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Winter plants for pots

Plants for winter containers

Brighten up dull winter days with these plants for seasonal pots.

Winter is often viewed as ‘down time’ in the garden, with little to do but wait until spring. Not so. There are many winter plants for the garden, particularly when used in seasonal pot and container displays.

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Bright flowers, vivid berries, evergreen foliage and colourful stems can all be combined to great effect. With the right plants you can create a high-impact but low-maintenance scheme, to lift the spirits on even the darkest of days.

For a bee-friendly container, opt for plants with a generous supply of nectar, like crocus, hellebores and snowdrops. Sitting in a frost pocket? Try growing robust plants like Hakonechloa macra, Hylotelephium spectabile and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’.

Before you plant, remember to make sure your pots are winter ready too. Clay or terracotta pots are prone to cracking in frost so either avoid using these for your winter displays or look for frost-proof pots and containers. Plastic, fibreglass, wooden and treated terracotta and clay are all good materials for winter pots. Look for pots labelled frost-proof rather than frost resistant which can still crack when temperatures plummet.

Raising pots up by standing them on blocks or pot ‘feet’ over the winter will also allow water to drain away, prevent them becoming waterlogged and help to reduce the risk of frost damage.

Buy frost-proof pots and containers on Amazon

Buy plant pot feet on Amazon

More on winter plants:

Browse our choice of plants for winter pots, below.


1

Snowdrops

Winter plants for pots - snowdrops
Winter plants for pots – snowdrops

Snowdrops are perfect for growing in winter pot displays. Team with black lilyturf and hellebores for a modern look.

Height x Spread: 15cm x 8cm

Buy Snowdrops at Crocus for £5.99


2

Wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens

Winter plants for pots - wintergreen
Winter plants for pots – wintergreen

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is a naturally festive-looking, neat, low-spreading evergreen with large red berries and reddish-tinged leaves in winter.

H x S: 30cm x 1.5m


3

Winter-flowering pansy

Winter plants for pots - winter pansies
Winter plants for pots – winter pansies

Winter-flowering pansies with yellow, maroon, white or purple ‘faces’ will keep flowering except in the very worst weather. But they will recover and then continue until June.

H x S: 20cm x 30cm

Buy Winter Pansies at Amazon for £7.50


4

Cyclamen

Winter plants for pots - hardy cyclamen
Winter plants for pots – hardy cyclamen

Hardy cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen coum) are neat, free-flowering plants, perfect for growing at the base of trees and shrubs or naturalising in grass. They work well in winter pot displays, and can be planted into the garden after they have flowered.

H x S: 8cm x 10cm

Buy Cyclamen hederifolium at Crocus for £4.49


5

Carex

Winter plants for pots - carex
Winter plants for pots – carex

Carex are tuft-forming evergreen perennials with green, variegated or bronze, curly or arching leaves. Very tough and contemporary, and will look good all winter.

H x S: 20cm x 30cm

Buy Carex at Crocus for £8.99


6

Skimmia ‘Rubella’

Winter plants for pots - skimmia
Winter plants for pots – skimmia

Skimmia ‘Rubella’ is a rugged, hardy and reliable evergreen shrub with grape-like clusters of tight pink buds throughout winter. Teams well with heathers.

H x S: 75cm x 75cm

Buy Skimmia ‘Rubella’ at Crocus for £8.99


7

Phormium

Winter plants for pots - Phormium 'Evening Glow'
Winter plants for pots – Phormium ‘Evening Glow’

Phormium is a colourful architectural evergreen with arched strap-shaped leaves in pink, purplish and bronzy shades, including stripes. A good mixer for contemporary schemes.

H x S: 1m x 1.2m


8

Ajuga

Winter plants for pots - Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop'
Winter plants for pots – Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’

Ajuga is a rugged evergreen perennial that’s low-spreading with rounded purple or purple-variegated leaves depending on variety. Makes a non-traditional alternative to ivy.

H x S: 20cm x 80cm

Buy Ajuga at Crocus for £8.99


9

Christmas rose

Winter plants for pots - Christmas rose
Winter plants for pots – Christmas rose

The Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, bears large, round, white flat-faced flowers above low-growing mounds of leathery, deep green foliage.

H x S: 45cm x 45cm


10

Winter heather

Winter plants for pots - Erica 'Springwood White'
Winter plants for pots – Erica ‘Springwood White’

With wiry stems clothed in evergreen needles, usually deep green but sometimes in other shades, winter heathers are usually derived from Erica carnea, which grows wild in the Alps and other cool mountainous regions.

H x S: 25cm x 30cm

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Buy Winter Heather at Crocus for £5.99