Growing Winter Flowering Annuals – What You Need to Know
We all know that the cold season is the arch nemesis of our most precious plants. A number of gardeners out there symbolize the winter season as a “no garden” season. However, there are winter flowering annuals that anyone, including beginners, can grow amidst the cold climate.
Aside from the fact that such winter plants are bloomers, some genuses and varieties are undeniably low maintenance. This adds to the factors to consider when keeping your garden full of plants even when the summer and spring have passed by. Let’s take a look at some of the best winter flowering annuals plants you can grow.
Calendula officinalis, simply known as calendula and popularly called pot marigold, is a famous flowering plant in many countries around the world. It's famous for its bright yellow and orange flowers, which are not only used as ornamental displays but also for medicinal and culinary purposes. This plant is believed to be a good immune system booster for our body, which makes it among the best winter flowering annuals. Its petals are often used as food coloring for cheese and butter. They can be used for cooking stews, broths and salads. When eaten, expect a spicy flavor that is similar to saffron. In addition, it is a good cosmetic ingredient from facial to skincare and hair products.
This flower can drive away aphids from other plants in your garden. Of course, it gives your garden a more beautiful sight amidst the white appearance that the winter season brings.
Dianthus is a group of fabulous winter flowering annuals, in which sweet William and carnation belong to. This genus is among the favorite flowering plants mainly for their colorful and beautiful flowers that are mostly red, white and pink. The presence of this can be a good land cover for your boring, bushy or empty spots around your garden.
Protecting the flowers in the winter and keeping them alive cause a small effort. You just need to provide an adequate amount of water when signs of dryness appear. This plant requires a little sun and a healthy soil that is situated in a cool place. To add, place some fertilizers every 6 to 8 weeks. Typically, this annual flower majestically blooms in early spring or summer.
Many types of dianthus rebloom all throughout the garden season. This is more possible if you cut some flowers off, called deadheading, as they begin to fade. Depending on the varieties of winter flowering annuals, this grows to an average of 6 inches to 18 inches only.
3. Dusty Miller
Botanically named senecio cineraria and commonly known as silver ragwort, the good old dusty miller is a perfect addition to any garden. It offers a very unique and wintery look with its silvery leaves and furry appearance. The yellow colored flowers often bloom during summer as it can withstand the rigorous heat of the season. However, it can still show exceptional beauty during the cold winter months.
Growing these winter flowering annuals is not highly demanding. Make sure that it’s placed with other suitable plants, especially colorful ones, to complement its silver color and to keep your landscape vibrant. This plant needs full sun contact and must be grown from a well drained soil with moderate water. Eventually, it won’t need a lot of water since it is a drought resistant flower.
4. Flowering Kale
Kale is a popular vegetable prepared in salad dishes. It is in the same family as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. But it’s also considered as an “ornamental cabbage” due to its strikingly pretty purple flowers. It is another option for your list of winter flowering annuals.
Despite its ability to satisfy one’s taste buds, this plant is an excellent landscape addition with its ruffled leaves and purple, sometimes red or pink, flowers. It’s a good idea to grow it with other plants like pansies, heuchera, ornamental peppers, and the stunning cordyline.
When it comes to its cold climate resistance, it can survive for as low as -15 degrees Celsius. This translates to doing good during cold months like November and December. If you’re looking for a good winter resistant plant, kale is a good choice.
Geranium, or scientifically known as pelargonium x hortorum, is another popular plant for its performance on garden beddings. It is also commonly grown as a perfect house plant to enhance a room’s interior. There are also some who like to situate these winter flowering annuals on baskets that are hung outside the house, most especially by the windows.
To make this plant bloom, you better provide enough light, But it can still deal with moderately lit places. As it matures, the plant extends to a small height of 4 inches up to 48 inches tall with a width of 6 inches to 36 inches.
While this plant is a source of beauty, it is also believed to aid in several mental or psychological issues like anxiety and depression. There are also parts of the plant that help fight off certain health issues, including infections.
One of the toughest winter flowering annuals is osteospermum. It is an African native flower that is often called daisy bush or African daisy. It likes heat, and most especially full sun exposure. Moreover, it works well in dry soil.
Despite its preference to heat, this amazing plant can still survive the winter season and continue to showcase its beauty to everyone. A fully grown osteospermum grows from 2 feet to 5 feet.
Scientifically named as viola tricolor var. hortensis, pansy is a distinctive, lovely flower. It measures 2 to 3 inches in diameter with a pair of side petals and one bottom petal with a bit of beard emanating from the flower’s core.
Color choices are not a problem as this flowering plant comes with a wide range of shades, such as yellow, white, blue and purple but typically bi-colored or tricolored.
Furthermore, it is a cool weather loving plant, definitely one of the most beautiful winter flowering annuals anyone can easily grow. Having such eye capturing flowers in your garden can truly increase its beauty and value.
Petunia is also a majestic flower that offers a long summer beauty in any garden. Like pansies, petunia flowers offer several colors, which include pink, yellow, orange, white, blue, red, and lavender. You can transform any portion of your home’s landscape that is dull or bushy into a charming place.
Taking care of this flowering plant is very straightforward and easy. In fact, almost anybody can effortlessly grow this plant and enjoy its bloom. For abundance, this flower must be exposed to at least 6 hours of continuous sun exposure everyday. On average, its maturity should be manifested by its height of between 12 inches and 15 inches.
Snapdragon is also a great choice among beautiful winter flowering annuals that normally bloom from spring to frost. This marvelous looking flower is often called dragon flower because of its resemblance to a dragon that is opening and closing its mouth, similar to when the flower is squeezed.
There are different colors of snapdragon. These include yellow, peach, pink, red and white. You can mix two or more hues to have a colorful garden. In terms of sizes, there is a dwarf size (6-10 inches wide), a medium one (16 to 24 inches tall) and a taller (24-30 inches tall) variety.
10. Sweet Alyssum
Let’s add sweet alyssum to this list of the best and beautiful winter flowering annuals. This flowering plant is commonly called by the public as sweet Alison or simply alyssum. It is a 4-inch flowering plant that can extend up to 8 inches in spring, summer, as well as the cold winter season.
You can also choose from various different colors that are pleasant in the eyes such as violet-purple or royal carpet, bicolor stream like pink and purple, or a more subtle classic white. Regardless, this plant provides a pretty bloom as the tiny flowers are grown from clusters.
These samples of winter flowering annuals can undoubtedly make your garden look more extravagant and special. With all the necessary care that comes with a responsibility and patience, the success can be seen by how the plants would appear and catch the attention of whoever sees it.
Are you ready to start growing some cold tolerant annual flowering plants?