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5 of My Favorite Winter Blooming Shrubs

Winter is always sad for gardeners, especially in areas where ice and snow abound. I used to long for spring with its bounty of flowers until I found these winter-blooming shrubs to bring brightness to the gloomy winter landscape. There are many winter-blooming shrubs, but these are my five favorites. I hope you will like them too.

Paper Bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) is hardy to USDA zone 7 to 10. Its very fragrant yellow blossoms appear in winter and early spring. Paper bush likes rich, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. This is a large shrub, growing up to six feet tall with an equal width.

Silk-tassel Bush (Garrya elliptica) has showy tassels of gray-green flowers that appear from early- to mid-winter and last through early spring. This evergreen shrub reaches eight feet in height and width, and some species can grow up to 30 feet tall. Happiest in full sun to partial shade, it's not picky about soil type and only needs an average amount of water. Native to California, it is only hardy in USDA zone 8.

Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) is one of the most popular of the late winter blooming shrubs, with its fragrant yellow to orange clusters of flowers. Hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 8, this 8 foot tall and wide shrub is drought resistant and not fussy about its growing conditions.

Christmas Cassia
(Cassia bicapsularis) is one of my Florida favorites. It blooms in late fall to early winter, usually around Christmas in Florida. It is hardy to USDA zones 7 to 10, and as a larval plant for sulfur butterflies, is a favorite of lovers of these bright yellow winged beauties. Cassias prefer sandy soil and regular watering until they become established. They tend to get top heavy and fall over, so using a strong stake to hold them when they are young is a good practice.

Pussy Willow
(Salix discolor) is hardy from USDA zones 2 to 7. In late winter, it bursts forth with furry silver-white blooms on bare stems. It loves swampy areas, so is wonderful for low-lying places in your yard. Happy in any type soil, it is used extensively for flower arrangements. After the other flowers in the arrangement fade, don't throw it out because it's branches root easily in water.

Visit a local garden center near you and ask about winter blooming shrubs. It may not be too late in your area to plant one, and if it is, be sure to get one in the spring for next winter.

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