10 Winter Flowers That Bloom in the Cold

Snowdrop flower blooming in the snow.

Winter is a long and cold season in many parts of Canada, but does that mean you have to wait until May or June to enjoy the vibrant colours of a garden? Not at all. In fact, there are many winter flowers that not only survive but actually thrive in colder conditions. In this article, we’ll list our 10 favourite winter bloomers and explain why we love them. Don’t wait to begin your garden.

Our Top Ten Flowers That Thrive in Winter

Take a look below at our top recommendations for winter flowers. By mixing and matching these selections, you can create a garden filled with colour, texture, and the arresting allure of winter greenery.

Pansies and Violas

Pansy flowers in a blanket of snow.

These cheerful cool-season annuals are known as some of the most cold-tolerant flowers around. They can withstand chilly temperatures and even light snowfall. Best of all, they offer a riot of colour for your garden, coming in shades of purple, white, yellow, and orange. They tend to bloom in early spring or late fall, providing some of the earliest and last touches of colour for your garden.


Snowdrop flowers in the winter.

The name says it all, doesn’t it? This frost-tolerant bulb flower blooms in late winter and can push through frozen or snow-covered ground. Their delicate, nodding white flowers often appear while snow is still on the ground and can be a welcome sight during a long winter. They also spread easily and can create flower-filled drifts that add colour to your landscape.


Daffodil flower covered in snow.

Few flowers are as symbolic of spring as the trumpet-shaped daffodil. Plant the bulbs of this winter flower in the fall and watch them make their entrance in early spring. Daffodils are extremely hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures and snow. They come in shades ranging from pale yellow to cheerful orange, adding vibrant hues to your garden. Best of all, these winter flowers are low-maintenance and long-lasting.


Hellebore flowers in the snow.

Also known as the Lenten rose, this frost-tolerant flower is tough and dependable. Hellebores are perennials that bloom in late winter or early spring. They don’t mind a little snow on the ground and actually thrive in cool, shady conditions where most other flowers struggle. Enjoy their nodding, cup-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink, green, and purple. Hellebores are also long-lasting and deer-resistant.


Winterberry bush covered in snow.

There’s a reason winterberry is often intertwined with the Christmas holiday. This deciduous holly produces bright red berries that survive through the coldest months of the year and look extra stunning against crisp white snow. Winterberries also offer food to local birds and other wildlife, which can help support your local ecosystem.

Lily of the Valley Shrub

Lily of the Valley Shrub with pink flowers.

In early spring, the lily of the valley shrub produces chains of delicate, bell-shaped white flowers that resemble the blooms of its namesake. That’s right — this plant isn’t actually a lily; it just has a similar appearance. The lily of the valley shrub not only produces striking flowers but also beautiful burgundy foliage that can add year-round appeal. Expect its flowers to bloom in early spring.

Winter Aconite

Winter aconite flowers in the snow.

A great addition to any cold-weather garden, this winter flower is among the earliest bulbs to bloom and is a true harbinger of spring. Its small, cheery yellow flowers often push through the snow in late winter, providing a burst of colour just when you need it. If you’re looking for a spreading flower, winter aconite is it. This winter bloomer naturalizes well and can quickly create carpets of bright green foliage topped with buttercup-like blooms. It’s also low maintenance, making it an excellent choice for beginning gardeners looking for flowers that thrive in winter.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel plant in the winter.

This hardy shrub produces unique, spider-like flowers in late winter or early spring before its leaves emerge. The blooms come in a variety of shades, including yellow, orange, and red. Don’t forget to take a whiff. Witch hazel is well-known for its spicy fragrance.


Primrose flower in the snow.

Plant this hardy, frost-tolerant flower, and you’ll get clusters of pink, yellow, and purple blooms atop rosettes of crinkled foliage. They can flower as early as March, even in cold climates, and, with proper care, last until summer. Primroses offer lots of long-lasting colour to a spring garden.


Glory-of-the-Snow flower in the winter.

Although it is one of the smallest spring-flowering bulbs, the glory-of-the-snow is also among the hardiest. Its intense blue or pink starburst flowers often push through lingering snow in late winter or early spring. Another good naturalizer, glory-of-the-snow can easily grow into colourful drifts. It also looks great in rock gardens or under trees.

Get Help with Your Winter Garden

Planting a winter garden can be tricky. You’ll need to do your research and choose the right winter flowers to get the best results for your climate zone. Different winter bloomers also have unique care needs and planting schedules. If you’d rather snuggle up close to the fire when the winter weather hits, contact us at The Grounds Guys®.

Our local team can help you every step of the way, from planning your winter garden to caring for it through the coldest months of the year. With our help, you’ll be able to admire your garden's vibrant colours and beauty year-round. Our Neighbourly Done Right Promise™ means you can always trust us to offer the very best customer service.

Ready to add a little elegance to your home’s winter landscape? Find your local The Grounds Guys and request a free estimate today.