These 5 plants add color to winter gardens
Q: My online feed has been full of plants and trees that add interest and color to the winter landscape. I’m very tempted to add some of these plants to my own landscape, but I have been disappointed in the past by the performance of these plants in our hot climate. Do you have some recommendations for plants that do well here and will add color to landscapes in winter?
A: We have many plants that thrive in our climate and also provide color, interest and food for bees and other insects in winter.
Here are five of the plants that survive the heat and put on a show during the cold winter months:
Hardy cyclamen delivers colorful vibrant winter blossoms from November to March.
This plant works well as a ground cover or bedding plant that grows best light shade. Different varieties range from 4-6 inches tall and 6-8 inches wide.
Some varieties have variegated heart shaped leaves that can add interest all year.
2. Lenten Rose
Lenten Rose have dark green leaves and bloom in late winter.
New varieties come out each year with many flower colors to choose from.
These plants also grow best in partial to full shade, and are typically about 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide.
Manzanita can be used as ground cover, shrubs or small trees.
Manzanitas are popular for their shiny red or mahogany colored bark and abundant urn-shaped flowers during the winter months. Flower colors vary from pink to white and are popular with hummingbirds and insects. Manzanita is drought tolerant and evergreen, and looks green and healthy even in the hottest driest part of the summer. It grows best in full or partial sun.
A favorite of mine is the vine hill manzanita called Howard McMinn manzanita: A medium-size shrub that’s covered in pink blooms during the winter months.
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub with varieties that can be used as ground cover, hedges or as a single shrub.
These fine foliaged shrubs are covered in blue flowers in the winter through early spring. Shrubs thrive in full sun and are resistant to deer and rabbit predation.
Rosemary is also a culinary herb and is a featured ingredient in many Mediterranean recipes.
5. Colorful grasses
There are also many grasses such as Orange or Red Sedges, Sweet Flag or Deer Grass that can add winter interest and also provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds in your landscape.
For more ideas for landscape plants that grow well in our area and add that pop of color to the drab winter landscape, take a walk through the McConnell Arboretum at Turtle Bay and the Matson/Mowder Native Plant Demonstration Garden located in Caldwell Park in Redding.
The Shasta Master Gardeners Program can be reached by phone at 530-242-2219 or email email@example.com. The gardener office is staffed by volunteers trained by the University of California to answer gardeners' questions using information based on scientific research.