The idea of “showy winter plants” sounds like an oxymoron. After all, this time of year, grass is dormant, the trees are bare, and it’s usually dark when we go to work and when we come home. Are there really plants that bring life and color to an otherwise dull winter landscape? Of course there are! Vibrant berries, exotic bark, and unique foliage color are the stars of a winter landscape, and we have the list to prove it.

Best Showy Winter Plants for Commercial Landscapes

Juniperus conferta ‘Golden Pacific’

This low growing evergreen shrub lights up the landscape with soft bright yellow needles. Durable and fast growing, these plants are stunning in mass or as a low border. Deer resistant, insect resistant, and about as low maintenance as you can get, this one is hard to top.

Showy Winter Plants-Golden Pacific Juniper-Complete Landscaping Service
Showy Winter Plants-Deodar Cedar-Complete Landscaping Service

Cedrus deodara – Deodar Cedar

This one is a stunner in the winter months…not that it isn’t a spectacle in every other season. The bright blue needles and graceful weeping shape bring height and color to a drab winter landscape. These trees are drought tolerant and provide ideal nesting sites for many varieties of birds.

Cornus sericea ‘Arctic Fire’ – Red Twig Dogwood

A compact variety of Red Twig Dogwood with vibrant red stems in winter. This shrub is super adaptable and maxes out at about 4′ in height. It is great when used in mass or as a garden border. Bonus – cut branches add dramatic height and color to holiday arrangements

Showy Winter Plants-Arctic Fire Red Twig Dogwood-Complete Landscaping Service
Showy Winter Plants-Beautyberry-Complete Landscaping Service

Callicarpa americana – Beautyberry

Beautyberry is native to the Southeast US and is a fast growing shrub with an arching shape. Tolerant of moist soil and full sun, this plant is low maintenance once established. The clusters of metallic purple berries are the star of this show, AND they provide food for birds and other animals.

Ilex verticillata – Winterberry

There are dozens of varieties of Winterberry that vary in size and shape making them very versatile landscape plants. These shrubs thrive in moist soils and are disease and insect resistant. Winterberry is best known for its bird-friendly, vibrant red berries along the stems throughout the winter.

Showy Winter Plants-Winterberry-Complete Landscaping Service

Other Showy Winter Plants Worth a Second Look

Winter Trees

Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ – River Birch
Acer griseum – Paperbark Maple
Hammamelis virginiana – Common Witch Hazel

Winter Shrubs

Camellia japonica – Winter Camellia
Coryllus avellana ‘Contorta’ – Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Jasminum nudiflorum – Winter Jasmine

Winter Grasses

Muhlenbergia capillaris – Pink Muhly Grass
Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ – Feather Reed Grass

I could seriously go on and on because there are countless more plants out there that dress up winter landscapes. If you are interested in more ideas for brightening up your winter landscape, Request a Winter Landscape Design Consultation or if you want to purchase any of these plants for your home landscape, visit our nursery, Patuxent Nursery.

This article has 2 comments

  1. VideoPortal Reply

    Wishing for some hints of summer in the dead of winter? The thick, evergreen leaves of sweet box cheers up your yard in all seasons. As a bonus, the shrub puts out fragrant, tiny white blossoms in late winter. Plant sweet box near your entry door for aromatic comings and goings.

  2. Graham Geelan Reply

    I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome blog!

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