9 wintergreen plants that will brighten your garden in winter

Thinking about what vegetation to decorate the garden with, you should give preference to off-season compositions. They will delight your eye not only in the warm season, but with the onset of cold weather they will remain green.


Badan is a perennial herb that is often referred to as thick-leaved saxifrage. In the wild, it grows on the territory of the Krasnodar Territory and Primorye. It is known for its bright inflorescences of small flowers, similar to a glass, and in some subgroups, a bell.

Large leaves that form a rosette visually resemble the ears of an elephant. Badan begins to bloom in May and ends in early June. In winter, the leaves do not lose their green color.

Fortune's eonymus

Fortune is a variegated euonymus variety. China is considered its homeland. A low-growing plant can reach up to 2 meters in length and 50 cm in height.

The stems of the plant come into contact with the ground, forming adventitious roots at the nodes, due to which it quickly takes root and rises up. It has small flowers, a greenish-white hue, the fruits are light yellow, but not edible, like all other euonymus. The leaves are small, reach 2 to 6 centimeters in length, have an elliptical shape, leathery or shiny texture.


Heather is an evergreen plant with a branching stem base. The leaves are small, triangular, the petiole is absent. Small flowers are grouped in racemose or umbellate inflorescences. One inflorescence can contain from five to several dozen flowers that have a lilac-pink hue.

Heather does not require frequent maintenance, is drought tolerant and can bloom in the shade. The leaves remain green throughout the winter.


Heuchera flower is a rhizome herbaceous perennial. The rocky regions of North America are considered its homeland. It blooms in small flowers, resembling bells in appearance, collected in small inflorescences. The inflorescence is racemose, while the bracts are scaly.

Common shades of flowers are cream, white and light pink. For planting in the garden, you should choose Western-type geykhera, they are the ones that endure cold weather.


Saxifrage is a stunted plant. Leaves have a variety of texture, surface and shape. Particularly dense and fleshy, rounded and slightly elongated, they represent decorative rosettes. In length they reach six centimeters and have color variations: from dark green to gray-green.

The flowers are small, in paniculate or racemose inflorescences. The stem does not extend by more than 50 cm. For the winter garden, a wicker saxifrage is chosen. It is more resistant to cold weather and sudden temperature changes.

Dammer's cotoneaster

Drummer's cotoneaster is a plant from the genus Cotoneaster, of the Pink family. Its shoots rise above the ground no higher than 30 cm. One bush can grow in different directions up to one and a half meters. The leaf plate is small in size, has an elongated and oval shape, no more than two centimeters long.

The leaves are leathery, due to their dark green color and ability to frost resistance, they make the plant look like an evergreen form. The flowers of the plant are small, white or light red.


The plant has thickened shoots and succulent, elongated leaves with a pointed end. Flowers of pink, white and yellow shades are more common. They gather in corymbose inflorescences located on single shoots 15-20 cm high.

The root system is poorly developed. The plant carries out resistance due to the leaves, which are able to accumulate water and starch. In the middle lane, a greater number of varieties were young - winter-hardy species.


The hellebore is a perennial herb with shoots 20-50 cm high. The stem of the plant is devoid of leaves. The foliage is located in a rosette near the ground, forming a dense bush. There are five segments on the petiole, which diverge like rays. The entire leathery lobe is dark green in color, with solid margins and a groove along the central vein.

During the flowering period, a flower or a small inflorescence is formed at the top of the stem. The plant is not afraid of frost, and the flower stalks themselves develop under the snow, getting out when the oppression weakens.

Gray fescue

Gray fescue is a perennial herb. Hardy and withstands both cold climates and hot tropics. Has a bluish-gray (bluish) leaf color.

With the onset of cold weather, the shade of the leaves becomes pale, but the decorative appearance continues to persist. A gray fescue bush fluffy with a straight stem, reaching a length of 20-60 cm. The leaf plates are narrow, modified. Leaves rolled into a tube allow the plant to save water consumption.

Linear evergreen leaves are spherical. The rhizome of the plant is small, but dense enough.

Winter flower gardens are especially attractive in winter, although at other times they will show you what to see. By planting evergreen perennials on your site, you will get rid of a bare garden in the cold season.

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Autumn pruning: which plants should not be touched

From the second half of autumn until the beginning of winter, gardeners carry out the last work on the site. One of these works is pruning ornamental and fruit plants.

However, some cultures react negatively to such manipulations, so it is undesirable to touch them until spring.

Which plants cannot be cut in autumn:

1. Not shedding leaves in winter, that is, winter-green.

Such crops include: hellebore, fescue, ivy, heuchera, thick-leaved berry, winter-hardy varieties of rhododendrons. They decorate the site with rich colors, and there is simply no need to cut them.

2. Some varieties of garden strawberries.

If strawberries release young foliage by the fall, then this is no accident - it covers the root system with it from the weather. If you cut it off, then the chances that the plantings will freeze out without shelter increase.

3. Winter-hardy perennials: lobelia, lavender, etc.

Despite the green mass that has dried up by winter, it is undesirable to touch them, since thanks to the protruding stems around the plant, snow is retained, which protects the root system from adverse weather conditions.

4. Southern flowers that have successfully adapted to cool climates in recent years, for example, rosemary, hosta.

They tolerate cold and piercing wind much more easily if you do not cut off dried flower stalks and leaves. This can be done in spring as well.

5. Lilac - a frequent inhabitant of household plots, which lays apical buds in the fall.

It is preferable to remove only broken, diseased and dry twigs. You can thin out the bush in the spring if it is too thick, but before wintering, the tops should not be touched.

6. Daylily is a powerful perennial crop that does not require autumn pruning.

By the spring, nothing will remain of the dead green mass, since it will rot, giving nutrients to the soil.

Whatever species the cereals belong to, they should not be touched before the onset of winter.

Thanks to the lush top, the plants feel great during severe frosts. And if you remove the green mass, then most of the kidneys will simply die.

In general, it is worth removing only those parts of the green mass that do not keep their shape, get wet during rains, begin to rot, and everything else should preferably be left until spring.

Evergreen and wintergreen plants: feature and differences

Many are sure that plants that do not change the color of the foliage are evergreen. It is difficult to argue with such a concept, although there are arguments, since there is another concept - wintergreen. Logically, these two names should be interchangeable or synonymous, but in fact - no, they are completely different plants. That is why you should clearly understand what is the difference between evergreen and wintergreen plants.

Evergreens - these are the representatives of perennials, the foliage of which is able to "live" up to three years. Popular representatives are considered not only conifers, but also mosses, which winter easily, because they are not afraid of frost or a strong drop in temperature. You can also refer to the evergreen representatives of not all rhododendrons, lingonberry, bearberry, boxwood and berry.

Wintergreen plants - these are perennials that have foliage that live only one year. The beginning of the growing season starts in the spring, and ends exactly one year later, with the appearance of new shoots, and only then can the old leaves die off completely. The plant is always with foliage, regardless of the season and weather conditions. A feature of winter-green plants is the possibility of prolonging photosynthesis during a full calendar year, which starts in spring and ends at the same time, but in a different year. The principle of "work" of winter-green plants consists in the full use of last year's foliage for the so-called energy production, and as soon as young shoots and leaves appear, only then the old ones die successfully. It is these features that are the main difference between the two plant species, which can delight green foliage all year round.

Growing evergreen and wintergreen plants

It is generally accepted that evergreens, with the exception of conifers, are not for our gardens. For the most part, they are not winter-hardy, and if they winter under the snow, then what's the point in their evergreen, if the plants are not visible!

Although, of course, it is nice in early spring to see slightly frozen, but quite live leaves among the dead grass. In addition, in recent years, when the snow cover lays down only after the New Year, the role of such ever-living crops in our gardens is growing noticeably. This means that the need for them appears.

Many evergreens have a rather exotic appearance, not typical for our region. These are shrubs, shrubs, semi-shrubs, lianas, herbaceous perennials, cereals, ferns. Only trees are missing.

There is one subtlety in the classification of evergreens. Two groups overwinter in a green state under the snow: evergreens, whose leaves live for 2-3 years, and wintergreens, whose leaves live for one year.

Evergreen - these are all types of mosses, some types of rhododendrons, evergreen boxwood, shrubs: lingonberry, cranberry, bearberry and berry. They have a set of adaptation typical for all evergreens - a high content of non-freezing substances in tissues, a cork layer on the stems, a waxy cuticle or pubescence on the leaves. An interesting and very promising plant for our region is moss.

Mosses are not afraid of severe frosts, because drying out is absolutely not dangerous for them. They absorb water from the atmosphere through leaves and stems. Moss does not have real, well-developed roots, and the plants absorb moisture with their entire aboveground part, like a sponge. If there is no rain for a long time, the moss completely loses moisture and dries out.

However, in this case, he does not die, but goes into a state of rest. This phenomenon is explained by the properties of the protoplast - the living content of mosses cells - which does not die even after strong drying. Loss of moisture is not dangerous for them either in summer or in winter. Mosses tolerate frost in any conditions - both under the protection of snow cover, and without it.

Wintergreen plants are called, the leaves of which, although they appear in spring, do not die off in autumn, but only next spring. So the plant prolongs the duration of photosynthesis for itself - from early spring, when the snow has just melted, to the snow cover. They begin to generate energy from the overwintered "old" leaves as soon as the snow melts, ie. light appears.

And only after new leaves appear, the old, overwintered ones will die off. These are herbaceous perennials: geykhera, European hoof, hairy sedge, acicular duckweed, yellow zelenchuk, common oxalis, noble liverwort, some species of hellebores, Veronica, and many ground cover.

In nature, evergreens and wintergreens are most abundant in spruce forests. The main reason is the light regime: the spruce forest is dark, and in all seasons.

In addition, the soils of spruce forests are not very rich, usually waterlogged and have high acidity. Under such conditions, the vegetation of the lower tier develops slowly, in spring the leaves bloom late, last year's at this time are very important, because plants need to prolong the possibility of photosynthesis.

Growing most evergreens involves some risk. Their widespread use in the garden is available only to experienced gardeners who have fertile soils and a good microclimate on their site. Snowless winters are destructive with temperatures down to –35… –40 ° C, cyclically repeating every 20 years. Therefore, evergreen and wintergreen plants should be grown in the garden only after the appropriate microclimate has been created.

If this is not done, then in snowless winters, the leaves will be damaged by severe frosts and suffer from "spring sunburn", which cause drying winds and direct sunlight. The ideal garden for wintergreen plants is a canopy garden that accumulates a lot of snow in winter, there is no wind and there is an openwork shade. The soil in such a garden should be light, with the addition of coarse sand.

Reproduction of plants overwintering with leaves is almost no different from similar deciduous ones. Conventionally, three main groups can be distinguished, similar in the way of reproduction:

- Representatives of the Heather family: rhododendrons, heathers, wild rosemary, podbely, gaults, kalmias, bearberry, lingonberry, - reproduce by cuttings and dividing the bush.

- Ground cover shrubs: dwarf euonymus, rooting euonymus and its varieties, Dammer's cotoneaster, pachisandra, periwinkle, ivy herbaceous groundcover: thyme, clefthoof, loosestrife, tenacious, subulate phlox, zelenchuk, - form roots on their branches and shoots. In a spindle tree rooting, roots on twigs are formed even in the air. We just have to separate and transplant! All these plants are also excellent cuttings.

- Herbaceous "non-sprawling" perennials with wintering leaves reproduce in two main ways: by seed and by dividing the bush. it badans, geychera, hellebore, liverwort, as well as representatives of mountain flora, such as arabis, aubriets, evergreen Iberis, mountain goats, dryads and others, widely used in rock gardens and rockeries... Do not forget that with seed reproduction, young animals may not inherit all the characteristics of the mother plant. The method of dividing clumps and bushes is simpler and more accessible, especially since almost all perennials periodically require rejuvenation.

A separate conversation about Mahonia hollyas the most typical winter-green plant. Despite its exotic appearance, it reproduces very easily in all ways, sometimes even without our help. Under favorable conditions in the garden, it gives abundant self-seeding, crawls in underground stolons, and also partially takes root by branches lying on the ground. To obtain a large amount of planting material, rooting of woody cuttings can be recommended.

Andrey Kopysov, gardener, Gatchina

Mini accents to which you cannot remain indifferent all year round

Evergreens do not always have to be large to play a role in compositions. And in the design of places such as rock gardens, narrow ridges, ribbon flower beds, small front gardens, you do not use ordinary thuja or fir. Even for the most modest in size garden ensembles there are stars - dwarf varieties and types of familiar evergreen crops that seem especially spectacular. Shrubs and trees of the "mini" format attract attention with the perfection of forms, and the density of the crown, and catchy colors.They are the most luxurious accents in existence.

Blue spruce "Conica" (Picea glauca). © F. D. Richards Medicinal laurel (Prunus laurocerasus). © English Hedging Oriental flatfish "Aurea Nana" (Platycladus orientalis) or Eastern Thuja (Thuja orientalis). © F. D. Richards Blunt cypress "Nana Gracilis" (Chamaecyparis obtusa). © georgeweigel Mountain pine, or European dwarf pine (Pinus mugo). © Jim Harding Pine black "Nana" (Pinus nigra). © hgeers

Blooming winter-green bushes also have their own mini-stars. Various varieties Creeping rhododendron (Rhododendron repens), today reckoned among the forms Rhododendron Forrest (Rhododendron forrestii), practically invisible under the wonderful inflorescences. There is also a dwarf variety Laurel officinalis (Prunus laurocerasus) - compact, 30-centimeter "Mount Vernon", in which the diameter of the bush is 2.5 times the height.

But still, the main stars among miniature evergreens are conifers. The best decorative mini-varieties can be safely ranked dwarf spruces, pines and Co.

  1. A curvy beauty who will forever make you forget about boring ordinary spruce trees, a compact favorite - Blue spruce varieties "Conica" (Picea glauca). Even in old age, this beauty will not exceed 3 meters in height, it will perfectly fit with its dense conical crown even into a flower bed of minimal size.
  2. Not exceeding 2-2.5 m slow-growing Blunt cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) varieties "Nana Gracilis".
  3. The most famous of the dwarf pines is the Pug variety Mountain pines or European elfin pines (Pinus mugo), which grows so slowly that it reaches its maximum meter height only after decades.
  4. The main candidate for decorating flower beds Pine black (Pinus nigra) varieties "Nana", limited to 3 meters and an amazing compactness of the crown.
  5. A dwarf favorite among thujas is the "Aurea Nana" cultivar Tui eastern (Thuja orientalis, according to recent studies, it is more correct to call Biota or Oriental flatfish (Platycladus orientalis), which is limited to a meter height. The needles that look like dense fur with a bright yellow color glows in sunny areas, captivating with both texture and unusual density.

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