When you think of flowers and plants, you also probably think about spring and summer. In Texas, however, winter can be a great growing season, too! When it comes to choosing favorite plants for winter, Fort Worth’s mild winters provide plenty to choose from. At Gordon Boswell Flowers, our top-five favorites include the following.
Pansies love cool, not-too-hot and not-too-cold weather, which makes them the perfect choice for our winters. Pansies are the flowers that have face-like markings on their petals, which bloom in a whole rainbow of colors, shades, and combinations. With delicate petals and pretty green stems, they’ll beautiful planted in a garden or in individual pots.
For winter blooms, pansy seeds should be planted in late summer or early fall. They like well-draining soil and full or partial sun in a cool location.
2. Norfolk Island Pine
Norfolk Island pine trees are so much fun for winter! These little evergreen pine trees feature soft, almost fern-like needles and boughs. They’re perfect for adorning your own home or for giving as gifts. Potted, these beauties can be adorned with strands of pretty beads or small, sparkling ornaments.
It’s important to create the right environment in your home for the Norfolk pine so it can thrive. In spite of its name, these trees aren’t actually true pines, which means their care is a little different from what you would expect. If you treat yours the way you’d treat an orchid or gardenia, you’ll have better luck. Keep them at temperatures above 35-degrees F and provide them with bright sunlight (direct or indirect). They also need humidity. If your home’s dry, mist your plant or plug in a humidifier nearby.
3. Ornamental Cabbage or Flowering Kale
These plants are perfect for a fall or winter garden — inside or out! Grown from hybrid seeds, created for beauty, rather than taste, these plants aren’t intended for eating. With endless folds of leaves in deep shades of green, sage, purple, cream, rose, and pink, they look absolutely stunning on their own or paired with other plants and flowers.
4. Christmas Cactus
Christmas cactus is another of our seasonal favorites. These beauties bloom with tubular flowers in alluring shades of red, pink, orange, and purple. Christmas cactuses bloom when the length of days becomes short enough, which happens to be right around Christmastime. There are two similar varieties of this plant, the Thanksgiving and Easter cactuses, which bloom close to their respective holidays.
The Christmas cactus is actually native to humid forests of Brazil, where they grow similar to orchids, on the bark of trees. As a result, the plant can’t tolerate drought very well. To care for your Christmas cactus, be sure to water it regularly in a pot that drains easily, and place it in a location that receives plenty of sunlight. In Fort Worth, these plants do well indoors, but can actually survive in the outside elements, too!
Another perk of the Christmas cactus is that it’s one of the few plants not poisonous to cats, dogs, or people. Ingesting any part of a Christmas cactus will likely cause a stomach ache, but no further damage.
We absolutely love potted cyclamen plants for the holiday season, as they make delightful gifts. Their petals are swept back in a fashion that makes them resemble shooting stars, and their dark green petals feature delicate, silvery patterns.
To keep cyclamen healthy and blooming throughout the winter months, it’s important to place it in a spot that will receive abundant sunlight. It’s also important not to over water. Let the soil dry between watering, but not to the point the plant begins to wilt. If the pot feels light, it’s probably time for a drink. Once finished blooming, cyclamens enter a dormant cycle for the year and might look dead. While dormant, keep the plant in a cool, dry location, and resume watering in fall.
Plants to Grow in Fort Worth’s Hardiness Zone 8
Plants that love long days, a hot climate, and mild winters love Fort Worth’s planting zone 8. There are too many flowering plants, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts that will thrive in our climate to name! Some of our favorites, including the Christmas cactus, pansies, and succulents, can survive and thrive in your outdoor garden.
For more information about cultivating flowering and non-flowering plants in Fort Worth and the best plants to enjoy in the winter, we welcome you to stop by Gordon Boswell Flowers for personalized advice and recommendations.