Whether you stay in the snow-clad northern part of the Indian subcontinent or the land of sunny winters in the south, there are flowers for every topography. Winter flowers might possibly be the easiest to grow of the whole spectrum, they need very basic care and some of the self-sowing plants grow back every year when the temperature dips. Lets delve deeper into some of the most popular and stunning varieties of flowers that blooms through winter, or the whole year in some cases.
Aboli Pink Flowers (Crossandra infundibuliformis)
Famous as the Priyadarshi or the Kanakaambara, these dainty orange-pink flowers are no-fuss, hardy perennials that bloom the year round. They are good with direct sunlight as well as indirect light. Start the seeds indoors in seedling trays or germination pots and transfer them outside or to a bigger planter once a couple of sets of true leaves appear. The plant typically blooms in 14 – 16 weeks from sowing.
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia)
Alyssums are delicate soft tiny flowers emanating a sweet soft smell. In areas that do not experience any snow they can pretty much grow from fall/autumn to spring. Although the blooms fade away with the heat, they self-sow to come back in the fall when the weather cools down. They are easy to grow and care for and need full winter sun with moderate watering, avoid dry spells. The seeds can be scattered directly in the growing area and pressed down for better contact while still being exposed to light.
These beautiful perennials come in shades of white, blue, and purple and attract butterflies and bees. In areas that don’t experience any frost, they can flower through the year. These daisy like blooms have several varieties that do well with sun and regular watering. The flowers that are allowed to mature on the plant aid in self-sowing every season. Asters need to be germinated indoor first before transferring to the final growing area. Give them a rich soil and a little bit of care and watch them add colour to your garden all year round.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
The name is the testimony it needs, while its common name equates its shape to the mythical dragon, its botanical name literally translates to “like a snout”. These mid-sized long flowering plants come in every hue possible and are a riot of saturated colours. A lover of cooler climates they grow from winters to spring, but if watered well through summer, they spring right back up with flowers as soon as temperature dips. Start the antirrhinums indoors in starter kits and move them out to pots or flower beds when the days are cooler and watch your garden come alive.
Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
With soft colours in the spectrum of buttery yellow to a bright orange, these hardy flowers bloom from summers till snow, and even beyond that in areas that have warmer winter months. The best part about the calendula is that the more flowers you pluck, the more it flowers! This hardy plant can be sown directly in the winter months at least an inch deep in a well-draining soil with full to partial sun.
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
This European beauty is at its glorious best in winters, but it can be easily turned into a perennial with some basic care. These clustered beauties in pink, white, red, or purple are excellent as ground cover or border plants. The seeds can be started indoors and transferred out when the saplings are strong. The candytufts love full sun and a well-draining soil for flowering profusely.
Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus)
These crinkly, sweet smelling and long lasting blooms are a delight to grow. Carnations are perennials that bloom from early spring well into the summer months and almost the year round in areas with milder winters. They can both be started indoors or directly planted in flower beds with nutrient rich but well-draining soil. Frequent pruning and deadheading once they start blooming guarantees more blooms in the flowering season.
More commonly known as mums these hardy perennials are a joy for every gardener when they bloom profusely in a whole spectrum of bright happy colours. Just give them a rich but well-draining soil and lots of sunlight and they will reward you with blooms that last long and are easy to maintain. They can both be sown directly or started indoors and bloom round the year in areas with no frost. They require regular watering and are easy to propagate.
Cleome (Cleome hassleriana)
One of the easiest plants to grow from seeds, perhaps too easy, it also known as the spider flower. This annual flowering plant is an excellent self-seeder and comes back every year when the season is just right. The seeds can be sprinkled directly in pots or flowerbeds where they bloom from summer through early winter. Deadheading spent flowers promotes bloom time. They attract deter bad bugs that damage crops.
Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)
The sunny beauty of coreopsis is enough to light up any garden. A great perennial choice, it can be sown directly in the pots or flowering beds. Give it a well-drained soil and full sun to enjoy abundant blooms. To plant scatter the seeds evenly and cover them lightly as they need light to germinate and the key point is to keep the soil moist at all times. You can also propagate them through cuttings in spring and summers. Dead heading and pruning will, like all other flowering plants, result in more blooms.
Corn flower (Centaurea cyanus)
‘Weed is but an unloved plant’ has never been truer than in the case of the corn flower. Once considered a weed that grew in corn/maize fields, it is now an ornamental darling. Its bright blue colour brings that much needed contrast to any flower patch or arrangement and add to it its long shelf life and its ability to be dried for ornamental use and you have your self a winner. Grow them directly in loose soil and keep it moist while they germinate and establish roots. Dead head and prune frequently to promote blooming and enjoy the bees and butterflies they attract.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
They are clouds of colour floating on slender stems. Hardy annuals that will flower almost through the year in areas that don’t see any frost, growing these is as easy as scattering the seeds in well-draining soils with medium moisture. These plants stay in bloom for months and thrive on near neglect, even in poor soil conditions. These hardy annuals also self-seeds to the point of being invasive.
Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)
Look over your Pinterest boards or Instagram feeds for floral arrangements, you will notice the wispy clouds of white popularly known as baby’s breath. Also known as soapwort, it got its more common name of baby’s breath due to its gifting significance in baby showers. The seeds can be scattered directly In early spring in areas of sull sun with a well-draining soil. Water moderately, directly in the roots, to avoid root rot but do not let the soil stay dry for too long. Give it moderate fertiliser when the plants are establishing for abundant blooms later.
Pansy (Viola tricolor)
One of the most stunning wildflowers across the globe, pansies are cool season but short lived perennials that will fill your garden with an array of colours. Pansies can be sown directly and also started indoors and transferred when the seedlings have established themselves. Give them a rich and well-drained soil with partial or full sun. You can promote blooming by deadheading spent flowers.
These are some of the common winter flowers but the list is endless. With little effort they fill any garden with colours and scents that can never be replicated by man. Just remember to buy seeds from trusted sources for healthy plants and abundant blooms.
Start a flower garden, make yourself a cup of tea and sit and enjoy life as it was meant to be…amongst nature.