Here in the Mid-Atlantic, it sometimes feels like we move from a lush summer to a festive fall right into a gray and dreary winter. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of cold-hardy plants that offer bright, beautiful blooms even when the weather is gloomy. With the right mix of annuals and perennials, you can keep your winter landscape looking gorgeous. But don’t wait: fall is the time to get planting.
Why Is Fall Planting So Important?
Summer landscaping is all about keeping growth at bay. We’re mowing, pruning and trimming to keep Mother Nature from getting out of control. Fall, on the other hand, is all about planting. It’s the perfect time to get ready for spring while also bringing in splashes of color to keep your winter landscape inviting. Here are some of the reasons fall is the perfect time to plant for winter color.
- The trees have lost their leaves, and the vibrant greens of summer have faded. It’s the perfect time to shine a spotlight on winter interest plants.
- The mowers are slowing down for the season. Instead of your lawn, you can focus on keeping landscape beds vibrant during the winter.
- We’re pretty sure there’s a reason that cold-weather annuals have some of the best colors around. Pinks, purples and bright yellows are heavenly against the pale winter landscape.
What Annuals Should I Plant This Fall for Winter Color?
We love cold-hardy,seasonal annuals that we can plant in the fall and enjoy throughout the winter months or in late winter/early spring. Here are just a few of the best:
- Pansies: These winter and early spring classics are one of our favorites for cold weather color. They’re delicate but hardy at the same time and prefer cold weather to summer heat. Pansies are so tough they can survive single-digit temperatures, according to the University of Georgia, and bounce back in late winter or early spring. No wonder they’re one of the most popular bedding plants every fall.
- Ornamental kale and cabbage: With beautiful flower-shaped rosettes and a pretty palette of pinks and purples, ornamental kale and cabbage can’t be beat. We love these plants along walkways and at entryways, and they’re incredibly low-maintenance.
- Stock flowers and Snapdragons: These cheerful blooms are fall favorites. Lately, we’re planting lots of these colorful beauties and seeing them survive through winter for a spring resurgence.
What Are the Best Perennials for Winter Landscapes?
Lovely low-growing perennials are some of our very favorite things to plant. They’re ideal for beds and borders, bringing splashes of color to the ground. They stand out against light snow for a very charming landscape. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Hellebore: These beautiful perennial evergreens are sometimes called Christmas roses and give us beautiful shades of purple, yellow and green just when we need it most.
- Heathers and heaths: These super-hardy evergreens can withstand the cold and shower us with color from white to dark red, including a range of pinks and purples.
Winter Blooms: Don’t Forget the Shrubs
While we tend to think about grass and trees all summer, shrubs are an easy-maintenance winter winner and are often the best at providing much-needed winter color.
- Holly is a festive and timeless classic, but there are lots of species to choose from. We’ll help you pick the perfect ones for your winter landscape.
- Winter Jasmine: This trending import offers bright yellow flowers and looks a little like forsythia but blooms in winter instead of early spring.
- Witch Hazel: Another yellow-flowered favorite, Witch Hazel brings bright color to the winter landscape. We’ll help you choose the perfect cold-hardy variety.
When Should I Plant for Winter Blooms?
September, October and November are perfect times to plant for winter and early spring blooms. At Epling, fall is chock full of exciting possibilities, and we have brilliant ideas for every landscape and budget. Let’s get started now to keep you smiling all winter long.