Plants to Grow in Winter

A (Southern) Winter Wonderland

When I imagine winter my mind goes to snow covered mountains, hot cocoa in hand, and a pair of skis strapped to the top of my Jeep. Then I remember I live in Georgia where we’re lucky if we get a mere inch of snow and that I don’t even know how to ski. (I’ll keep the hot cocoa though….) Even though we live in a mild winter zone, it still doesn’t stop our trees from losing all their leaves and our flowers from dying back until Spring. If we don’t get snow we should at least get to keep our flowers but, alas, no such luck. But not to worry! I’m here to tell you that you can in fact walk in a (southern) “Winter Wonderland”. Below are some plants to grow in winter and that look their BEST in the cold winter months. They’ll surely help keep your garden looking beautiful 365 days of the year. 

Winter Plants: Ornamental Cabbage and Kale:

Grown for their looks and not their flavor, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale will add impressive hues of purple and cream to any garden throughout the winter. They do best in full sun and will need to be well watered; they like soil that’s consistently moist but not soggy.
Plants to Grow in Winter | Barefoot Garden Design

Winter Plants: Camellias:

This show stopper blooms stunning red, pink, coral, or white blooms during the fall and winter and linger long on this evergreen shrub. Once established, camellias are drought-tolerant. (Always a bonus for our hot summer days!) Camellias are a bit pricey but a great investment that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.
Camellias | Barefoot Garden Design

Winter Plants: Holly Bush:

Hollies are lovely, evergreen bushes that burst with bright red or gold berries every winter. They are also very tolerant of pretty much any growing environment! Word of caution; only female varieties grow berries and require a male variety near by to do so. Maybe skip the procreation hassle and find an independent woman variety who produces berries on it’s own, such as the Chinese Holly.
Holly Bush | Barefoot Garden Design


This lovely evergreen blooms long lasting flowers in late winter to early spring.
Year round the Hellebore provides attractive green foliage and is requires minimal care. They grow best in shady areas with dappled sunlight and come in a variety of colors. Word of caution though; all parts of the hellebore plant are poisonous, so keep children and pets away.
Hellebore | Barefoot Garden Design


Ah the ease and always pleasant surprise of bulbs. Snowdrops are grown from bulbs and require virtually no maintenance while spreading on it’s own. When it pops up in late winter, snowdrop’s bright-green leaves and delicate white flowers send the message loud and clear that spring really is on its way. Snowdrops love summer shade (even though they are dormant during summer) and do well under trees and shrubs.

Snowdrop | Barefoot Garden Design


A southern stronghold, Nandinas are remarkably adaptive and do well in essentially any growing environment. They come in a variety of colors and show off red, bright berries during our mild winters. Like Hollies and Camellias, this shrub looks wonderful year round and is a wonderful addition to any southern garden.
Nandina | Barefoot Garden Design

Now that you know which plants to grow in winter, help them get through the cold winter days. How to ensure your plants survive the winter