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Winter Flowers for Every Region

By: Jim Childs
Craving color in your garden? Check out our list of winter and very early-spring-blooming shrubs for each region. It won’t be long before they’re showing off again!

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Enjoy flowers, even in winter!

Not everyone is lucky enough to live where winters are mild. But that doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself winter flowers — it just means that they may come in late fall or very early spring. Here are nine favorite winter-blooming shrubs, divided into three regions where they’re reliably hardy.

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winter-flowering-shrubs-camellia: Camellia flowers can be singles like the one here or densely packed with silky petals, and the glossy evergreen leaves are eye-catching.

Winter-blooming shrubs for the West

  • Camellia (Camellia japonica) (in photo)
    Type Shrub Blooms Red, pink or white blooms in late fall to early spring Light Full sun to part shade Size 3 to 20 ft. tall, 3 to 10 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 6 to 8

  • Laurustinus viburnum (Viburnum tinus)
    Type Evergreen shrub Blooms Pink buds open as waxy, fragrant white flowers in late winter; full sun to part shade Size 6 to 12 ft. tall, 6 to 10 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10

  • Paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)
    Type Shrub Blooms Fragrant yellow blooms in late winter Light Full sun to part shade Size 4 to 6 ft. tall, 6 to 8 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10


winter-flowering-shrubs-flowering-quince: The flowers on this early-blooming flowering quince last a couple weeks.

Winter-blooming shrubs for the Midwest

  • Flowering quince (Chaenomeles spp.) (in photo)
    Type Evergreen shrub Blooms Scarlet, pink or white blooms in early spring Light Full sun to part shade Size 2 to 8 ft. tall, 3 to 10 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8

  • Harry Lauder’s walkingstick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’)
    Type Shrub Blooms Tan catkins dangle from twisted branches in late winter Light Full sun to part shade Size 8 to 10 ft. tall, 6 to 8 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8

  • Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
    Type Shrub Blooms Fuzzy silver catkins in late winter Light Full sun to part shade Size 6 to 25 ft. tall, 4 to 15 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7


winter-flowering-shrubs-flowering-winterhazel: Small fragrant winterhazel flowers open before the leaves unfurl, sometimes when there’s still snow on the ground.

Winter-blooming shrubs for the East

  • Winterhazel (Corylopsis pauciflora) (in photo)
    Type Shrub Blooms Fragrant primrose yellow flowers in early spring Light Full sun to part shade Size 4 to 6 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 6 to 8

  • Winter daphne (Daphne odora)
    Type Shrub Blooms Fragrant pink blooms in early spring Light Full sun to part shade Size 3 to 4 ft. tall, 2 to 4 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9

  • Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
    Type Shrub Blooms Lemon-scented white blooms in early spring Light Full sun to part shade Size 6 to 10 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8

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Published: Jan. 8, 2019
Updated: Dec. 15, 2020
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Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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