A burst of colour in the landscape can brighten up even the grayest winter day. Especially in mild climates, many evergreen plants continue to grow through the winter months; even in colder climates, many plants are fast-growing and even produce flowers during the cold winter months. Fast-growing plants are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes.
Lenten Rose (Helleborus niger), also known as the Christmas Rose, is a semi-evergreen perennial with deep green leaves that grows in partial to full shade. The flowers bloom in shades of white, red, yellow, bicolour and even green, according to Hellebores. This plant grows quickly during the winter months, even through the snow, and blooms in late winter or early spring. It prefers moist, well-drained, organic-rich soil in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9.
With nodding white flowers, snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) is one of the first flowers to bloom in the garden, often poking through the snow in mid to late winter. Snowdrop grows to only 6 inches tall, but are moderate to fast-growing plants that need to be divided after flowering and will eventually naturalise, forming a carpet of white flowers. These flowers grow from bulbs in partial to full sun and well-drained, moist soil, according to Fine Gardening. Snowdrops thrive throughout USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8.
Brilliant deep pink flowers bloom in clusters, covering winter heath (Erica carnea) from December through March. The foliage is needle-like and ranges in colour from green, to blue-green and silver. These shrubs only reach 15 inches tall and 24 inches wide in full sun. Native to South Africa, this perennial requires well-drained soil and is drought-tolerant, according to Washington State University. Prune in the spring after the shrub has flowered to maintain this plant's appearance.
Holly (Ilex) plants grow in a wide range of growing conditions. Holly's deep green leaves and bright red berries have become a symbol of Christmas. This plant prefers well-drained, organic-rich soils. Many Japanese hollies (Ilex crenata) are fast-growing, reaching between 3 and 10 feet tall upon maturity. These shrubs are commonly used as hedges as they are evergreen. The leaves of the Japanese holly do not have the spines common to other holly cultivars, according to Clemson University.
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