Most flowering plants, trees, and shrubs bloom in the spring and fall, but there are many plant varieties that produce flowers in the colder months, typically beginning in mid-November and ending by mid-March. Many of these plants and shrubs are in full bloom throughout January and into February, offering beautiful colours in a bare garden during the dull winter months.
The branches of a witch hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana) are bare during the fall months, and small buds begin to appear in December. By January, this perennial shrub is in full bloom, and the yellow blossoms remain until mid-February, according to Oregon State University. According to the United States National Arboretum, witch hazel thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
The camellia (Camellia sasanqua) is a perennial flowering shrub that grows well in zones 7 to 9, according to the United States National Arboretum. The winter variety of Camellia sasanqua, which will have the word "snow" or "winter" in its variety name, produces an abundance of rose- or peony-like blossoms from mid-fall through midwinter. Camellia flowers come in a variety of colours, including white, purple, and red.
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), also known as Japanese allspice, is a small perennial shrub that produces fragrant flowers beginning in December and ending in March, according to the Arboretum. Wintersweet creates bright yellow flowers with either purple or red centres. Wintersweet thrives in zones 7 to 9.
The perennial hardy cyclamen (Cyclamen neapolitanum) has the ability to emerge through snow and ice, and it survives well in very cold temperatures. It will grow in zones 5 to 9. According to the website Fine Gardening, this plant produces large and fragrant pink, white or rose-purple flowers. The cyclamen's first buds appear in late November and are in full bloom by January.
The herbaceous perennial hellebore plant (Hellebore orientalis), commonly called the Lenten rose, produces flowers shaped like single roses that bloom from November through March. The Hellebore flourishes in zones 4 to 9, according to the United States National Arboretum. There are many varieties of hellebore, offering a wide range of blossom colours, including green, pink and yellow. It's also treasured for its large, sawtooth compound leaves that grow to 18 inches long.
Winter heath (Erica carnea) is a perennial evergreen dwarf shrub known for its ability to bloom in extremely cold temperatures. Its flowers begin blooming in October and fade away in March. Winter heath thrives in zones 5 to 7, and its small bell-shaped flowers range in colour from purple to pink to magenta.