The Best Plants for Winter Landscapes

a landscaped backyard in winter

When you hear the phrase “winter plants” it’s easy to think of evergreen shrubs and trees.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you likely know how hardy tree varieties like pine and spruce can be. But don’t let your winter plant vocabulary begin and end there.

There are plenty of plants that are sturdy enough to survive cold, weather and keep your residential landscape looking its best year round. Here are a few plants you may want to consider for your yard.

1. Winterberries

Perhaps the most iconic winter plant that’s not a Christmas tree or mistletoe, these red berries will provide a bright splash of color to your landscape. They prefer lots of sun and moist soil.

2. The thread-branch cypress

These evergreen plants are known for their golden foliage and unique shape and can grow as large as six feet by eight feet when planted in the ground. Just remember: whether you’re growing these plants in the ground or in a container, they’ll need a lot of sun.

3. Hosta

The Hosta will survive in virtually any climate in the U.S., including here in Pennsylvania, and only require partial sun. However, you’ll need to protect their roots against frost by putting down a layer of mulch, which also helps keep the soil moist and prevent the plants from dehydrating.

4. Brown’s yew

You’ll know this evergreen shrub by its spherical shape and very, very slow growth. You’ll need to water it twice a week and give it full or partial sun exposure.

5. Witch hazel

This tree sprouts shaggy orange blossoms in winter, offering you a nice splash of color at a time of year when the rest of your landscape might seem dull and grey.

6. Gem boxwood

The winter gem boxwood provides an interesting splash of color to your residential landscaping during this time of year, taking on a bronze shade before switching to vibrant green in the spring. This winter plant will do well with full or partial sun exposure.

7. Pansies

A surprisingly tough flower, pansies can survive in low temperatures and can even be planted in late winter so they’ll be ready to flower in early spring. That’s not to say they don’t need your help. Cover them with mulch or pine straw to protect against frost and strong winds.

8. Blue spruce

Even though we began by saying there’s more to outdoor winter plants than pines and spruce trees, it’s hard to deny the appeal of this evergreen. It looks lovely shrouded in snow, is durable enough to withstand most climates and provides an effective screen against noise and wind.

Winter lawn and garden care

We understand getting the instinct to hibernate in the winter. Unfortunately, your lawn doesn’t have that luxury. You’ll need to take a few steps to keep it healthy through spring, including:

  • Keep your lawn clear of debris. A pile of leaves or a forgotten garden hose on the grass can prevent new growth.
  • Winter mulch helps prevent erosion and water loss and maintain a uniform soil temperature.
  • Putting some wire mesh around the base of younger trees keeps animals from chewing on the bark during winter.
  • Be cautious when using ice melt products. Try to keep snow-filled salt away from your plants and choose deicing products made from calcium chloride.

If you need help caring for your plants or residential landscaping this winter, turn to Realty Landscaping. Whether it’s plant care, mulching, watering or seasonal decoration, we have the expertise you need to make your lawn and garden look their best this season.

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