A splendor of flowers in summer, a wonderful variety of colors in autumn and winter, suddenly the view out of the window reveals empty balcony boxes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Frost-hard potted plants can bring color to outdoor areas in the cold season. These winter bloomers delight the gardener’s heart from December to April and can be combined outdoors in ensembles with evergreen shrubs, ornamental grasses and other winter-blooming plants. We have compiled a list of the most beautiful winter flowers for balconies and show you how to properly display them in planted window boxes. let yourself be inspired!
If you want to plant your window boxes in a colorful way, you should start doing so in late summer or early autumn. Combine hardy flower varieties with evergreen ornamental grasses and cozy ground cover that have similar demands on soil, water and location.
Winter flowers for the balcony: The snowdrops are winter bloomers
The white snowdrops belong to the amaryllis family. Its name is derived from the ancient Greek words for “milk” and “blossom”. Originally, they were widespread in nature. They are now threatened with extinction and the wild stocks are under protection. But there is a wide range of snowdrop varieties available in stores. Most of the flowers are grown in the UK. Hobby gardeners can choose between more than 20 species and 600 varieties. The tubers are planted in September and October.
The early varieties bloom as early as October and their flowering period lasts until spring. The late bloom in March-April. The winter flowers thrive well in sunny to partially shaded locations and feel particularly good between perennials and under bushes. They can easily withstand snow and frost and are therefore considered hardy. That is, the snowdrops can stay outside on the balcony or terrace all winter.
Winter flowers for the balcony: combine snowdrops, ivy, moss and silver leaf
Together with evergreen ornamental grasses and perennials, the white winter flowers cut a fine figure outside. For example, you can combine the snowdrops with ivy, moss and silver leaf in smaller pots. This creates a puristic ensemble in gray-green-white. They also cut a fine figure in the flower pot as soloists. As for the care, the flowers are pretty undemanding. Basically, they can hardly withstand waterlogging. In winter you can therefore only water them when necessary, because too much moisture in the soil could lead to mold growth. Otherwise, the annual plants are easy to care for. Patience and experience are only required for propagation.
Winter flowers for outside: the beautiful spring rose
The spring rose belongs to the buttercup family. At the beginning of February the winter flower forms white, pink, red or yellow flowers. The flowering period lasts until the end of April. In nature, the plant, like the snowdrops, grows under deciduous trees and bushes. In your own garden or on the balcony, it can therefore be combined perfectly with the late-blooming snowdrop varieties. Freezing temperatures, snow and wind do not mind the 40 cm high winter bloomer. Fresh, calcareous, humus-rich and permeable soil is an important prerequisite for rapid growth.
Winter flowers on the balcony: Plant the spring rose with sedum plant and sedge
The spring rose can be easily combined with other hardy plants such as sedum plant and sedge, which have similar demands on the soil. Together with ground cover or ornamental grasses, their dark red flowers are particularly effective. The spring rose is suitable as an accent for balcony boxes, but looks just as good as a soloist on the balcony table. Conifers are not a good combination partner; they thrive in slightly acidic soil, which can prevent the spring rose from growing.
Winter flowers for balconies: pansies as an eye-catcher
Pansies are annuals and belong to the genus of violets. Nowadays there is a wide variety of cultivars to choose from, many of which bloom from spring through autumn. Others, like the Pirnaer variety, are winter bloomers that drive away the gray sadness. They are hardy, but cannot thrive in snow and rain and should therefore be placed in a covered location. The balcony is ideal for this purpose. The humus-rich, loose and freshly moist soil is an important prerequisite for a long flowering period. Waterlogging should be avoided, however, because it can lead to mold growth.
Plant pansies in window boxes and combine them with other winter flowers and winter bloomers
The pansies come in different colors. For example, flowers with purple and dark red flowers are very common. They are perfect as color accents in the flower bed in the garden or in the window boxes. Together with skimmia, ivy and purple bells, they form an attractive ensemble in berry nuances.
Winter flowers for balconies: winter jasmine
The winter jasmine is native to the northern parts of China. The extremely robust plant scores with a long flowering period, which begins in December and ends in April. In the garden, the ground cover with its wonderful yellow flowers quickly becomes an eye-catcher. It can also be cultivated as a winter flower in window boxes on the balcony. If it is planted in flower pots as a soloist, then it needs a climbing aid. The plant is hardy. It can withstand wind, rain and snow without any problems. It should only be protected from frost at sub-zero temperatures. The winter bloomer thrives best in semi-sunny locations. A chalky and fresh soil promotes its growth.
The winter jasmine can be combined with other winter flowers that have similar demands on the soil and the location. Optionally, you can also effectively stage the perennial, winter-hardy balcony plant on its own. Simply plant the winter flower in a flower pot in a contrasting color and display it in the middle of the balcony table. It can also be combined with other onion flowers such as the blue star or the snow shine.
Winter flowers for the balcony: the beautiful camellia is a real eye-catcher
Similar to winter jasmine, the beautiful camellias came from Asia to Europe, where they adorned the gardens of the aristocrats. Nowadays they enjoy great popularity and are especially popular for their large flowers. However, since the ornamental perennials are very demanding, hobby gardeners rarely dare to plant them in their own garden. The flower needs shelter from the wind and thrives best in shady locations with high humidity. The camellia prefers a loose, well drained and slightly acidic soil. It can hardly tolerate waterlogging, so the soil should definitely be permeable. With proper care, some early flowering varieties can start to bloom as early as January. With its beautiful white, pink or pink flowers, it makes the outside area shine.
The balcony offers practically everything the camellia needs to feel comfortable outside. Ideally, the shrub should be planted in a large flower pot and displayed right in front of the outside wall. It can be perfectly combined with the green-leaved honeysuckle. The two plants make a nice duo.
Winter flower balcony: the Christmas rose is a real eye-catcher
With its large, snow-white flowers, the Christmas rose is a real eye-catcher in the garden as well as on the terrace or on the balcony. The extremely robust winter flower can thrive in sub-zero temperatures as well as defy cold and snow. The ornamental shrub is very long-lived and, with proper care, can bloom for over 20 years. The first flowers open as early as January, although the flowering period of certain varieties begins as early as December.
The perennials prefer partially shaded to shady locations and, like the spring rose, grow particularly quickly under deciduous trees. In winter, they let in plenty of sunlight to encourage flowering, and in spring and summer, the green leaves shield the plant from the strong rays of the sun. The right time to plant is October. The hardy plant loves loamy soil with a high proportion of sand. In the winter months it only needs to be watered as needed, you can check the soil once a week to be on the safe side. You should definitely avoid waterlogging, similar to all other hardy plants.
Winter flowers for balconies: pillow primrose
The pillow primrose belongs to the primrose family, which includes more than 500 varieties. The flower reaches a maximum height of 15 cm, has rosette-shaped foliage and forms several medium-sized flowers in yellow, lavender, white, pink, blue and red. There are numerous varieties in different shades available in stores, all of which have one thing in common: the throat of all pillow primroses is colored yellow.
The pillow primroses are usually conditionally sensitive to frost. They can easily stay outside at temperatures above 5 degrees and do not have to be overwintered. At temperatures below 5 degrees it depends on the variety: Some types of flowers have to be overwintered, while others are winterproof. The right location is in partial shade and offers protection from rain and strong sun rays. A north-facing balcony or a covered roof terrace is therefore ideal.
You are probably wondering what you can combine with the cushion primrose in the balcony box? The flower looks particularly beautiful with hellebore and evergreen shrubs. Optionally, you can opt for late-blooming species. They get along very well with popular spring flowers such as daffodils or tulips.
Winter flowers in the garden: More winter bloomers
There are, of course, plenty of other winter flowers that can be planted outside in window boxes and flower pots. Such are for example:
- Snow heather. The blooming season of the snow heather extends from February to mid-April. The ornamental shrub has flowers in a soft, light pink shade that turn old pink at the end of the flowering period.
- The sedum plant has small, fiery red flowers and is therefore a real eye-catcher in the balcony box. The ground cover can be combined with winter-hard ornamental grasses.
- Rhododendron, also called alpine rose, is a hardy plant from the heather family. Today there are over 1000 cultivars commercially available, many of them winter bloomers.
- For the poisonous winterling, the flowering period begins in February. With its yellow flowers it gives the balcony garden a splash of color and makes the anticipation of the coming spring even greater.
Creating a balcony garden: You must adhere to these basic rules
You should plan the balcony garden carefully so that you can enjoy a splendor of flowers on your balcony even in winter. Take into account the height of the flowers and the growth patterns of the plants. Place upright perennials in the background, overhanging flowers at the front edge of the box and fill in the gaps with ground cover. Create a planting plan for every large balcony box and for every combination of plants. Try combining annuals with annuals and perennials with perennial flowers and perennials.
Make sure that you buy flower boxes and flower pots made from weatherproof materials. Flower boxes made of high-quality plastic score with their low weight and can be attached to the balcony railing. Terracotta pots are heavy and must therefore stand. However, thanks to their greater weight, they do not tip over even in strong winds. The material is also permeable and evaporates water, which effectively prevents the formation of waterlogging.
Would you like to plant hardy plants on your balcony? Winter flowers such as spring roses, pansies and winter jasmine are eye-catchers on the balcony. With their cheerful, bright colors they drive away sadness and give the balcony box a splash of color. Whether in cheerful ensembles with other hardy partners or as solitary plants in a flower pot: the winter bloomers set colorful accents outside. So that the combination not only looks beautiful, but also survives the winter without any frost protection, you should plant specific plants with similar requirements in terms of soil, location and water next to each other in the flower box. Fortunately, most hardy flowers have a lot in common: They thrive best in shady and shady locations, do not tolerate waterlogging well and therefore need permeable soil, can withstand frost without any problems and are windproof.