart, in huge pots to produce a dramatic display.

To make sure your Iceland poppies don’t slump over, keep stakes on hand to prop them up – just in case you’re the lucky recipient of the tallest versions of these Christmas flowers.

Soil Requirements:

Poor, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

Full sun

Water Requirements:

Medium

Temperature Range:

-40°F to 40°F (USDA zones 3a-10b)

Toxicity:

All parts of this plant are toxic to humans and pets

8. Marigolds (Tagetes Erecta)

A member of the Calendula family, these easily-recognizable blooms hold their own among other colorful plants, given the cheery range of orange, yellow and red blooms currently on the world market.

These flowers don’t have to be deadheaded when mature to keep the rest of the plant in great shape, but moist soil is extremely important.

Gardeners recommend balancing this plant’s water system by drenching and then allowing soil to dry out before adding more water.

If you’re an environmentalist and you compost, mixing your waste with garden soil (half-and-half) will produce marigolds that do more than brighten up window ledges; you can add them to your salads, too!

Soil Requirements:

Fertile, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

At least 6 hours of direct sunlight

Water Requirements:

Medium

Temperature Range:

Over 40°F (USDA zones 11a and above)

Toxicity:

Non-toxic to humans but toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets

9. Nemesias (Nemesia Caerulea)

If you’re eager to see fairly immediate results from winter flowers, plant Nemesia. These fast bloomers have colorful and abundant flowers.

There are 50 species of Nemesia and your solid color choices are spectacular: blue, pink, violet, brown, cherry, yellow, and white. Some of them even produce patterned flowers and color mixes!

A member of the Scrophulariaceae family, Nemesia like full sun and well-drained soil. Often compared to look-alike pansies, these blooms measure between 6 inches to 3 feet tall.

The best part of raising Nemesia? These are likely to be the most low-maintenance flowers in your winter garden!

Soil Requirements:

Fertile, well-drained

Light Requirements:

Full sun or partial shade

Water Requirements:

Medium

Temperature Range:

Over 20°F (USDA zones 9a and above)

Toxicity:

Not listed as toxic to humans or pets

10. Sugarbushes (Protea)

Expect compliments if you intend to grow Protea over the winter because the blooms are so colorful and dramatic. You can choose from over 80 members of the Protea family for your winter garden.

Give them adequate drainage, lots of sunshine and place them in an area with circulating air.

Experts advise beginners say that anyone who is capable of growing a cactus will have success with any of the plants belonging to the Protea family.

Pro tip: If you can get your hands on a Rocket Pincushion (Leucospermum reflexum), you’ll be the envy of indoor gardeners because this type of Protea is extremely rare.

Soil Requirements:

Nutrient-poor, acidic soil

Light Requirements:

Full sun

Water Requirements:

Low (every 2-3 weeks for mature plants, a bit more often for starters)

Temperature Range:

Between 23°F and 100°F (USDA zones 9a and above)

Toxicity:

Non-toxic to humans and pets

11. Cineraria (Pericallis x Hybrida)

Originating in the Canary Islands, Cineraria (Pericallis cruenta) types have been called “tender perennials” that may not last as long as other winter house plants.

But during their glory, you’ll enjoy displays of daisy-like flowers that can grow as tall as 24-inches.

Surrounded by a proliferation of bright green leaves, these blooms can grow to be 5-inches in circumference and since they bloom in late winter.

You’ll enjoy a bright holiday treat that requires only a mix of loose peat moss and potting soil to keep these plants happy.

Expose your Cineraria to either filtered or bright sunlight and it won’t take long before blue, red or purple blooms unfold just in time for the Christmas holiday.

Soil Requirements:

Rich, acidic, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

Partial or even full shade

Water Requirements:

High

Temperature Range:

Around 65°F during the day, between 50°F and 55°F during the night (USDA zones 9-11)

Toxicity:

Toxic to humans and pets

12. Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana)

Can’t decide between a decorative and a medicinal shrub for your winter garden? Witch hazel has you covered.

The fiery flowers of Hamamelis Virginiana are great for alleviating inflammation and irritation – not to mention they’re a sight for sore eyes as well!

Soil Requirements:

Rich, organic soil

Light Requirements:

Bright, indirect light (ideal conditions are full morning sun and light shade during the rest of the day)

Water Requirements:

Average

Temperature Range:

Above -40°F (USDA zones 3-8)

Toxicity:

Toxic to pets and humans in large quantities

13. Winter Honeysuckle  (Lonicera Fragrantissima)

 

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This shrub is one of the most adaptable plants – it thrives in full sun or partial shade.

It’s also one of the most fragrant winter shrubs, with its sweet scent enveloping acres of land.

Soil Requirements:

Can tolerate and will grow well in most kinds of soil

Light Requirements:

Partial to full sun

Water Requirements:

Low to medium

Temperature Range:

Above -30°F (USDA zones 4-8)

Toxicity:

Parts of this plant are toxic to pets and humans

14. Hellebore (Helleborus)

These stunning winter flowers last from February to around May and come in a plethora of colors. The pictures speak for themselves!

Soil Requirements:

Rich, well-draining soil

Light Requirements:

Partial shade

Water Requirements:

High - keep soil evenly moist when not frozen

Temperature Range:

Above -30°F (USDA zones 4-9)

Toxicity:

All parts of this plant are toxic to humans and pets

15. Japanese Andromeda (Pieris Japonica)

Also known as lily of the valley or Japanese Pieris, the Pieris Japonica shrub is a winter wonder. Although a bit finicky when it comes to soil type and light exposure, these will definitely stand out.

Soil Requirements:

Rich, acidic, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

Full to partial shade

Water Requirements:

Needs lightly moist soil at all times

Temperature Range:

Above -20°F (USDA zones 5-9)

Toxicity:

Toxic to pets

16. Camellia (Camellia Japonica)

These beautiful shrubs are slow growers and love sheltered, shaded spots.

There are over 30,000 cultivars within the Camellia Japonica species with flowers ranging from 1.5 to 5 inches across and from creamy shades of white to pink and deep red.

Soil Requirements:

Acidic to neutral well-draining soil

Light Requirements:

Shade to full sun

Water Requirements:

Medium

Temperature Range:

Above -10°F (USDA zones 6-10)

Toxicity:

Non-toxic to pets and humans

17. Winter Jasmine (Jasminum Nudiflorum)

Definitely one of the easiest winter flowers to care for, Jasminum Nudiflorum can be used as ground cover, to hide an unattractive fence or wall, or trained to grow on trellises.

Soil Requirements:

Rich, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

Bright, indirect light to full sun

Water Requirements:

3 times per week or more when temperatures rise

Temperature Range:

Above -10°F (USDA zones 6-11)

Toxicity:

No toxicity reported

18. Honeywort (Cerinthe)

I love the coloring on these beautiful winter flowers! Most of them come in deep blue and shades of purple, but some varieties also include soft cream shades.

Soil Requirements:

Rich, organic soil

Light Requirements:

Partial to full sun

Water Requirements:

Lower than average

Temperature Range:

Above 0°F (USDA zones 7-10)

Toxicity:

Not listed as toxic to pets

19. Cyclamen (Cyclamen Alpinum)

Some of the easiest winter flowers to grow in your garden, cyclamen are some of the first winter bloomers. They mostly impress through lively-colored flowers ranging from gentle cream-pink to fuchsia, but many gardeners fell in love with their green and silver foliage, too.

Soil Requirements:

Rich, organic, well-draining mix

Light Requirements:

Full shade to bright, indirect light

Water Requirements:

Low to medium

Temperature Range:

Over 0°F (USDA zones 7-9, although some websites also list it as hardy to zones 5 and above)

Toxicity:

All parts of this plant are toxic to pets and humans

20. Pansies (Viola tricolor var. Hortensis)

These delicate blooms are common in winter gardens across most USDA zones and a simple glance will also tell you why – they’re just stunning!

Although not the most resilient as perennials, these will do great as annuals.

Soil Requirements:

Rich, well-drained soil

Light Requirements:

Full sun to partial shade

Water Requirements:

High

Temperature Range:

Above 26°F (USDA zones 8 through 11)

Toxicity:

Mildly toxic to most animals

21. English Primroses (Primula Vulgaris)

Although a bit challenging to grow as perennials, primulas are some of the most beautiful blooms in any winter garden. Flowers generally appear at the end of winter, when the soil is still at least partly frozen, and last for a while if planted in shaded spots.

Soil Requirements:

Rich organic soil with pH below 7.5

Light Requirements:

Partial shade

Water Requirements:

High

Temperature Range:

Between 35°F and 80°F (USDA zones 4-8)

Toxicity:

Poisonous to pets

Final Thoughts

Did you find your perfect winter flowers for this season? My personal favorite is the Iceland poppy – such a delicate, yet hardy little bloom! <3

About the Author - Florina Ionescu

Hi! My name is Florina and I’ve been a plant junkie for 4 years now. I love nature, hiking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with my friends and my cat. I’m also very enthusiastic about the World Wide Web – I think it’s an amazing source of info and a great channel for communication.

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