Your secret plants that offer colour in winter + hardiness

13 posts in this topic

Please share your secrets to having a colourful garden in winter. 

 

This year's January was a plant-killer up here in northern Florida.  We had two back-to-back freezes, and the second freeze was the coldest in eight years.  Plants which had been doing fine in winter over the past eight years are now dead, so my planting strategy has changed.  I need to switch to some more cold-hardy landscaping plants.

Here are some of the plants that remained colourful and cold-hardy (no damage or die-back), despite January's big freeze:

- cordyline australis "red star"

- azaleas

- loropetalum "ever red"

Yet the latter two will only provide colour in sun, not shade.  Can you recommend some that are both cold-hardy and provide colour?  (Other than white)  I need plants that will survive 23 degrees Fahrenheit, although briefly. (We hit an overnight low 23 or 24 degrees one night in January)

Thanks.

 

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LYou have lots of Cordyline australis cultivars and i think they will be cold hardy. You can check torbay dazzler, sunset, pink passion, polka ,salsa, etc.

And with similar look, Phorniums, the same that Cordylines, lots of different colors.

If you want yellow color, may be Aucuba japonica. And lots of variegated plants, for example Euonimus japonica, Eleagnus x ebbingei,etc.

Or Pittosporus teunifolium 'Tom Thumb' with dark red leaves.

And i think the members in cold places can tell you hundreds of plants. I am in a frost free place and only know a few.

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Camellias. They’re extremely hardy, the leaves can look tropical-ish, and they come in all shapes and sizes

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"Please share your secrets to having a colourful garden in winter. "   Post  it with your  magical winter garden photos  please.

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Posted (edited)

 Heaths and Heathers provide a rainbow of foliage and flowers in winter. Hebes are another good one for colorful foliage all year long.  Have you tried any of the new colorful variegated Fatsia they look great in part shade but do grow into small trees. I also recommend winter blooming Daphne they're very fragrant. 

 

 

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Fatsia Camouflage Winter IMG_5400-1.JPG

Edited by Palm crazy
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Crinum var la sangria is leaf hardy to 15f and extremely pretty.  Dyckia cherry coke is another 15f hardy plant. 8F wont completely kill either one. 

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Proteacea (leucodendron, leucospermum, protea, grevillea, et al) color up with cool temps. Not all are freeze hardy but most should do fine with an occasional 25F. 

Agave could look really tropical too (agave desmettiana, agave attenuata,   agave, agave ellemeetiana...)

Mangave mocha macho makes a great bromeliad look- alike and isfreeze hardy. There are lots of really neat new mangave hybrids (intergeneric hybrids of manfreda and agave.)

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Abelia "francis mason", Golden Mops (chamaecyparis pisifera filifera "aurea"), both have best color in sun though.

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When I lived in Houston I always used Acuba japonica to bring color to a winter garden. They actually look like some croton varieties.

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Daphnes are not easy plants to grow, much less flower.  Cecile

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^ Agree w/ Cecile, tried growing these years ago in what id thought was an ideal spot back in San Jose.. A tad too much heat, shade, water, clay-ey soil, or root disturbance and.. If they didn't croak, if a given winter was too mild, forget about flowers.  I was told Edgeworthia were supposed to be easier to grow though again, a bit temperamental for valley locations.. apparently much easier up in the mountains in the Fog/Redwood Belt.   It might.... be trial-worthy tucked in all day shade in north Florida.

Japanese Acuba and Fatsia would be ideal Winter-color ideas there as well. Might also consider Florida Anise / Yellow Anise. 

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Posted (edited)

Daphne is one of the easiest plants to grow up here in WA. But most Asian plants grow to perfection here.  I should grow a collection of them since there are so many different types of little tiny ones to giant 8' tall ones. If only I had more space for them I would grow them all. Another funny thing is Heaths and Heathers and Erica won't grow in FL due to there high summer heat/humidity.  ( I thought someone would have caught that, LOL) Florida native Anise is a great winter bloomer. 

Edited by Palm crazy
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All of these are evergreen or semi evergreen: Eucalyptus, Yucca, Bearded iris, Gardenia, Hens and chicks, Sedum, Autumn fern, Holly fern, Opuntia, Camellia sinensis  (tea), Agapanthus, Olive, Oleander, Hardy citrus, Agave, Creeping phlox, Thyme, Rosemary, Salvia greggi, Ice plant, Lemon cypress, evergreen dogwood (Cornus augustata or capitata), and so so much more. 

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