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Enjoy More Than Just Winter Hardy Annuals This Season


Heuchera: Photo by A. Kohler

Enjoy More Than Just Winter Hardy Annuals This Season

By, Kevin Cutlip

Fall Containers… Let’s chat about Perennial Plantings for a moment.  For the most part, the past colorings for Winter have been limited to Winter Hardy Annuals. Sure, they last the cold seasons and bloom with some weekly dead heading, but what about those great Perennial Plants?  Perennial plants continue through the season providing, for the most part, “Maintenance Free” container gardening.

First, let’s get into sun requirements. As I write this post here in central VA, we continue to lose daylight.  We have about 5 hours less and the sun angle is greatly lowered, but the next few plants will do great through the Winter in the limited sun. Just remember though, they will need afternoon shade in the Summer, and can be easily moved in a container to the right place then. Add in annuals as the seasons require.

Here are a few great plants I recommend using in your containers this winter:

Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia: Nice densely clumping, variegated color in any container.

Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia: Photo by The Outdoor Garden

Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia: Photo by The Outdoor Garden

Evergreen: A pure delight as it goes through it’s seasonal growth coloring. Add in a “Blackbird” Euphorbia, and go beyond the color range into WOW!

Heuchera: Again, wow! There are so many to choose from. Those leaves are a sure show stopper in any container. “Mix and Match a Million” shades of color with them and you won’t be displeased. Strange’s varieties surpass any market, and the best part is, they are a constant nursery item!

Ferns: We have a special treat this year! What can I say except BOLD! This year we flooded our shade tables with the “Radiance Fern”. It was definitely a sidewalk stopper in our displays! They have wonderful Fall to Spring color change and are a very hardy, evergreen fern here in Virginia. Again, adding these with Blackbird Euphorbia or Heuchera is a contrasting statement in, BOLD! Because the foliage is so contrasting in these wonderful plants, they really keep the eye moving, focusing, finding, searching for different aspects of the container. The same can be said about having them planted in any bedding area as well!

Radiance Fern: Photo by Monrovia

Radiance Fern: Photo by Monrovia

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