Winter Garden Colors That Pop

Sarah Galvan

When planning a garden, it’s important to think about seasonal interest. Consider using evergreen plants along with a few colorful winter performers. See our list of recommendations.

Missing warm color in the garden this winter? Don’t let the brown bring you down. When planning a garden, it’s important to consider seasonal interest. Be conscious of your plant selections and make decisions based not only on spring and summer color, but also on fall and winter color.

If your yard is already planted, you may be wondering what can be done to liven it up. I personally like using evergreen plants along with colorful winter performers.

Vibrant Fruit

Try using small trees and shrubs that bear winter fruit like the prairie flame-leaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata), fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), evergreen sumac ( Rhus virens),Barbados cherryMalpighia glabra),chile pequin ( Capsicum annuum),possumhaw ( Ilex decidua) or yaupon holly ( Ilex vomitoria). Winter birds love the fruits of these small trees and shrubs and their presence will bring a dynamic and beautiful element to the garden.

Stalwart Evergreens

Some of my favorite evergreen species are cenizoLeucophyllum spp.), mountain laurel ( Dermatophyllum secundiflorum), damianita ( Chrysactinia mexicana), Agarita ( Berberis trifoliolata), various Yucca speciessotol ( Dasylirion spp.). Be sure to research the plants you want to bring into your yard before you go to the nursery to make sure they’ll work for your landscape. Things to consider are light and moisture requirements, location, etc.

Colorful grasses

You may want to add a mass of native little bluestem grass ( Schizachyrium scoparium). This grass has green to silver-blue leaf blades during the growing season and warms up in the fall and winter to a beautiful rusty, copper color. The inflorescence plays nicely in sunlight and it’s a larval host plant for several of the skipper butterflies. Before European settlement, little bluestem and other native bunch grasses dominated much of Texas and provided forage for the American bison. Plant it in the garden, as it was most likely there before your home or lawn was.

Whether your winter colors are always green like Florida or dreary like Fargo, winter in San Antonio is green, red, purple, and yes, maybe a little brown.

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