5 ‘must-have’ low maintenance plants for ‘colourful’ winter gardens

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Just because it’s winter it doesn’t mean that Britons should let their garden go bare and dormant. With these winter-flowering plants recommended by Melvin Cubian, gardening expert at PlantIn, you will be sure to brighten up your pots and flower borders in no time.

1. Snowdrop 

Snowdrops are tough, reliable plants, generally flowering in the height of winter, often poking their heads above overlying blankets of snow. 

They are a cheerful sight in the garden, flowering when little else will, marking the height of winter and that the beginning of spring is not far behind.

Melvin said: “This bulbous plant, known for its bowing-down flowers, is a must-have for a colourful winter garden. 

“Its snow-white petals may not be as catchy as other blooms, but they can definitely survive the harshest winters.”

2. Camellia 

Due to their flowering period, which extends from September to May, they are known as the “rose of winter”.

Camellias add winter colour to the greenhouse or even in the conservatory. Particularly hardy varieties can decorate even frosty gardens.

Available in different shades of red, pink, and white, camellias, too, “deserve a spot in your cold-season garden”, noted the expert.

He instructed: “Plant them in a shaded part of your garden with companion plants like azaleas, crape myrtle, or taller shrubs for best results.”

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3. Pansies 

Winter pansies have been bred to withstand cooler temperatures and bloom in the colder months.

They form the backbone of many winters’ floral displays. In fact, they often out-flower many other plants during the colder months and add a splash of colour in the darkest days.

Also known as violas, pansies “will leave you surprised” with their “stunning multi-coloured and unique flowers”, cleansed Melvin. 

He advised: “To maximise its beauty, group plants with the same colour or plant them along your garden’s borders.”

4. Cyclamen

Cyclamen are hardy plants, flowering through the winter. They will bloom profusely in shady locations.

Their marbled oval to round leaves with delicate shell-like flowers floating above in shades of pink and white will provide a distinctive and stunning colour to your garden.

According to the gardening pro, cyclamen are “too hard to miss” when planning to do a “colourful winter garden” because of its gorgeous blooms that display in all shades of pink, white and red. 

He said: “They are one of the indestructible flowers in the cold season, even in regions with slightly warm winters.”

5. Primrose

These traditional fully frost-hardy plants will survive the harshest of British winters and will reward you with a burst of colour in the spring.

Melvin said: “Another plant that can gracefully handle frigid environments and has very little maintenance are primroses.

“Present in a vast array of colours, your winter garden will stand out with its catchy flowers.”

They’re ideal for planting in any type of container – or plant them under shrubs with bulbs for a woodland effect.

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