10 Winter Flowering Bulbs

Planting winter flowering bulbs is a great way to brighten up your garden during the winter months.

There are many different bulbs that bloom in late winter and in this article I’ve listed my top ten bulbs for winter flowers.

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Daffodil flower in snow


1. Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)

Snowdrops are beautiful winter flowering bulbs with small white blooms that emerge in late winter or early spring.

The flowers grow 3 to 6 inches (7 to 15 cm) tall and they’ll bloom even when there is snow on the ground.

Snowdrop bulbs should be planted in early fall but it may take two or more years for the plants to start blooming.

snowdrop flowers

2. Hyacinths (Hyacinthus)

Hyacinth bulbs should be planted in fall and they begin blooming towards the end of winter or early spring.

The flowers come in a variety of beautiful colors including white, blue, purple, pink and cream.

Hyacinths have sturdy foliage, which means they’re perfect for exposed, windy gardens.

Hyacinth bulbs contain oxalic acid which can irritate the skin, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves when you’re working with Hyacinth bulbs.

hyacinth bulbs

3. Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Aconites are winter hardy flowers that can survive cold temperatures and frosts.

Technically, Winter Aconites are tubers, not bulbs.

The tubers store nutrients to sustain the plants during winter in the same way that bulbs do.

Their beautiful yellow flowers spread out to create a carpet of yellow in the garden.

RELATED: How To Grow Winter Aconite Flowers

winter aconite flowers

4. Crocus (Crocus sativus)

Crocuses are popular bulbs with flowers in a variety of colors including purple, pink, yellow, red, orange and blue.

They grow from corms which can be planted in fall and they will bloom in late winter and early spring.

Crocuses are frost resistant and grow well in full sun or partial shade.

crocus flowers

5. Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Daffodils are beautiful, brightly colored bulbs that pop up towards the end of winter.

The flowers come in a range of colors including yellow, white, orange and cream.

Plant clusters of daffodil bulbs in fall for pops of late winter color.

daffodil flowers

6. Anemone

Anemones are beautiful, brightly colored flowers that are ideal for brightening up the winter months.

They produce a succession of flowers from late winter into spring.

Each plant can produce up to 20 flowers so you’ll have lots of flowers to enjoy during the blooming season.

anemone flower

7. Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

Cyclamen is another beautiful winter flower that grows from a bulb or tuber.

It has circular shaped leaves and the flowers can be pink, white or purple.

Cyclamens can tolerate cold winter temperatures and they bloom during the cooler months.

Cyclamen plants are susceptible to rot, so it’s best to water the base of the plant to keep the leaves dry.

cyclamen flowers blooming in winter

8. Jonquils (Narcissus spp.)

Jonquils are beautifully scented flowers that are related to daffodils.

They begin to flower in mid-winter and the blooms will last into spring.

Jonquils look great planted in clumps at the base of deciduous trees and they’ll also grow well in full sun.

winter flowering bulb

9. Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus)

Paperwhites are part of the same family as daffodils and jonquils and they can be grown indoors or outdoors.

The flowers are pure white, beautifully scented and easy to grow.

Plant paperwhite bulbs in fall for late winter flowers.

paperwhite flowers in winter

10. Grape Hyacinths (Muscari)

Grape hyacinths are cute flowers that look like mini versions of regular hyacinths.

They come in a range of colors including purple, blue, white and pink.

Grape hyacinths grow in full sun or partial shade and spread out very easily so you can expect lots of new plants popping up in your garden. [1]

grape hyacinth flowers

Caring for winter flowering bulbs

After the plants are finished flowering in late spring, you can cut off the flower stalks but leave the foliage to die off naturally.

Leaving the foliage in place until it dies down allows the bulbs to store nutrients for the next flowering season.

You can read more about caring for bulbs when they’ve finished flowering in this article: 

How To Care For Bulbs After Flowering

So there are 10 bulbs for beautiful winter flowers.

Planting a few of these winter flowering bulbs is a great way to bring color to your garden beds, containers or pots during the winter months.


Which of these winter blooming bulbs do you like best? Let me know in the comments below.

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

snowdrop bulbs blooming in winter
Winter flowering bulbs

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 9 Comments

  1. Stephanie S

    I love daffodils, and tulips. I think that they are so pretty when they bloom. I’ll save this list for sure!

  2. Scott J DeNicola

    Interesting read Kelly. I’m amazed that any of my winter bulbs come back each year as I know now I have been caring for them improperly. I usually just yank the dead parts off. Oops. We love the first siting of our daffodils and crocus as we know that spring is right around the corner. And they do seem to survive when they come up and then we get that late winter snow out of nowhere.

  3. Britt K

    This is such a beautiful way to bring some light and happiness into the coming of the winter season. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affecive Disorder. However, planting these bulbs would mean that you have something truly beautiful to look forward to. I might just have to pick up some bulbs for this exact reason myself!

  4. Lyosha

    That is such a great idea. I agree a lot of people might find it very useful to have more flowers growing during winter (mental health as much as general aesthetics).

  5. Smita

    I remember walking through fields of daffodils and hyacinths in early spring near Amsterdam – the flowers were so beautiful, they took our breath away! Encouraging to read that they are sturdy – inspires me to try planting them now.

  6. Nkem

    I learned a lot through reading this! Loving how the Grape Hyacinths look as well.

  7. Kat

    What a lovely list! My mother has many of these in her garden and it’s always a great moment to see the first snowdrops blooming in very early spring. They are some of my favourite flowers because they’re the first sign of the new season.

  8. Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    I remember my aunt would plant Crocus every year when I was growing up, and I couldn’t quite figure out how flowers would actually bloom and thrive during the cold winter months. I am certainly inspired to plant some winter flowers this year, and this list is a very welcomed direction!

  9. College Apps Abroad

    There are so many types of flowers I didn’t even know existed, let alone ones that are good for winter! Love the paperwhites!

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