12 Freeze-Proof Plants That Will Survive the Winter
If you’re looking for tough-as-nails plants that will survive even the coldest winters, look no further. These rugged little beauties stand tall even in the coldest temps.
This hearty Tennessee wildflower can grow just about anywhere, with most varieties hardy to Zone 3. Simply cut down the stems, add 3 or 4 inches of mulch to insulate them through the winter, and they will bounce back nicely next summer.
Many are fooled by its dainty blooms, but lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) is one tough plant. A long-time favorite for shade gardens, it is hardy in Zones 2 to 7, and can thrive in practically any soil or climate. Be aware that without proper care and attention, this freeze-proof plant can become borderline invasive.
Low-maintenance, pest-resistant and hardy to Zone 3, cold cold winters are no match for the Siberian iris. They tolerate wet and dry soil, making them perfect for rain gardens. Blooms appear in late spring and last into early summer.
For cool-weather color that just won’t quit, consider planting pansies. These vibrant blooms will not only survive sudden cold snaps, they can also tolerate single-digit weather for several hours. Those in Zones 6 or higher can expect pansies to provide color to their landscape for the majority of the winter.
Violas bring cheerful winter color to hardiness Zones 5 through 10. Some varieties even continue to bloom through warm weather.
A perennial that blooms in late winter? That’s right! While most primroses flower in early spring, some species actually bring color to a late winter garden. Simply sow the seeds outside from January to March, or look for potted primroses in bloom during that time of year.
Cabbage and Kale
Some of the most popular winter annual plants, ornamental kale and cabbage lend a completely different texture to winter landscape beds. Once the plants are hardened by cool night temperatures, they are able to survive most cold winters.
A garden staple long before kale came onto the scene, this leafy green tolerates freezing temperatures, and in Zone 8 and higher can be harvested all winter long. In fact, if harvested after a frost, collards will actually taste sweeter.
‘Candy Stripe’ Phlox
This lovely, pink-and-white-striped creeping phlox creates a carpet of color in the spring. What makes it even more fantastic is that its foliage is evergreen. Since it’s typically hardy in Zones 3 to 9, the plant makes a great year-round groundcover for most gardeners.
A producer of prolific fall blooms — pink to white, ranging from 3 to 6 inches tall — Cyclamen hederifolium is a hardy performer. It also displays very attractive foliage that lasts from winter through spring.
Since Siberian cypress grows naturally in the mountains of Russia, it makes sense that it would have no problem making it through winter in your home garden. When the temperatures drop, this hardy evergreen goes from a mint green color to a pretty brown-purple.
‘Purrsian Blue’ Catmint
For a perennial that has it all — drought tolerance, deer resistance and a long flowering period that lasts from early summer to fall frost — you can’t beat this gorgeous plant. During winter, they stand strong and show off a beautiful silver-colored foliage.