Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) flowers with bee

10 plants for frost pockets

Frosty spot? We pick 10 of the best plants to grow in chilly areas of the garden.

Frost pockets are small, low-lying areas, where both late and early frosts are more likely than other areas of the garden, increasing the risk to tender plants.

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Some areas are more prone to becoming frost pockets, for example, dips and dells in the garden can act as collecting points for cold air.

So it’s important that the plants we choose for these locations can deal with a shorter growing season and more frequent frosts. Frost pockets can be made more accommodating to plants by improving drainage, planting close together, growing British natives and applying a deep mulch in spring.

More tough plants to grow:

Read on to discover which 10 plants flourish among frost.


Cirsium rivulare

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As well as Cirsium japonicum, Cirsium rivulare with its thistle-like flowers, thrives in damp soil. Try growing ‘Atropurpureum’ (pictured) for lofty, leafless stems topped with magenta flowers.


Achillea chrysocoma

Achillea chrysocoma
Achillea chrysocoma flowerhead

A high impact plant for a spot at the back of the border, Achillea chrysocoma has huge creamy, flat-domed heads and pale-green divided leaves. Find some of the varieties you can grow on our plant database.


Geranium ‘Rosemoor’

Geranium 'Rosemoor'
Geranium ‘Rosemoor’

Geranium ‘Rosemoor’ is a prolific summer-flowering perennial, growing to 70cm in height and a magnet for bees. For more hardy geraniums, visit the plant database.


Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’

Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'
Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’

Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ is a a slender grass with tall straw-coloured flowerheads in late summer. Very low maintenance, it’s ideal for the smaller garden and will come into leaf in early spring.


Campanula lactiflora

Campanula lactiflora in flower
Campanula lactiflora in flower

Despite its Turkish origins, Campanula lactiflora is fully hardy and, given the right conditions, will produce masses of bell-shaped, pale, summer flowers.


Hylotelephium spectabile

Sedum, Hylotelephium spectabile
Sedum, Hylotelephium spectabile

A pollinator favourite, Hylotelephium spectabile has waxy leaves and long-lasting, starry clusters of pink flowers in late summer. Cut it back in spring to encourage fresh new growth and prevent it from becoming too leggy.


Hakonechloa macra

Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra
Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra

Hakonechloa macra are small but striking Japanese grasses that thrive in moist, well-drained soil. Try combining it with hostas for long-lasting clumps of foliage.


Verbascum nigrum

Dark mullein, Verbascum nigrum
Dark mullein, Verbascum nigrum

A biennial, Verbascum nigrum sends up towering 1m-tall stems, encircled with showy, yellow flowers. Try growing it from seed to quickly fill a frost pocket.


Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria
Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria

With its stately, long-lasting spires, our native loosestrife loves moist soil, and there are lots of beautiful varieties to grow. Divide every few years to keep these robust plants in check.


Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Hardy geranium 'Rozanne'
Hardy geranium ‘Rozanne’
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Since its Chelsea debut in 2000, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has remained popular among gardeners, for its reliability and lengthy flowering period.