Texas is a vast state that experiences varying temperatures across its expanse during winter. South Texas is known for its mild winters with occasional frost, while North Texas can witness freezing temperatures and severe snowfall.
With such weather variances, selecting the right plants for winter gardening in the state can be confusing. However, we have a list of plants suited to the entire Texas, barring a few exceptions.
Best Winter Plants To Grow In Texas
You may also need to provide additional winter care, such as using mulch to protect and insulate the roots.
Pansies are known for their vibrant colors and delicate appearance during winter. They are a popular choice for gardeners seeking to introduce a touch of elegance to their landscapes.
Heart-shaped petals characterize the beautiful flowers with distinct “face” markings similar to a human-like expression. Pansies are versatile and can be grown in flower gardens, containers, and hanging baskets.
It is best to grow them in well-draining soils and provide them with at least six hours of sunlight daily. You want to keep the soil moist through regular watering, but be cautious not to overwater the plant.
Given their ability to thrive in cooler temperatures, pansies are an excellent choice for gardeners during the fall and winter.
Some varieties to grow in Texas include Delta Premium, Pure Yellow, and the Clear Crystals Mix.
Snapdragon is a short-lived tender perennial flowering plant known for its captivating blooms. It produces tall and upright stems that add a touch of elegance to any garden or landscape.
The flowers range from pastel shades to bright colors like orange, peach, pink, and red. This provides you with a versatile choice for any garden.
Snapdragons love full sun but can do with partial shade.
Grow them in well-drained soil rich in organic matter to ensure they thrive. Deadheading spent flowers is essential to ensure continuous blooming during winter.
Some excellent varieties include Liberty, Rocket, and the Sonnet series.
Another worthy candidate for your winter garden is the Hellebore. Also known as Lenten Rose, it is a captivating plant known for its flawless beauty.
Hellebores can bloom in late winter or early spring, showcasing the first sign of life after a long haul. Their beautiful cup-shaped flowers come in various colors, including white, pink, purple, and green.
Hellebores prefer shaded areas or morning sun locations and thrive well in free-draining soil. They are relatively low maintenance, requiring little watering once established.
Avoid planting Hellebores in areas accessible to children and pets due to their toxicity when ingested. Some recommended varieties to grow in Texas include Helleborus foetidus, Helleborus orientalis, and Helleborus niger.
Cyclamen has a similar appearance to tulip and is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It’s an enchanting flowering plant known for its stunning beauty and charm.
Cyclamens bring a burst of elegance to any garden or indoor space. Their round, heart-shaped leaves feature vibrant blooms in subdued shades of white, pink, dark green, and electric red.
The scented plant thrives in cool temperatures and well-draining soil.
Typical of any care practice, you should water Cyclamen regularly but leave enough gap to prevent root rot. Popular varieties to grow in Texas include Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen persicum.
5. Ornamental Kale And Cabbage
Next on our list are ornamental kale and cabbage— featuring swirling layers of vibrant colors that fit well in various landscapes and themes.
These plants, part of the Brassica family, pack frilly leaves in various hues such as purple, pink, white, and green. While both vegetables are edible, you are better off using them as ornamentals due to their slightly bitter taste.
Choose locations that receive full sun or partial shade while growing them. The potting soils should be well-draining. Ensure regular watering without waterlogging the plants.
Brassicas can withstand cool temperatures, making them perfect for Texas winters. Some suitable varieties include Redbor, Pigeon Red, and Winterbor.
6. Winter Honeysuckle
Also known as Lonicera fragrantissima, winter honeysuckle is an appealing shrub that captures the essence of winter with its fragrant and vibrant blooms. It grows up to ten feet tall and equally wide— making it an excellent focal point in any garden.
The plant features stunning oval-shaped leaves that provide an elegant backdrop to the clusters of creamy white flowers. The flowers bloom in late winter until the beginning of spring.
Winter honeysuckle thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. It’s an easy-to-maintain plant tolerant of various soils, including the poorer varieties.
As a gardener in Texas, consider growing Arnold Red and Winter Beaty varieties for their elegant blooms and adaptability to the region’s climate.
Petunias are gorgeous flowering plants that spruce up your garden or landscape during dull winters. They feature trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of pink, purple, red, and white.
Petunias have a compact and bushy growing habit, making them excellent additions to flower beds, pots, and hanging baskets.
However, they are pretty delicate and will not survive a hard freeze. As such, they are more suited to South Texas, where the winters are mild.
When growing them outdoors during colder months, ensure they get at least ten hours of direct sunlight daily. Some popular varieties include the Wave series, Supertunia, and the Million Bells series.
8. Winter Jasmine
Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is a broad-leafed deciduous shrub that adds vibrancy to any winter landscape. It has a mounding habit and grows up to four inches tall with arching branches.
Its slender green stems come adorned with bright yellow flowers in later winter to early spring. Winter jasmine is low on maintenance— thriving in poorer soils where other plants fail to grow.
The plant prefers full sun or partial shade. Maintain regular watering to ensure sustained growth.
Common varieties to grow in Texas include Aureum and Argenteovariegatum.
9. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet Alyssum ( Lobularia maritima) is a hardy annual (considered perennial) herbaceous plant. It produces dense clusters of small and white flowers in various shades of white, pink, and purple.
It is best to grow sweet alyssum in locations that receive full sun or partial shade. Plant them in well-draining soil enriched with organic matter.
Ensure regular watering during hot and dry periods. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming throughout winter.
We recommend Easter Bonnet Deep Rose, Royal Carpet, and Snow Crystals varieties for Texas.
10. English Ivy
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is native to Europe and Western Asia. It is commonly used as a ground cover in gardens or for covering walls or fences due to its quick climbing nature.
The vine is known for its glossy dark green leaves that are typically five-lobbed with distinct waxy textures. English Ivy requires well-draining soils and regular watering for healthy growth.
The plant must be pruned regularly to control its unruly growth patterns. Some varieties we recommend growing in Texas include Baltica, Thorndale, and Gold Child.
We’re happy you read this far. You now have a diverse range of options for winter gardening in Texas.
From the vibrant blooms of the pansies to the fragrant shrubs like winter honeysuckle, Texas provides ample opportunities for gardeners to explore during the winter season.
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.