Given how chilly temperatures are in the wintertime, you may be wondering what flowers to plant in December. There are more options available to you than you think, both ones that bloom in springtime as well as options that remain beautiful throughout the potentially frigid month of December. But what flowers bloom best during this time of year?
Depending on your region, there are a number of ornamental blooms that work well when planted in the month of December. Finding established pansies, primroses, and hellebores plants will give your December garden some beauty. Additionally, planting sweet peas and delphinium will make for a gorgeous springtime bloom. Finally, ornamental kale isn’t exactly a flower, but it brings a charming and hardy look to any cold garden!
In this article, we will give you six of the best flowers to plant during the month of December, as well as the regions or temperatures that they prefer. Given the potentially freezing conditions found during this month of the year, make sure that you plant with care using this guide! Let’s get started.
The Best Flowers to Plant in December
Whether you want to plant seeds that are ready to bloom in the springtime or are seeking some added color for a dark and gray winter, here are some of the best flowers to plant during the month of December.
Classified as Lathyrus odoratus, sweet peas are trellis flowers with a slow germination period. They are incredibly fragrant and fun to plant, given their large seeds that the kiddos can easily help you sow. However, they need a long time to germinate with plenty of fertilizer and compost, so take your time with this one, and don’t beat yourself up if you get the timing wrong! Planting in December is recommended for Hardiness Zones 8 and below, as these hardy little guys need cold soil to sprout properly.
While they bloom in summertime, planting delphiniums in December is a good idea if you want these tall beauties to be ready by then. Depending on your region, delphiniums can be planted as established plants or from seed during the wintertime, as they are fairly frost tolerant. They grow best in Hardiness Zones 3 through 7, as hot temperatures are where they are more likely to suffer. Keep in mind that delphiniums also grow fairly tall and may need staking or support as they age, so be sure to give this to them before they get damaged.
Considered a viola cultivar, pansies thrive in cool temperatures. Much like delphiniums, pansies can’t handle the heat, and there are no heat-tolerant pansies despite plenty of attempts. However, this makes them perfect for planting in a December garden. You can find established pansies at your local garden center, and be sure to plant in an area with partial sunshine. These little beauties are frost-tolerant in single-digit temperatures, and they thrive in Zones 3 through 8. If you remove all dead or dying blooms as the plant ages, more blooms will take their place, giving you flowers all spring long!
While it isn’t exactly a flower, ornamental kale is a great choice for the December garden, given its beauty and overall tolerance to cold weather. Like other kale varieties, ornamental kale needs cold temperatures in order to thrive. This particular kale type is still edible but too rigid for typical consumption, making it beautiful in a garden bed setting surrounded by blooms. You can grow ornamental kale in Hardiness Zones 2 through 11, typically surviving all winter long.
With hundreds of different cultivars to choose from, primroses are ideally planted in December. Depending on your region, you can choose to plant them from seed or as established plants. All primroses need cold temperatures to thrive, with some cultivars surviving as low as Hardiness Zone 2. Plus, these adorable blooms need very little care once planted, and you don’t need to protect them from the chill of winter!
With one particular variety known as the Christmas rose, hellebores are another fantastic flower to plant and enjoy in December. You can find some hellebore varieties that are capable of growing in Zones 4 through 7, the wind is the primary enemy of this particular plant. It may need some protection from sudden frost or wind chill, but the beauty and long-lasting blooms found on this particular plant make it worth the extra care.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Christina Vartanova
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