Plants to Consider for Your Winter Interest Garden

Deciduous Shrubs

  • Hamamelis mollis (Witch Hazel); Late winter flowers. Good fall color
  • Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine); Yellow forsythia-like flowers in late winter
  • Cornus bailyei (Red Twig Dogwood); Bright red winter stems
  • Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Harry Lauders Walking Stick); Wonderful contorted twigs and branches, nice catkins
  • Cytisus scoparius (Scotch Broom); Upright green branches. Blooms in a variety of colors in spring
  • Calluna vulgaris (Spring Heather); Low growing evergreen. Blooms in late winter in shades of pink and white
  • Celastrus scandens (American Bittersweet); Rare, native and not invasive. Fruits are at the tips of branches. Need a male and female to have berries. Do not confuse this variety with the invasive Chinese variety C. orbiculatus.
  • Ilex verticillata (Winterberry Holly); Female plants have showy red berries on branches in winter. Need male and female to have berries. Tolerates wet soil and partial shade.

Evergreen Shrubs

  • Pieris japonica; Flowerbuds in fall and winter. White flowers in spring. Has reddish new growth.
  • Chaemacyparis pisifera filifera (Gold Mop Cypress); Bright gold color all year
  • Mahonia bealei ( Leatherleaf Mahonia); Yellow blooms in late winter followed by blue berries in spring which birds love.
  • Prunus laurocerasus ( Cherry Laurel); Shiny evergreen foliage
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo); Red-green foliage in winter. Red clusters of berries.
  • Aucuba japonica (Japanese Aucuba); Large splashy gold variegated leaves. Needs shade and protection against wind.
  • Pyracantha coccinea (Scarlet Firehorn); Clusters of bright orange-red berries.
  • Berberis julianae (Wintergreen Barberry)

Don't forget pines, hollies and spruces


Deciduous Trees

  • Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' (Crape Myrtle); Exfoliating cinnamon colored bark. Wonderful branch structure.
  • Betula Nigra 'Heritage' (River Birch); Graceful silhouette. Beautiful exfoliating bark.
  • Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple); Wonderful bark and branch structure
  • Platanus acerifolia (London Plane Tree); This tree is a hybrid of the American Sycamore. It has ghostly white bark with large exfoliating patches
  • Cornus florida (Eastern Dogwood); Attractive grey bark. Wonderful silhouette.


  • Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose); Long lasting blooms from Feb-March in shades of white, cream, pink, and burgundy. Has glossy evergreen foliage. Plant in shade. Deer resistant.
  • Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen); Evergreen leaves, red, edible berries. Low growing ground cover for shade.
  • Tiarella (Foamflower); Evergreen, attractive foliage, spring flowers, spreads rapidly, groundcover in shade
  • Ferns: the following varieties are usually evergreen in this area
    • Dryopteris marginalis (Evergreen Wood)
    • Dryopteris atrata (Shaggy Shield)
    • Dryopteris erthysora (Autumn)
    • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas)
    • Ajuga 'Jungle Beauty'; Groundcover with wonderful winter color
    • Pennisetum 'Hameln'; Deer resistant grass for full sun. Has wonderful winter stems.
    • Miscanthus 'Purpurescens'; Beautiful red fall color
    • Santolina spp. (Lavender Cotton); Evergreen with gray green foliage and yellow flowers in May.

Return to Plan Now for a Winter Interest Garden Next Year

Plant Library