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Winter Flowering Bulbs and Plants for Colourful Garden Pots

Gardens can look bare and colourless this time of year, but winter-flowering bulbs and blooms in pots and planters can quickly brighten your space. We help you choose the plants to create a high-impact, low-maintenance-scheme in winter.

Corten Steel Tall Trough Planted and Corten Steel Tall Cube Planter stood side by side, filled with orange, purple and white flowers.
These Corten steel planters give ample space for mixed planting

Why you should plant for the winter garden

Not only can winter planting help brighten your garden, even during the coldest and darkest months, but it can also lend a hand to wildlife. Many winter-flowering plants are a source of food for winter-active insects like the Buff-tailed Bumblebee, whilst foliage can provide shelter for other visitors to your outdoor space.

Winter-flowering bulbs for pots and planters

  • Snowdrops are perfect for growing in winter pot displays. These winter bloomers carry either single or double flowers and will be a stunning addition to your winter garden. Complement their pure white colour with the gentle shade of our Sage Green Fibreglass Cube Planter.
  • Early narcissi are a cheerful addition. Daffodil Rijnveld's 'Early Sensation' is one of the very earliest to flower. In some areas, it is out by Christmas. A classic daffodil in strong, vibrant yellow, it brightens the darkest day, and will look particularly good in our Slate Grey Fibreglass Trough.
  • Cyclamen grow from tubers, not bulbs, but no winter garden is complete without them. Cyclamen coum comes in many different cultivars and offers up pink and magenta flowers from January, surviving the harshest weather. Silver and white markings on the leaves make these a particularly decorative addition to pots.

Other plants for winter pots and planters

  • For rich splashes of colour, nothing can beat winter-flowering pansies. In yellow, maroon, white or purple, they show their faces throughout winter, except in the very worst weather conditions. The flowers are large and heart-shaped and add a cheerful display. Plant a range of colours in our wooden Hexagon Trough and place in a sunny spot to enjoy during the colder months.
  • The Christmas Rose, like other hellebores, is particularly good value as it often continues to bloom well into spring. Its large, round, flat-faced white flowers are set within a deep-green foliage. Planting in pots is a good idea for these because the shy blooms tend to hide their faces. Raising them in planters makes them easier to see. Hellebores are useful for more shaded spots in the garden.
Fibreglass Cube Planter Light Grey filled with winter flowering bulbs.
The light tones of this planter are the perfect contrast to the planting to bring out the vibrant colours.

Fragrant shrubs for winter pots

Daphne is a delightfully fragrant shrub that comes in a range of cultivars. It bear clusters of small flowers, usually in shades of red or pink. Choose a small cultivar and add to mixed planting in larger containers such as our Corten Steel Planters.

For a touch of summer in your winter garden there is Mahonia japonica. With bright yellow flowers sitting above glossy dark leaves, it will add its own lovely fragrance to the mix.

Slatted Wooden Planter filled with various plants in front of hedging row.
Our Slatted Wooden Planter provides a neat way bring plants nearer to enjoy their scent.

Winter planter tips

Of course, for a lovely winter display, you need lovely planters, and we have a great selection to choose from. Whether metal, fibreglass, or wooden, there are a few small things you can do to make them as comfortable as possible for your plants.

Raise pots off the ground by standing them on blocks or pot feet. This allows water to drain safely away, preventing waterlogging and helping to reduce the risk of frost damage to your plants. Luckily all our fibreglass and Corten steel planters, and most of our wooden ones, have integral feet, so that's something you don't have to worry about.

Check the weather forecast. By scheduling your watering correctly, you will help your plants make it through hard freezes. Plan your watering ahead of predicted freezes. Water in the morning, because damp soil absorbs heat during the day, insulating roots from frost better than dry soil. It also means that any water that gets on the leaves will have dried by nightfall. You don't want wet leaves getting frosted.

Be careful of leaving pots where they'll be in full sun from early morning. A fast defrost can be very damaging to leaves and stems of more delicate plants.

Buy Winter Plants

To find winter plants, why not treat yourself to a visit to our partner Form Plants and their outdoor showroom in Dorney, near Windsor, Berks?

Published 13th January 2022
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