Plants to Give Your Yard Winter Color

Holly in snow

Winter yards can look bleak and dismal. All the verdigris is lost from landscape that looked lush and thriving in the summer. However, winter has its own beauty, and you can capitalize on that by considering all four seasons when you’re doing planting in your yard.

Color in the winter probably won’t come from flowers. However, you can still incorporate color using bark, leaves, and berries or fruit. Try out some of these winter beauties to keep your yard looking striking and beautiful, even in the depth of winter.

  • Redtwig Dogwood or Yellowtwig Dogwood both make striking contrast to winter colors, and the color of their bark only gets more dramatic when rains come, or when the white snow sets it off.
  • Chinese or Lacebark Elm grows easily in Utah and provides a beautiful color, richly textured with contrast between gray, orange, and green.
  • The Winter King Hawthorn tree has clusters of beautiful red berries that last far into the winter, after it’s shed all its leaves. As a bonus, it also has beautiful blossoms in the spring!
  • Holly is a winter classic for a reason. Its glossy dark leaves and striking red berries thrive in the winter. You can also explore variations like the Winterberry that will provide even better pops of color. However, remember that holly is vulnerable to winter desiccation, which means that it’s sapped dry by wind and sun but unable to refresh by pulling water from the soil. Plant them in protected areas.
  • Dwarf evergreens, like the Wellspire spruce, Sherwood’s dwarf bristlecone pine, or the Montgomery blue spruce will provide rich color in the winter.
  • Look into Bergenia, whose leaves turn a distinctive reddish hue during the winter. It also blossoms beautiful flowers in the spring
  • Kale is one of the hardiest leafy greens you’ll ever find. In fact, you might be surprised to see kale still struggling to grow under layers of snow when the rest of your garden has gone to rest. Consider some Ornamental Kale to give your yard some extra interest and color in the winter.
  • Grasses like Great Basin Wildrye, Little Bluestem or Atlas Fescue all look great in your winter yard, popping out of the snow and providing a beautiful golden feather effect to the snowy scape.

Distribute your winter highlights evenly throughout your yard and continue to take care of them as winter comes in. Some will require continued watering, and sheltering from winter storms.

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