View On Gardening

A Colorful Winter Garden

by Paul “Dr. Q” Noe, Staff Horticulturist/Certified Horticulture Advisor, Star Nursery

Winter in the desert doesn’t have to be drab and boring. Our mild climate allows us to have colorful plants throughout the winter season. Check out some of these options that you can add to your landscape to brighten up your world.

Nandina or Heavenly Bamboo – these evergreen plants color up nicely when the temperatures drop! Depending on the variety, bright orange to red, and even hues of purple appear. In addition to the foliage color, red berries also add color on these plants.

Pyracantha – Brilliant colorful berries adorn this plant family all winter long. Depending on the variety, they may be deep red or somewhere in the orange shades. Either are nice contrasts to the dark green foliage. Both the vine and shrub varieties have berries.

Happy Wanderer Vine (Hardenbergia violacea) – This evergreen vine flowers towards the end of January to early February. The violet flowers appear in clusters and resemble miniature sweet pea blooms. Seeing these bloom is a good indicator that the lilacs will soon follow!

Camellia – can be grown in the desert with a little extra care. These acid loving plants do require some shade in the afternoon, but will produce flowers in late winter to early spring. Colors range from white, to red, and everything in between.

Golden or Gold Spot Euonymus – these evergreen shrubs add color to the landscape year round. The Golden Euonymus has gold on the outer portion of the leaf, whereas the Gold Spot Euonymus has a spot of gold in the center of the leaf.

Candytuft – a low growing groundcover accent that produces white flowers against green foliage in late January to early February.

For additional spots of color or colorful accents, try adding Ornamental Cabbage or Kale, Snapdragons, English Primrose, Pansies and Violas, Stock, Dianthus, or Cyclamen.

Potted or planted in the ground, any one or combination of them will surely color up your world throughout the winter. Come into your neighborhood Star Nursery and check out our selection!

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