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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!

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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