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 shades of orange. 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 through early February. The violet flowers appear in clusters and resemble miniature sweet pea blooms. Seeing this bloom is a good indicator that the lilacs will be following soon!
Camellia’s – 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 year-round color to the landscape. The Golden has gold on the outer portion of the leaf, whereas the Gold Spot has a spot of gold in the center of the leaf.
Candytuft – low growing groundcover accent will produce 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. They can be potted or planted in the ground. Any of these or a combination of them will surely color up your world through the winter. Come into your neighborhood Star Nursery and check out the selection!