Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean your garden has to look drab, especially as the days are beginning to lengthen. Consider giving your garden a burst of colour with flowers and vegetables that can withstand the cold. In fact, some plants are so hardy that they can survive low or even very low temperatures. Here are 6 handy tips for flourishing winter flowers and plants whilst the temperatures plummet.
Winter flowers that grow well in cold weather
Pansies and violas
Pansies and violas can withstand sub-zero temperatures and will bloom beautifully. To ensure they flourish, place them in an area that gets the most sunlight and water them regularly with a fertiliser that is rich in phosphorus and potassium.
If your region gets a lot of rainfall, add a drainage feature to prevent water stagnation. Roots react poorly to excessive moisture. This tip also applies to warmer weather and will stop mosquitoes from taking over your garden.
Although often overlooked for this quality, cyclamen is one of the hardiest tuberous plants out there and makes for a great winter flower. Despite their delicate appearance, they shouldn’t be grown indoors unless they are put in an unheated room. Instead, consider planting them outdoors in a bright area that gets direct sunlight.
When the weather begins to cool, cyclamen are getting ready to bloom. It’s the perfect time to give them a helping hand by giving them fertiliser for flowering plants.
Water them once a week in a bath. Put the plant in a bucket or large pot full of water for approximately 10 minutes. This will stop the tuber from taking on too much moisture, which causes rot.
Removing dead flowers regularly will encourage new growth. You can easily take them off with your fingers or secateurs by keeping them close as possible to the base of the plant and removing the stem as well.
With their white, red, blue, purple or yellow flowers, primroses provide stunning displays of colour in your garden during the wintry months.
You can extend their flowering cycle during the winter by putting them in direct sunlight or a bright area. Make sure you remove dead flowers regularly and provide fertiliser approximately every two weeks.
Avoid growing them indoors, especially near a radiator. Keep in mind that all the plants featured in this article grow best outdoors. What’s more, primroses grow well when planted with the tuberous plants mentioned above. We recommend planting them at the same time.
Cold weather care for your vegetables
Winter is an ideal time for soil cultivation, especially if your garden has clay soil. It is much easier to turn the soil at this time, thanks to the rain and dew. Once you’ve turned it, leave it as is. Adding a little straw will help break it down. When spring arrives, the soil will be noticeably looser. You won’t regret having worked it during the winter. It’s an extra step that can be done gradually and without much effort.
What vegetables grow best in cold weather?
Winter flowers also include varieties of lettuce, whose leaves are much thicker, and which can tolerate temperatures as low as -5ºC. Bear in mind that they won’t grow as quickly in the cold weather. They will flourish if you cover them with a thermal protection sheet.
Cabbage varieties also grow very well in the cold. It’s even believed that they taste better when they’ve gone through a cold spell. Strawberries withstand the cold very well too. Cover the pots with straw and watch the leaves change from dark green to red in colour. In the spring, the strawberries will begin growing again and quickly produce new leaves.
If you are using a greenhouse, take advantage of any sunny winter days to open the doors or windows and let the fresh air in.
What should I do if it snows on my flowers?
That’s a hard question to answer because it depends on the plant. For example, snow should be removed from plants with “soft” leaves, which can be damaged by the weight. But snow can be beneficial for some plants, as it protects them from potential frost damage. The best solution is to protect plants that are delicate by covering them with a frost protection cover. We recommend buying bags for trees and shrubs and sheets (by the metre) for the most fragile plants.
Now your garden will have the chance to flourish throughout winter and you won’t have to wait until spring for an added burst of colour.
Did you enjoy this article on which winter flowers to plant so your garden can flourish? Why not read our article on identifying what’s wrong with your plants or even our guide on what to do in the garden in January!