Favorite Winter Plants to Brighten Your Curb Appeal

Bring visual interest to your yard during the winter with these beautiful and hardy winter plants!

Though your curb appeal might look less appealing during the colder months, that doesn’t mean your house and yard has to completely lose its luster. There are a variety of winter plants and flowers that are at their best during cooler weather, bringing brilliant color and life to an otherwise drab driveway. Below is a list of wintertime favorites of horticulturists from around the U.S. to help brighten your curb appeal this winter.

Edgeworthia Chrysantha

Edgeworthia Chrysantha
(Photo credited to Yoko Nekonomania (CC BY 2.0))

Its blooms are sweet-smelling, globe-like clusters of creamy orange flowers, and they set before any leaves appear in late winter. The shrub has an almost architectural appearance and is truly stunning when covered in flowers.

Pistils Nursery | Portland, OR


(Photo provided by Allison Sidhu © Ask the Experts, LLC)

My favorite plant for brightening curb appeal at this time of year is winterberry. Ilex verticillata loses its leaves in the fall, but bright berries in a variety of colors – red or gold are favorites – remain on the bare stems. They create lovely winter interest, and are perfect for adding to cut seasonal arrangements as well.

Gardners Path

Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae

Magic ball arborvitae
(Photo provided by Proven Winners)

It’s our favorite because it has a bright yellow and gold color and really pops all winter. We especially love planting these next to other dark green arborvitaes for a great contrast in color. These small shrubs can also be grown in planters in the outside entryway for interest all year round!

Plant Addicts | Valley, NE

Douglas Iris

Douglas Iris
(Photo credited to Northbaywanderer (CC BY 2.0))

Two California native plants that add vibrant color in the winter are the bright orange-yellow 3’ to 4’ tall Sticky Monkey flower (Diplacus aurantiacus) and the lavender-blue 1’ to 2’ Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana). Both are easy to maintain and low-water, and the Sticky Monkey attracts hummingbirds and is deer resistant.

Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture | San Ramon, CA

Witch Hazels

Witch Hazel
(Photo provided by Fifth Season Gardening)

We love native plants, and our native witch hazels (hamamelis virginiana and hamamelis vernalis) are shrubs that feature gorgeous yellow fall foliage and showy, fragrant flowers after leaf-drop in the fall/winter, or in late winter/early spring when almost nothing else is blooming.

Fifth Season Gardening | Asheville, NC


winter kale

My favorite plant in the winter is KALE! Not only is it hardy enough to live through some of the coldest weather (even in Central Ohio), but it actually gets sweeter and tastes better in the wintertime, and it brings such vibrant color to the winter garden. We grow it in our garden all winter long, and it sometimes even lives through the summer until the next winter!

Sustainable Gardening News | Columbus, OH

Ornamental Cabbage

Ornamental Cabbage
(Photo credited to Ulrike Leone)

For curb appeal in winter pots we love ornamental kale and cabbage. Plant varieties that develop bright white, purple, or red centers in a large pot by the front door and you’ll be welcomed home by frost-defying “blooms” all winter!

Garden Spots | Montgomery County, MD

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus

One of Potted’s favorite plants during the winter months is the Christmas Cactus. At a time of year when most things aren’t in bloom, this easy-to-care-for plant is at its bold and brightest. And it thrives indoors or out (depending on your cold zone).

Potted | Los Angeles, CA

Xerographica Airplant

Air Plant
(Photo provided by The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society)

The Xerographica airplant is an epiphyte (meaning it grows without dirt), air plants need constant air circulation to survive and should only be watered once a week. To water, rinse the plant in your sink and then let the plant drain overnight.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society | Philadelphia, PA

Toba Hawthorn

(Photo credited to Fossil Creek Nursery)

“A unique and underused ornamental tree. It is small in stature allowing it to grow in smaller areas. ‘Toba” is one of the hardiest of Hawthorns. In the spring it bears beautiful fragrant, large, double white flowers that turn to pink. 1/2 inch bright red fruit emerges in the fall and lasts throughout the winter. Additionally, the interesting yellow bark that grows to be a twisted grey trunk is an added ornamental feature.”

Fossil Creek Nursery | Fort Collins, CO

Poppy Seeds

(Photo provided by San Diego Seed Company)

We love to plant poppy seeds in the wintertime for spring blooms!

San Diego Seed Company | San Diego, CA

Originally published on Redfin

(Reprinted with permission.)


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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