The 15 Best Plantings for a Pop of Winter Color

The cold, dark, and dreary weather of winter can take a toll on people’s mental health. One way to improve your spirits during the colder months is with colorful winter landscaping. There is a vast range of attractive plants, trees, and shrubs that look striking against the stark, snowy ground or wintry sky. Colorful winter landscaping adds value to your property and helps improve your spirits as the cold clutch of winter takes hold.

15 Winter Plantings for a Pop of Color

People often associate the winter months with dull, dreary, and drab weather. While this might hold true, your landscaping doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you can incorporate beautiful, brightly colored plantings for a pop of color against a monotone winter backdrop. Here are fifteen unique garden plantings that will add color to your home’s winter landscape:

1. Winter Jasmine

Winter jasmine is a wonderful plant species to add a pop of color to a bland winter landscape. This easy-to-grow plant produces vivid yellow flowers near the end of the colder season, giving it the appropriate title of Yingchun, or “the flower that welcomes spring,” in Chinese.

2. Holly Bushes

Another attractive option is a plant species typically associated with winter and the holiday season. Planting holly bushes in your front or backyard guarantees a pop of color in your landscape. Holly bushes produce bright red berries that look beautiful against the winter snow. When the Christmas season comes around, you can clip sprigs of holly from your yard for use as additional interior decorations.

3. Kale and Cabbages

You probably think that incorporating kale and cabbage into your yard’s landscaping sounds crazy, but hear us out. These ornamental greens are incredibly hardy and will withstand the cold winter weather while still providing a beautiful pop of purple, red, and green colors. The low-lying annual plant species are excellent additions to any garden bed on your property. After a few nights of colder temperatures, kale and cabbage become acclimated to the frigid night air and thrive throughout the winter.

4. Red-Stemmed Dogwood

Planting red-stemmed dogwood is a no-brainer if you need a pop of color in your landscaping during the winter months. Just as the name suggests, red-stemmed dogwoods are a shrub with striking red bark and stems. The bright red bark of red-stemmed dogwoods stands out against stark white snow, making it an ideal winter planting in cold and snowy climates.

5. Hellebores

Hellebores are another ideal planting for a pop of color in winter. This plant is a particularly popular choice for landscapers because it is available in such a wide array of colors. Some Hellebores colors are more readily available than others, including:

  • White
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Apricot
  • Purple
  • Black

Hellebores are hardy, and their late-winter blooms indicate the beginnings of spring.

6. Winterberry

Winterberry is a close relative of Holly and can seriously step up your winter landscaping. Eye-catching red berries are prominent against wintry snow. Winterberry is native to North America and grows well even during the harshest of Minnesota winters. Bird watchers will love winterberry since the luscious red drupes are known to attract all kinds of unique bird species.

7. Witch Hazel

While witch hazel isn’t exactly a “winter” plant, it does start to bloom later on in the season, offering exotic-looking floral blooms in yellow and orange shades. The witch hazel plant also produces a sweet aroma in spring and summer and gorgeous gold foliage in the fall. Witch hazel adds beauty and value to your landscape all year long.

8. Winter Aconite

Winter aconite is yet another wonderful addition to your winter landscaping, as the plant produces bright yellow flowers even in the coldest of temperatures. Winter aconite is a perennial plant that readily reproduces through self-seeding and can spread quickly, making it ideal for large, sloping landscapes. It’s crucial to consider winter aconite’s toxicity if you are a pet owner, as ingestion can be extremely harmful or deadly.

9. Glory of the Snow

Perennial Glory of the Snow plants are an excellent species providing a beautiful pop of color as the cold weather winds down. Purple and white blooms blossom right before spring, sometimes while snow is still on the ground, which gives this gorgeous plant its accurate title.

10. Star Magnolia

Star Magnolia is a small ornamental tree that opens its flowers in late winter to early spring. The large, showy pink and white blossoms look striking against a clear winter sky.

11. Snowdrift Crabapple

Bird watchers will delight at another species on this list: snowdrift crabapple trees. These ornamental trees are ideal for landscaping as the leaves transform into beautiful shades of color in each season. The snowdrift crabapple’s colorful fruits persist into winter, attracting songbirds and other brightly colored bird species.

12. Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir trees are an evergreen conifer native to the northwestern regions of North America. Most people associate this species with a traditional Christmas tree. You can incorporate Douglas fir trees into your landscaping as windbreaks or a protective border on your property line. The deep blue-green hue of the tree’s needles adds intrigue to your home’s exterior while providing protection from the winter elements.

13. Cotoneaster

Like holly and winterberry bushes, cotoneaster plants produce a dazzlingly bright red berry in the frigid winter months. This fast-growing plant is evergreen, adding beauty to your landscape design throughout the year.

14. Norway Spruce

Norway Spruce is another evergreen tree species that adds a pop of color to your yard in the winter. The needles on Norway spruce trees are dark green in color, and their boughs can bear heavy loads of snow, creating a beautiful wintry scene like something off of a Christmas card.

15. Wichita Blue Juniper

The last planting on our list is a unique evergreen tree species, the Wichita Blue Juniper. The striking silver-blue foliage of these conifers can add immense curb appeal to your yard in the wintertime. Additional benefits of Wichita blue junipers is their ability to create an effective windbreak or living fence for your property.


Winter landscaping doesn’t have to be boring and dull. Instead, utilize unique plantings to provide a pop of color to your home’s exterior. Attractive winter plantings like holly, winterberry, and snowdrift crabapple will attract beautiful bird species’ attention with their bright berries. Conifers like the Norway spruce and Wichita blue juniper help block the cold and add striking blue and silver colors to your yard. Keep your spirits up in the colder months with a lively and colorful landscape design.