Who said the sight of color and charm shouldn’t be part of your wintry garden activities? You need not grapple with a barren and lifeless outdoor space.
The right selection of colorful cold-weather plants can spark new life in your garden.
In this article, we will be looking at 15 stunning outdoor hanging basket plants that you can grow in winter.
1. Cold Tolerance And Hardiness
The plants you select should withstand freezing temperatures and not-so-plant-friendly winter conditions. Preferably, go for plants suited to your hardiness zone.
2. Compact Growth Habit
You want to go for plants with a compact growth habit so they can comfortably fit within the limited space of a hanging basket.
As an afterthought, also check their growing habit. They should cascade to form beautiful hanging vines that look pleasing to the eye.
3. Attractive Appearance
Plants with attractive foliage and colorful winter blooms are necessary to create an attractive appearance in your garden during the dull winter months.
Top 15 Outdoor Hanging Basket Plants for Winter
The plants listed below should easily get past the winter months, all while beautifying your outdoor landscape.
1. Winter Pansies
If you are looking for a delightful addition to your garden during the winter, consider winter pansies. The plant boasts vibrant colors to grace your gardens and hanging baskets.
It’s a cool-season bloomer, making it a favorite choice for gardeners in cold climates. Pansies grow 6-9 inches and have a compact, bushy habit with a range of purple, red, yellow, white, and bi-color options.
Grow winter pansies in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. While they can withstand some partial shade, do your best to grow them in areas with a good amount of sunlight.
We advise regular watering but be careful not to overwater them.
Finally, practice deadheading spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Some varieties we recommend for your planting include Majestic Giants, Crystal Bowl, The Crown, and the Joker series.
2. Ornamental Cabbage and Kale
Ornamental cabbage and kale help spruce up your garden with their vibrant and unique textures. Their frilly leaves come in shades of purple, pink, or green, making them suitable for use as ornamentals in beds, borders, and containers.
These plants are low-maintenance and can survive winter temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius. This quality makes them perfect for fall and winter gardens.
The plants thrive in full sunlight or partial shade and prefer well-draining soil.
Keep their soil moist with regular watering while being careful not to waterlog them.
For the best result, choose the different varieties, including Osaka Pink, purple peacock, glamour red, and white Kamome.
The varieties offer unique colors and leaf shapes, providing endless possibilities for your garden design.
3. Heuchera (Coral Bells)
Heuchera is a stunning herbaceous perennial plant that adds color to any garden. The plant tolerates a range of climates, including humid, dry, cold, and hot temperatures.
Heuchera is compact, making it ideal for borders or containers. The plants love partial shade, but most varieties will grow in full sun.
Grow Heuchera in well-draining soil for healthy growth, provide regular watering, and eliminate damaged foliage.
Some varieties we recommend growing during the winter include Palace Purple, Lime Rickey, and Fire Alarm.
Violas are often mistaken for pansies due to their similar appearance. However, Violas are smaller, with a more compact growth habit, and bloom abundantly.
Their petite bloom comes with heart-shaped petals and distinctive markings that are characteristically solid hues with intricate patterns.
Like pansies, they come in gorgeous colors, with shades of purple, blue, white, and yellow. There is no doubt about the touch that elegance violas bring to any garden or floral arrangement.
Violas are cold weather tolerant and typically flower in the winter.
They prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight. Their soil should also be well-drained.
Keep them moist with regular watering, but be cautious not to waterlog them. You also want to remove dead flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
Viola varieties you could leverage to spruce up your garden include the Penny, Sorbet, and Bowles series.
5. Hellebores (Christmas Rose)
Christmas Rose is an enchanting perennial that blooms in the darkest days of winter. Its colors range from white and pink to deep purple.
The leaves are dark green and leathery and grow in clumps.
Hellebores love areas with partial shade and fertile, well-draining soil. They thrive best in woodland gardens or under deciduous trees.
The soil should be neutral to alkaline with lots of organic matter. The plant is generally low-maintenance, requiring minimal care, making it an ideal choice for gardeners.
Some varieties we recommend for growing include Helleborus Niger, Helleborus Orientalis, and Helleborus Foetidus.
Cyclamen brings a touch of elegance to any garden or indoor space thanks to its heart-shaped leaves and vibrant blooms. Native to the Mediterranean, the plant is a popular choice among gardeners.
It thrives in cool temperatures and grows well in well-draining soil. Provide your cyclamen with bright indirect light, regular watering, and occasional fertilization.
Cyclamens die back during summer. It’s important to deadhead spent flowers and remove yellow leaves to help promote continuous blooming.
Some varieties we recommend include Cyclamen Persicum, Cyclamen Coum, and Cyclamen Hederifolium.
7. Primroses / Primulas
Primroses add a burst of color to any garden through their simplicity and striking blooms. The blooms range in pink, purple, yellow, and white shades.
They have a compact and low-growing habit, which makes clubbing them with other plants in your basket easy. Successfully maintain Primroses by providing them with well-drained soil and partial shade.
They are accustomed to cool temperatures, moist conditions, and regular watering.
Practice mulching to retain moisture and prevent the plant from drying out.
Potential varieties of Primroses to plant in your garden include Primula denticulata, Primula Vulgaris, and Primula Malacoides.
8. Ajuga (Bugleweed)
Another vibrant outdoor hanging basket plant is Ajuga. It best serves as a container plant during the cooler months.
Native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwest Asia, Ajuga has a dense, mat-like growth habit and stunning foliage. Its leaves are generally dark green, with some having purple or bronze hues.
The flowers are tubular and packed in shades of purple, blue, or white, helping to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Ajuga is low-maintenance and easy to grow.
It prefers partial shade to full sun with well-draining soil in a moist environment.
The plant doesn’t require deadheading, so there is less need to cut it back during springtime. Some recommended varieties include Black Scallops, Burgundy Glow, and Chocolate Chip.
9. Carex (Sedge)
Did you know you could plant ornamental grass in hanging baskets for the winter? An ideal choice is Carex which helps add form and texture to your basket.
Carex is a type of sedge that blends well with other winter container plants, such as the flowery Primulas and Ivy.
It’s typically used as a filler plant, with its thin leaves arching over the edges of baskets. The arching leaves turn golden brown during the fall, bringing a unique break to the traditional green.
Carex is low-maintenance, thriving in both sun and shade— suiting a wide range of growing conditions.
Grow and maintain Carex by providing them with well-drained soil and a moist environment. The plant thrives well in either full sun or shade.
Some varieties to grow include Ice Dance and Bronze.
The Ivy plant comes packed with a creeping nature, making it alluring as a hanging basket plant. It’s versatile and popular, adding a touch of elegance and charm to outdoor garden spaces.
The plant adds beauty to your garden with its long vines. It spills over the edges of baskets, creating an evergreen waterfall that runs even in the middle of winter.
Ivy has no fuss about growth and thrives with minimal maintenance. Key growing factors to consider are sunlight and a bit of shade, regular watering, and occasional pruning.
There are multiple options of Ivy you can go for, including English Ivy, Algerian Ivy, and Persian Ivy.
Ferns provide a lovely backdrop against the bright winter blooms. They help keep your indoor and outdoor spaces lush green in the dead of winter.
Ferns have a unique reproductive system involving spores rather than seeds. They thrive in tropical forests and temperate woodlands.
Ferns love a shady and humid environment. They prefer gardens with limited sunlight.
Common fern varieties to grow in your garden include Boston, Maidenhair, and Bird’s Nest Ferns.
12. Wintergreen (Gaultheria Procumbens)
Wintergreen is an evergreen shrub that is native to North America. It packs glossy, dark green leaves dotted with vibrant red berries, adding color to your winter landscape.
Naturally, wintergreen grows in shady, humid environments found in forests and woodlands. Grow and maintain Wintergreen with well-draining, acidic soil rich in organic matter.
Ensure you water, mulch, and de-weed it regularly during the dry period. Consider pruning them during the spring to remove dead or damaged branches.
Some varieties we recommend for planting include Moutain Tea, Big Berry, and Pumila.
13. Alpine Heath (Erica Carnea)
Alpine Heath is a captivating winter flower plant that thrives in high-altitude regions. The plant forms a low-growing mat, adding texture and color to any garden.
Its vibrant flowers come in hues of purple, white, and pink. It loves well-drained soil and a sunny location with regular watering.
Make sure you prune the plant to keep it healthy and flourishing.
You can go for the Erica Carnea or Phyllodoce Caerulea varieties.
14. Rock Daisy (Brachyscome)
Rock Daisy adds a burst of color to any garden during the winter. It’s a half-hardy evergreen with dense emerald-green foliage.
The plant’s compact growth habit and daisy-like flowers make it ideal for growing in borders, hanging baskets, and rock gardens.
Rock Daisy thrives in full sun or partial shade, preferring well-drained soil. Ensure their healthy growth by watering them regularly.
Rock Daisy is your go-to plant if you are looking for a low-maintenance plant that brings beauty and elegance to any outdoor space.
Some recommended varieties include Brachyscome Iberidifolia and Brachyscome Multifida.
Last on our list is the ever-beautiful Sedum plant, ideal for winter hanging baskets.
The plant is identified by its striking fleshy leaves and vibrant flowers in hues of white, yellow, pink, or red.
Sedums are low-growing and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Sedum tolerates rocky soils and withstands drought conditions thanks to its succulent leaves.
The plant is also cold-tolerant. Its drought-tolerant characteristic makes it ideal for xeriscaping.
Sedums prefer full sunlight with well-draining soil. Ensure to water them regularly, but let the soil dry between waterings to avoid root rot.
The plant is low-maintenance and requires minimal pruning.
Autumn Joy, Dragon’s Blood, and Angelina are common sedum varieties available.
We have explored the top 15 outdoor hanging basket plants for winter.
Liven up your outdoor space during the colder months using these colorful plants.
Gardening is both a science and an art. Feel free to experiment and create your unique combinations.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.