Plants with winter interest are generally hardy, but proper care should be given to them, especially during their early development stages.

Plants with Winter Interest

These special plants are a good addition to your collection as they keep your places lively during the cold season.

If you are searching for winter interest plants to grow, see more information on them in this detailed article.

A List of Plants With Winter Interest You Can Opt For

Winter plants like false goat’s beard are very interesting and unique as they do not go dormant during the cold season, as several other plants do. Some of them bloom during winter whereas others maintain their eye-catching, vibrant foliage throughout the cold season and then flower in spring or summer. 

Despite being winter tolerant, some of these plants still need lots of sunlight to enhance their foliage color and flowering.

1. Ilex verticillata

Ilex Verticillata

  • Stalks and root bark are used to treat jaundice, intestinal problems, fevers and diarrhea
  • Heals malaria and liver ailments
  • Used for decoration
  • It is good for landscaping
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Grows between 10 to 20 feet in height
  • Produces bright red fruits that become visible during late fall to early winter.
  • Has purplish-green foliage
  • Needs six hours of sunlight to flower and fruit effectively
  • Prefers loamy soils with a high organic matter composure
  • Maintains fairly wet soil conditions by applying one inch of water after every seven days

This herbaceous plant is also known as the Winterberry holly. It is a deciduous shrub-like plant that originates from the Eastern U. S. This plant is usually grown on landscapes and is a great outdoor plant due to its cold-resistance nature. However, this plant is moderately toxic to humans, cats and dogs.

2. Cornus sericea

Cornus Sericea

  • Bark is used to make a tea that heals coughs, fever, sinus congestion, liver problems and postpartum bleeding
  • Deals with ulcers, dandruff and rashes
  • For winter landscaping
  • Its blossoms are used for decoration
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Has bright red stems and branches
  • Produces beautiful blossoms in spring and berries that live from summer to fall
  • Its mature size is six to nine feet and eight to 12 feet in height and width, respectively
  • Needs full sun or partial shade
  • Should be grown in fertile and moist soils
  • Hates humid and extremely hot temperatures

Its botanical name is Cornus sericea, although there are two other related dogwood species: Cornus alba and Cornus sanguinea. It originates from the North American regions. Commonly known as the red twig dogwood, this plant is a fast-grower that adds at least two feet of growth yearly.

3. Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple

  • Stalks and root bark are used to treat jaundice, intestinal problems, fevers, diarrhea, malaria and liver ailments
  • Treats rheumatism, eye diseases and pain
  • For landscaping
  • For decoration
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Most species have green or gold-toned leaves
  • Some plants have bicolor leaves
  • Foliage can be red, yellow, or green
  • Thrives in consistently wet and well-draining soil
  • Needs filtered afternoon light to curb sunburn issues
  • Its foliage is fragile and should be protected from strong winds

There are over a thousand Japanese maple varieties that you can choose from. These Japanese, Korean and Chinese native plants perform best in USDA hardiness zones between 5 and 8. When grown in zones 7 to 8, they benefit much from dappled light or partial shade to protect leaves from scotch. 

These plants are adored for their colorful and delicate foliage that remains vibrant throughout the active growing season and autumn.

4. Chimonanthus praecox

Chimonanthus Praecox

  • Used as an antifungal, biocidal chemical, and antioxidant
  • Flowers are used to treat measles, tonsillitis, coughs, and pharyngitis
  • Used as hedge
  • Used for landscaping
Distinguishing characteristics
  • It blooms from February to March
  • It reaches 10 to 15 feet when mature
  • Leaves are six inches long, glossy green, rough, elliptic-ovate, or ovate-lanceolate
  • You should not expose it to frost
  • Soil should be fertile, moist, and well-draining, with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0
  • Use a 5-30-5 liquid fertilizer only toward the blooming season

This plant is a deciduous shrub commonly known as the Wintersweet and it originates from China. It belongs to the Calycanthaceae family, which is hardy in zones 7 to 9. Each flower has several eye-catching petals that are either sulfur yellow or pale yellow and have a purplish brown center. It can be propagated from seed and takes between five to 10 years of good care to bloom.

5. Mahonia

Mahonia Plant

  • Removes toxins
  • Promotes blood circulation, suppresses pain, alleviates inflammation, and inhibits cough
  • Used for landscape designs
  • Used for relieving internal heat
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Mature size is between three to 10 feet
  • Has a thick, dense foliage that has green leaves
  • Produces golden-yellow blooms from late winter to early sprin
  • Propagation should be done in mild temperature seasons like spring and fall
  • Grows best in spaces that are partially exposed to sunlight 

Belonging to the Mahonia genus, this plant is part of the Berberidaceae family, and it is very easy to grow. Its appearance is tropical-like, and its dense foliage makes it ideal for use as a hedge. This plant has a gorgeous dramatic and architectural form which is the main reason why it is used for landscaping in Asia and North and Central America.

6. Stone Crop

Stone Crop

  • Reduces pigmentation and lightens complexion in humans
  • Used in skin regeneration, epidermis toning, moisturizing, and clearing skin wrinkles
  • Used as border plants and in landscaping
  • Can be planted on green roofs to give a pizzazz effect
  • Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Flowering plants are about 12 inches tall and bloom from summer to fall
  • All varieties have their beautiful succulent leaves arranged in a rosette appearance and the flowers extend from the base of the foliage
  • Produces seed heads that are well above the foliage 
  • Apply low-nitrogen fertilizer during the active growing season
  • Add small stones to the soil to minimize weed inversion and to support this shallow-rooted plant

This perennial plant species requires low maintenance and is ideal for beginners. These plants are often referred to as orpines, and their varieties can either be low-growing or upright. Commonly known as Sedum, this beauty is native to North Africa, Europe, and Asia Minor. Its flowers have five petals, although some cultivars give out four or even six petals.

7. Coneflower 

Cone Flower

  • Treats coughs, common cold, bronchitis, several inflammatory conditions, and upper respiratory infections
  • Treats inflammatory conditions
  • Used for border lining
  • Landscaping
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Reaches two to five inches in height and one to two inches in width when mature
  • Produces pink or purple blooms during early summer and will repeat throughout the first frost
  • Has a fibrous root system that makes it more suitable for garden cultivation 
  • Needs at least six to eight hours of full sun daily
  • They grow well in rocky, sandy, or clay soils
  • Maintain soil pH of 6.5 to 7.0

Botanically known as Echinacea purpurea, this herbaceous plant is a member of the small shrubs for winter interest group. This plant originates from North America and does well in almost all USDA hardiness zones three to nine.

During the first year of planting, you should give your plant protection from extreme cold. Once mature and established, Echinacea purpurea plants become hardy and suitable for winter landscaping with other companion plants.

8. Witch Hazels

Witch Hazels

  • Eases inflammation
  • Soothes sensitive and sore throat skin
  • Treats hemorrhoids and stops acne
  • Used in border lining
  • Used for landscaping
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Mature size is 10 to 20 feet in height and 10 to 30 feet and width
  • Produces yellow flowers
  • Blooms during fall and winter
  • Thrives in silt, loam, and well-drained soils
  • Enjoys full to partial sun
  • Add compost to the growing medium to balance moisture retention and drainage

These plants are members of winter interest plants zone 8, and they are cold-hardy. They are commonly called American witch hazels or common witch hazels. They flower during the cold season, making them unique and widely sought after.

9. False Goat’s Beard

False Goats Beard

  • Has antiviral properties in animals
  • Has anti-ulcer attributes
  • Used as margin plants, especially for ponds, streams, or pools
  • Used for landscaping
Distinguishing characteristics
  • It is semi-evergreen, bushy, and has a clumping nature
  • Has divided leaves with tinges of bronze or purple
  • Flowers have shades of pink, white, red, or lilac and are produced from June to December
  • Loves full sun or partial shade
  • Maintain the soil moist all the time

This plant is botanically known as Astilbe, which comes from the Saxifragaceae family. It is a rhizomatous herbaceous that originates from Japan and China. Astilbe is a great outdoor plant and a perfect addition to your winter garden, especially for its ornamental qualities.

10. Bergenia

Bergenia Flower

  • The rhizomes are used for treating kidney and bladder diseases
  • It’s also used in treating dysuria, heart, lung and liver diseases
  • Some people use plant parts for dealing with ulcers, dysentery, hydrophobia, menorrhagia, eyesores, cough, biliousness, and fever
  • Excellent when planted in front of borders
  • They are good margin plants
Distinguishing characteristics
  • They have large leaves
  • During winter, the leaves can be red or burgundy
  • Produces pale pink or white flowers in spring 
  • Does well in full sun, partial sun, or shade
  • Can grow in low-nutrient and well-draining soil
  • Be on the lookout for vine weevils, slugs, and snails 

This plant is evergreen and herbaceous, just like Camellia varieties. It is also known as the Pigsqueak plant for the squeaking sound it produces when two leaves rub against each other. Being a low-maintenance plant, this plant is ideal for growers who are regularly absent. Keep in mind that this species is also part of shade plants with winter interest.

11. Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

  • Infusions used to treat worms and colds in children
  • Used to manage snake bites and sores
  • Makes the immune system stronger and more efficient
  • Used for decorating spaces
  • Liquid from the roots is used to treat earaches
  • Used to treat diuresis, ulcers, and high blood pressure
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Has bright yellow flowers that have a dark brown center that is quite prominent
  • Leaves are long and have a rough feel upon touching them
  • Stems can grow up to a height of 24 inches
  • Needs exposure to around eight hours of the full sun
  • An inch of water every week works well, but be sure to adjust irrigating patterns based on changes in temperatures and seasons
  • Prefers soils that are light, humus-rich, well-draining, and with some added super phosphate

The black-eyed Susan belongs to the Asteraceae family of plants. It is also referred to as the pioneer plant because it was among the first plants to grow in areas that were destroyed by natural disasters, such as fires and hurricanes. This plant is regarded as the official state flower for Maryland in the U.S., and this has been so since 1918.

One more interesting fact about this plant before you go 一 it is the one that hosts the silvery checkerspot butterfly caterpillar.


Winter plants are good inclusions to your collection as they keep your outdoor spaces lively when most plants go dormant.

Let us browse the main highlights of this article once more.

  • Winter-hardy plants are generally resistant to cold climates, although young plants need to be protected from extreme cold.
  • Most plants are not too picky about the type of soil they grow on and do not need regular feeding.
  • You should be on the lookout for pests like slugs, weevils, and snails.

Having some plants with winter plants and ornamental grasses in your home has been proven to be a good idea. Make your choice and bring an all-year-round vegetation cover and winter flowers to your home and workplace. Did you know that you can continue composting during the winter?


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