Jump to content
Jesse PNW

Hardy Colors for Winter

Recommended Posts

Jesse PNW

I'm trying to find some colorful (of course exotic looking) plants that will add color to the garden for winter.  Unfortunately I can't grow Croton, Bromeliads, or the more exotic Cordylines.  The garden will be a sad place when the Ensetes and Canna's all get packed away in the greenhouse.  

I've got Aucuba japonica, Cordyline (whatever species they're calling it), Bergenia,  Aspidistra elatior, The Mahonias will eventually produce colorful berries.  

Any other ideas for bringing some bright tropical colors into a frosty garden? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
matthedlund
1 hour ago, Jesse PNW said:

I'm trying to find some colorful (of course exotic looking) plants that will add color to the garden for winter.  Unfortunately I can't grow Croton, Bromeliads, or the more exotic Cordylines.  The garden will be a sad place when the Ensetes and Canna's all get packed away in the greenhouse.  

I've got Aucuba japonica, Cordyline (whatever species they're calling it), Bergenia,  Aspidistra elatior, The Mahonias will eventually produce colorful berries.  

Any other ideas for bringing some bright tropical colors into a frosty garden? 

Are you still located in Washington? There are several bromeliad species that do just fine for me in Seattle including in Fascicularia, Ochagavia, Greigia, Dyckia, Bilibergia...

I don't know about colorful, but if you need some cool evergreens I have some recommendations. I'm in love with my Kniphofia northiae for a similar look. Otherwise for winter berry interest, Pernettyas are interesting. For foliage, why not try a Loquat tree?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

Hi Matt!  I got a few Jubaeas from you last year, the largest now has 2 fronds going pinnate!

I love BLE's, I have 2 Erybotrias that I grew from seed and are now around a foot tall. 

Your minimum temps up there in Seattle are warmer than mine, I've looked for Bromeliads that can handle low teens but I don't think there are any. 

I will check out that Poker, I have 2 regular red hot pokers.  I like them, when they flower.  I hadn't heard of Pernettyas, I will try to find one ir two.  Thanks!

20210926_114042.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keys6505

I never got around to buying them when I lived in 7a, but Arum Italicum is a ground over that only grows in winter and produces red berries.  The downside is I've heard they can be a bit invasive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
matthedlund
3 hours ago, Jesse PNW said:

Hi Matt!  I got a few Jubaeas from you last year, the largest now has 2 fronds going pinnate!

I love BLE's, I have 2 Erybotrias that I grew from seed and are now around a foot tall. 

Your minimum temps up there in Seattle are warmer than mine, I've looked for Bromeliads that can handle low teens but I don't think there are any. 

I will check out that Poker, I have 2 regular red hot pokers.  I like them, when they flower.  I hadn't heard of Pernettyas, I will try to find one ir two.  Thanks!

20210926_114042.jpg

Hey, that's looking great! If you find room for more palms, let me know.. I've got a whole bunch of fun stuff right now like Chameadorea radicalis, Trithrinax campestris, Syagrus r.  'Santa Catarina' etc. I've got plenty of small Pernettyas if you decide you like them.

I bet you could grow Fascicularia bicolor ssp piticarnifolia AKA 'Spinners Form' it's really hardy, I think the low teens would work.  Here's a pic of mine blooming now. You also might have a shot with some Puya species like berteroniana. And here's that giant red hot poker. That shoe in the pic is a size 12 for scale.

20210827_183146.jpg

20210731_190953.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW
54 minutes ago, Keys6505 said:

I never got around to buying them when I lived in 7a, but Arum Italicum is a ground over that only grows in winter and produces red berries.  The downside is I've heard they can be a bit invasive.

I've tried to order them from 2 different website, seems they can't be imported to Washington as they're an "invasive species".  I've never seen them here.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

Matt, I've been looking everywhere for C radicalis this summer.  I ended up ordering a bunch of seedlings from Floribunda and also some larger bifid seedlings from Darold off the Palmtalk here.  I am intersted in the other palms you listed, I'll message you.  That Syagrus "Santa Catarina" is a hard one to find! 

That Fascicularia looks good, I will have to see if I can source it.   That "Puya" is one of the most alien looking plants I've ever seen.  Where do you even find these things?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chester B

If you want winter color other than green it’s pretty easy as there aren’t too many options in the PNW. 
 

Nandina - so many varieties. My favorites are burgundy wine and firepower. Firepower in particular has colors so bright it almost hurts your eyes. 
 

the other great option is Loropetalum. Lots of different varieties from pink to Deep purple. Some  varieties get huge.

There are many species of Grevillea that flower in the winter.  
 

For trees you have southern magnolia, look for Brackens brown or Kay Perris. Then there are all those blue Eucalyptus. E perriniana has red branches on the smaller ones. And don’t forget the native tree Arbutus mensezeii with its orange bark and winter flowers. As well you have other Arbutus species with their orange and red winter fruit

Japanese blueberry tree - a nice BLE that always has older red leaves on it. 
 

Another one that has red new growth is Photinia fraseri. 
 

As well don’t overlook all the red Rhododendrons. Some have red undersides like Cherry Merlot and Wine and Roses. But there are also other varieties with dark purple leaves. 
 

Blue, white and yellow are easy colors to find but the red pinks and purples are what will really stand out. 

Edited by Chester B
  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
matthedlund
6 hours ago, Jesse PNW said:

Matt, I've been looking everywhere for C radicalis this summer.  I ended up ordering a bunch of seedlings from Floribunda and also some larger bifid seedlings from Darold off the Palmtalk here.  I am intersted in the other palms you listed, I'll message you.  That Syagrus "Santa Catarina" is a hard one to find! 

That Fascicularia looks good, I will have to see if I can source it.   That "Puya" is one of the most alien looking plants I've ever seen.  Where do you even find these things?  

Sure thing! I've got plants available for both the Fascicularia and the Puya in one gallon pots. I propagate them myself, I believe my progeny originated from Dan Hinkley, but I don't recall for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

I stumbled across this, Summer Sunset Jasmine, Trachelospermum asiaticum.  Almost croton-like colors. I ordered one online, looking back I should have ordered several.  I just wonder if the color burns year round or only when new growth pushes up in the spring?

summersunsetjas2__03300.1619874660.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
26 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

I stumbled across this, Summer Sunset Jasmine, Trachelospermum asiaticum.  Almost croton-like colors. I ordered one online, looking back I should have ordered several.  I just wonder if the color burns year round or only when new growth pushes up in the spring?

summersunsetjas2__03300.1619874660.jpg

Overall, color can stay like this year round ( most vibrant when newest though ), that said, can be more muted / more green in heavy shade.  Can be a little slow to start really filling in after panting, but will catch up. Flowers are fragrant when produced.. Scent isn't quite as overpowering as regular Star Jasmine though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

Cool, thanks for the input!  I also have some Star Jasmine and Snow in Summer Jasmine... I think the Star Jasmine will end up dying if our winters are very bad but its fragrance is unreal!  I bought it for my wife but after I set the pot in my garden for a couple weeks, I was reluctant to plant it in her garden.  I'll probably buy more if they become available locally again.  

I also just stumbled across a couple more plants that I think will help add winter color here.   I know there's all sorts of wild looking Sempervivum, would be cool to find some really loud colors. 

wintercolor1.png

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mulungu

Any chance that Heuchera's might perform well during the cool season in your area?  They come in an amazing range of leaf colors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

I've got a few heuchera, I like them, but they are deciduous, dying with the first hard frost. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chester B
3 hours ago, Jesse PNW said:

I've got a few heuchera, I like them, but they are deciduous, dying with the first hard frost. 

You must be that much cooler, mine stay evergreen here.  They don't look particularly good in winter though.

What about New Zealand flax (phormium)- too cold there?   

Edited by Chester B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

I like my Phormiums as well, they did fine last winter.  I suspect they will die back to the ground if our winter gets bad though.  However, I know of quite a few Phormiums in the area that are very tall, so I imagine they do fine through any given winter.  

We are colder here than you guys down in the Portland area, but my minimum temp last year was only 24f.  If I recall correctly (and I may be wrong), the Heucheras died the first hard frost which was 28f on Oct 25th.  

Edited by Jesse PNW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Swolte
On 9/27/2021 at 8:09 AM, Jesse PNW said:

I stumbled across this, Summer Sunset Jasmine, Trachelospermum asiaticum.  Almost croton-like colors. I ordered one online, looking back I should have ordered several.  I just wonder if the color burns year round or only when new growth pushes up in the spring?

summersunsetjas2__03300.1619874660.jpg

Mine constantly get munched on by deer! Hope they will take off after the second year so they can take some of the browsing. I agree they look great!

Great thread and very timely. I'll contribute some suggestions later.
:)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paradise Found

Good suggestion everyone.  I'll try to come up with some plants too on Wednesday. 

Edited by Paradise Found

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paradise Found

I believe that winter should also have good fragrances with flowers beside evergreen foliage. 

Get yourself a brightly colored pot and plant colorful winter cabbage around them put Pansies & violas. 

Primrose

Laurustinus (Viburnum Tinus)

Viburnum x bodnantense 'pink dawn.

Sarcococca 'sweet box'

Cyclamen

Black Mondo grass

Camellia sasangua

Edge worthia

Melianthe major

Witch Hazel

Euphorbia

Coral bark maple

Winter Daphane

Hellebores

Japanese Fatsia variegated 

Yucca

Aloe artista

I am sure there are more, That's all I can think of that hasn't already been listed. 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

That's a good list.  I'll have to try to source some of those.  I didn't realize Melianthus was evergreen but that's been on my list for awhile I just haven't looked very hard yet. 

I ordered an Alpinia zerumbet, shell ginger, as well.  The google says it's evergreen to zone 8 which would be cool since it looks like a tiger-striped Canna.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paradise Found

Bark N Garden in Olympia will have most of these plants. And if they don't ask them when they might. Prices are $$$ at this place. 

Alpinia Zerumbet is one of my favorites too. Hardy to z8 but it needs a long warm/hot growing season to look good and to grow larger the following year.  They're worth trying in your area. 

Melianthus major is evergreen if you give it some overhead protection.

 

Edited by Paradise Found

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chester B

Melianthus stays evergreen for me but looks tired in spring.  I always cut it back to the ground to refresh it.  It has no overhead cover and doesn't burn for me.  I bought mine in the annuals section for $4/plant.

The Variegated shell ginger does not stay evergreen, it dies back like other gingers, cannas, etc.  Comes back from the roots when the heat comes back usually in June.  

Edited by Chester B
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Swolte
On 9/29/2021 at 2:44 PM, Paradise Found said:

Cyclamen

I was just looking into these last week. Wondering if they can thrive in central texas gardens outside! Does anyone have experience with these?

Great list, Paradise Found!

Melianthus didn't do well for me here in Texas. Found them to be very finicky here (winters as well as summers). Please let me know if anyone else had different experience! 

Alpinia Zerumbet exceeded my expectations by at least 4 feet! They are growing quite well. Although I usually have an aversion to those gas-station type plants, the Nandina, as Chester mentioned, are simply too good for color! 

As for additional suggestions, you may want to try Danae racemosa (Poet's Laural). The plant has an interesting history (if you're into that) and, although they don't flower in the winter, they have colorful berries that persist through winter.  Mine aren't doing great but that is because of the (near unbearable) deer pressure in my area. Another one I used to grow is Chimonanthus Praecox (Wintersweet) which actually blooms in the winter. Unfortunately, for me, deer didn't allow it for long on my property.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
5 minutes ago, Swolte said:

I was just looking into these last week. Wondering if they can thrive in central texas gardens outside! Does anyone have experience with these?
 

Tough call.. They generally have a short life in warm climates, esp. where summers are hot / humid.. Could never get then to last longer than a year in San Jose in the ground, even in shade ( forget ti in sun ).  

Luckily, we have a native, Cyclamen stand in, Shooting Stars, Genus Primula, *** Formally Dodecatheon **  Species that grows in the coastal mountains ( Santa Cruz Mountains in my case ) could be flowering by the second week of Jan. some years. Easier than Cyclamen, esp. once established.. Disappear during the summer though.

Surprised Melianthus was tough for you, survives near desert conditions, fully exposed to the elements ( winter and summer ) up at Boyce Thompson.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesse PNW

I found a variegated Gardenia (don't think we're allowed to link to commercial retailers here?) that says it's hardy to zone 8a but I didn't think there were any that are that hardy...

Anyone know? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
12 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

I found a variegated Gardenia (don't think we're allowed to link to commercial retailers here?) that says it's hardy to zone 8a but I didn't think there were any that are that hardy...

Anyone know? 

Depends on the variety  and would be the small to medium-sized varieties like Kleim's Hardy / Frost proof / jubilation..  rather than the big, single - flowered sp. / varieties. 

While they might handle some cold well, cold and wet soil might be different. Would be sure where ever you plant them has really good draining soil. ..Esp since they aren't a plant you want to disturb -at all- ( or plant stuff right next to ) once planted either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chester B

Gardenias are available at all the nurseries around here - pretty common plants. I would think if we can grow then you can too. 
 

Kleims hardy and frost proof are by far the most common. Another one hardy to zone 7 is Chuck Hayes. 

Edited by Chester B
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...