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Plants that Bloom in an Indiana Winter

Just because it's cold out, doesn't mean the gardening has to stop

Photo: ‘Jelena’ witch hazel sports fragrant orange flowers in winter. Courtesy


The winter blues has set in. The holiday season has closed and we are waiting out the cold and unpredictable weather here in Indiana. If you are itching to get back to gardening, you don’t have to keep it just indoors. Our friend Jo Ellen, the Hoosier Gardener, has informed us that there is in fact a couple of different outdoor flowers you can plant and have bloom in January-February!

First we have the perennials, specifically the Hellebore family. There are three different kinds that are easily available. The Christmas rose (late winter to spring,) the Lenten rose (winter to early summer,) and the Bearsfoot hellebore aka the “stinking hellebore” (late winter to early spring.) They all come in a variety of colors and are very long blooming hardy perennials that you can count on in your garden this winter.

Not convinced? What if we told you they are not only easy to grow, okay with lots of shade, and drought tolerant, but also are good for the early bee pollinators! All three are deer resistant and with that beautiful thick evergreen  is in full bloom you’ll be glad you took a chance on them.

Another great winter plant is a shrub known as the Witch hazels. This wonderfully smelling shrub blooms January into March. These guys produce not just a beautiful yellow, orange, and red range of color, but also a sweet refreshing smell! This shrub is great for those of you who need help controlling soil erosion or have rain gardens or drainage swales. They do great in full sun to part shade. Again another deer resistant plant, the icing on the cake!

Be warned that witch hazels tend to get 6-8 feet tall and a 8-15 foot spread, basically they are big boys. If that’s too intimidating there are also a couple of dwarf types that get about half the size.

So if you are dying to get a bit of outdoor gardening out of your system, try one of these beautiful guys out. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the gardening has to stop! Let us know how it goes @INHomeandGarden on twitter or our Facebook Home and Garden Indiana.


Editor's Note: A big “thank you” to the Hoosier Gardener, Jo Ellen for the advice and tips about these beautiful plants! Be sure to check her wonderful blog

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