5 Winter Flowering Annuals

Growing winter flowering annuals is a great way to brighten up your garden during the winter months.

There are many different annual flowers that bloom over winter and in this article I’ve listed my top five annuals for winter flowers.

This post about winter flowering annuals contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure for more info.


1. Pansy

Pansies are winter hardy annuals that can survive frosts.

They come in a variety of colors and they’re great for garden beds, borders and pots. The flowers are edible and can be used in salads or as a decoration.

Pansy seeds can be planted in late summer for fall and winter blooms. Seeds planted in winter will produce flowers in early spring and summer.

Pansies grow best in cooler temperatures in full or partial sun.

Pansy flowers

2. Viola

Violas are winter blooming plants that can be grown as annuals or short-lived perennials.

They have a long flowering period and look great in garden beds and containers. Trailing varieties are good for hanging baskets and window boxes.

Viola seeds can be planted in fall for winter flowers. They can tolerate cold temperatures and light frosts.

Viola annuals

3. Primrose

Primroses are part of the Primula family and come in a range of colors including pink, purple, white, blue, red, yellow and orange.

They’re generally spring flowering annuals, but they will bloom in mid to late winter in areas with mild winter temperatures.  

Primrose can withstand mild frosts but not freezing temperatures.

Primrose seeds need light and air to germinate. Sow them on the surface of the potting mix and keep them moist. They take about 3 weeks to germinate.

RELATED: 15 Colorful Annual Flowers

Primrose winter flowers

4. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Sweet Alyssum produce masses of tiny fragrant flowers and they’re perfect for ground covers, rock gardens and containers.

The seeds can be planted in fall in areas with mild winter temperatures or early spring to early summer in cold climates. It only takes about 4 days for the seeds to germinate.

Sweet alyssum seedlings can tolerate light frost.

They’re short lived annuals that will die off in very hot temperatures.

Sweet alyssum flowers

5. Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

Sweet peas are beautifully fragrant annuals that look great growing on arches and trellises.

In warm areas, sweet pea seeds can be planted in late fall and they will bloom in late winter and early spring.

The seeds germinate in 7 – 14 days but soaking the seeds overnight before planting can help them to sprout faster.

Sweet peas prefer cool temperatures and can withstand light frosts. The flowers will start to fade when temperatures get too hot.

They can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 metres) tall and some varieties can reach 10 feet (3 metres) tall. [1]

Sweet peas need regular deadheading as they will stop flowering once they go to seed.

RELATED: 10 Flowering Climbers

Sweet pea flowering

Growing these winter flowering annuals is a great way to bring color to your garden beds, pots and containers over the colder months.


pansies in winter

What are your favorite annuals to grow in winter? Let me know in the comments below.

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

Best winter flowering annuals

Winter flowering annuals

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

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Scott J DeNicola

    I must admit I never knew that there were flowers that could tolerate the winter. We get some pretty horrendous weather here in the Northeast. I was always under the impression that once winter came there were no more flowers to be had in the yard. This is good to know. Pansies usually come out for planting by me in the Spring but it makes sense that they can be used in the winter since its sometimes still cold in early Spring. I’d love to have color in the yard all year round. This was a tremendous help.

  2. Despite Pain

    You have a beautiful variety of flowers in this post. So many gorgeous colours to brighten up a winter’s day.

  3. Dreams Abroad

    Wow, I did not know there were so many winter flowering annuals. Sweet Alyssum would look great in my garden. I have had Violas and they do great in the winter months. Their blooms are amazing.

  4. Sonia Seivwright

    Flowers in Winter! Can’t imagine flowers in Scotland during the wintertime. It would be amazing though. Flowers are beautiful.

  5. Gina (Love, Auntie)

    Beautiful! You have amazing pictures. I’ve admired pansies since I was in high school! I always thought their faces looked cute and a little grumpy!! 🙂

  6. This selection of flowers is beautiful and would make an excellent addition to any garden. Here in New England the deep freeze and snow prevent me from enjoying these flowers in winter but I will be ready for spring! Sweet Peas are my favorite from your choices.

  7. Subhashish Roy

    Beautiful flowers. The sight itself is so refreshing. Winter though comes with it’s hardships, one of the biggest pluses is that it is the best time for the best of flowers in our garden.

  8. Daphne Takahashi

    Love your posts about flowers! You always surprise me with beautiful flowers and I always end up learning from a new one that didn’t even knew existed. Love the violas! They remember me of my favorite movie Alice in Wonderland!

  9. Clarice

    These are beautiful. I also maintain a flower garden and it truly brings me a lot of joy to see them bloom and so colorful. I would love to add primrose and sweet pea in my garden.

  10. Lyosha

    so beautiful! i don’t understand much about the flowers so reading your posts about it give me a lot, I feel very curious about all things flowers now!

Leave a Reply