6 Shrubs & Woody Ornamentals for Winter Interest


Winter is a slow time in the gardening world. Most likely, there are a lot of different hues of brown and grey in your garden…and that’s about it. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are many shrubs and woody ornamentals that maintain their foliage, produce berries, or have other interesting aspects through winter.

Here are a few of our favorite shrubs with winter interest:

1. Hollies

Holly shrubs are evergreen shrubs that often produce berries. They are a great way to add color and texture to your garden all year long. Specific care depends on the variety, but most hollies prefer well drained, moist soil in full to part sun. They can be fertilized once a year and look best when maintained with pruning.  Only female plants will produce berries, and may need a male plant close by to reproduce.

Needlepoint Holly

Holly Christmas Jewel

Holly ‘Berri Magic’ & English Holly ‘Santa’s Delight’

2. Camellias

Camellias are one of the only shrubs that produce flowers in the winter season. They prefer part shade and to be watered regularly. When planting, be sure to plant their base above the soil line. As for pruning, do so right after they finish flowering.

3. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is a large, woody shrub that can also be considered a small tree (usually grows to about 15 ft tall). This shrub is significant in Winter because it blooms just as winter begins to break. The blooms are very unique and very fragrant. Witch Hazel prefers full to part sun and regular watering until it is well-established.

Witch Hazel ‘primavera’ & ‘Diane’

4. Juniper Shrubs

Juniper shrubs are a favorite among gardeners. These shrubs are easy to care for, as they don’t require pruning and they are well established after two years of consistent watering. They are also a favorite among wildlife as shelter from harsh weather. Although care varies, Junipers generally need full sun to part shade with well-drained soil.

Juniper ‘Gold Coast’

Juniper ‘Blue Star’

5. Berrying Bushes

Of course, any shrub that produces berries is going to provide interest over winter. As we mentioned above, Hollies are great because they maintain both berries and foliage year-round. Here are a few of our other favorite berried bushes:

Pyracantha & Beauty Berry

6. Red Twig Dogwood

Although these shrubs/trees lose their leaves, what makes them ornamentally interesting in winter is their bright red branches. This shrub will need part to full sun and is best pruned in early spring.

Use any of these woody ornamentals to keep your garden interesting all year long, even in winter!

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