How to Grow Winter Aconite Flowers

Winter Aconites are one of the first spring flowers to bloom and they often pop up through the snow towards the end of winter.

Aconites can fill your yard with a sea of bright yellow blooms and that’s exactly what you need after a long cold winter.

Growing Winter Aconite flowers is easy, even for beginner gardeners and with these tips you’ll be able to have beautiful Aconites blooming in your garden.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure for more info.

Winter aconite flowers

Winter Aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) are tuberous perennials with bright yellow cup shaped flowers.

They’re part of the buttercup family and native to southern Europe and Asia. [1]


Best Soil for Aconites

Winter aconites like rich, fertile soil with lots of organic material.

It’s ideal if you have plenty of leaf litter available but you can also dig some compost into the soil before planting.

How much sunlight do Winter Aconites need?

Winter Aconites grow best in full sun and need at least six hours of sunlight each day.

They grow well underneath deciduous trees where they can get plenty of sunlight during fall and winter.

How tall do Winter Aconite flowers grow?

Winter Aconite flowers only reach about 4 inches (10 cm) tall.

Although they’re only small, they spread easily and they’re great for creating a bright yellow carpet in the lawn.

The flowers are sensitive to light and temperature and will open in warm weather and when the sun is shining.

On cool cloudy days the flowers will stay closed.

yellow flowers

Growing Winter Aconite from Seeds

Winter Aconite seeds need to be exposed to cold temperatures (cold stratified) before they will germinate.

In cool climates, the seeds can be planted directly in the soil in late fall or early winter.

Winter Aconites re-seed easily and over time the seeds will spread out in your yard to create a beautiful sea of flowers.

Once the foliage dies off, look for the seed pods amongst the dying leaves. You can scatter the seeds throughout your yard, or just leave the seed pods in place and the wind will scatter the seeds.

You can mow the lawn once the seeds are planted but it’s best not to disturb the soil at all.


Aconite tubers can be dug up shortly after the plants have finished flowering and transplanted to another spot in the garden.

The tubers can be snapped into a few pieces and they should be replanted immediately.

Growing winter aconites

Watering Aconites

Aconites need regular watering during the growing season and the soil should be kept moist throughout the year but not waterlogged.

Too much water can cause the bulbs to rot, but if the soil dries out too much, the bulbs can wither and die.

Getting the balance right can be a bit tricky, but if you check the soil each week or so, you can tell when the soil is starting to dry out.

Adding a layer of mulch can help to keep the soil moist in warm spring weather.

Pests & Diseases

Aconites are mostly disease free and they’re resistant to rabbits, rodents and deer.

Winter Aconites are a great choice if you’re regularly troubled by these pests.


Aconites don’t need to be cut back or pruned in any way.

If you’d like them to flower again the next year, it’s best to leave the withered leaves untouched until they die down.

Winter aconite blooms

Companion Planting for Aconites

Winter Aconites are often planted alongside other early flowering bulbs including snowdrops and crocuses.

Aconites are usually the first to bloom.

Common questions

Can Aconites be grown in containers or pots?

Winter Aconites have shallow roots and tubers that grow just below the surface of the soil, so they can be grown in pots, containers and window boxes.

Are Winter Aconites Frost Tolerant?

Aconites are frost tolerant and can even withstand snow, so they’re perfect for cool climates.

Yellow winter aconites

Winter Aconites are easy perennial flowers for beginner gardeners to grow.

They’re ideal for growing underneath deciduous trees and they don’t need much ongoing care.

Just be sure to keep the soil moist and undisturbed and they’ll reward you with their beautiful bright blooms in late winter and spring.


Have you tried growing Winter Aconites in your garden? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Flower Gardening and Garden Ideas that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

Winter Aconite growing tips

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

Leave a Reply