Winter Seasonal Stars

Dana Nichols

Tender perennials turn brown after the first hard freeze that often coincides with Thanksgiving season. The plants that remain green are now appreciated in a new way. Cactus, liriope, rosemary, yaupon and other plants stand out as the “stars” of the winter season because other plants won’t return until warmer weather does.

For full enjoyment, plant seasonal stars several months ahead of their peak blooming time.

Possumhaw Holly Ilex decidua partial width 5-7 ft height up to 30 ft

poss_hollyPossumhaw Holly is a good accent plant during the winter, but won’t be noticed much other months. When it gets cold it drops its leaves which better showcases its profusion of red berries. Birds enjoy the berries as a food source. It can be grown under other trees, but will produce more berries with more sunlight.

 

Big Blue Liriope Liriope muscari partial   full width 12 in height 12-18 in

liriopeThere are many rosemary varieties that thrive in San Antonio. Upright rosemary is so tough and evergreen that it is sometimes used as a small foundation shrub. Trailing rosemary cascades beautifully down retaining walls and rocky slopes. It is rare to have challenges with pests or disease, so long as rosemary is given sunlight and good drainage.

 

Trailing Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis partial width 2-3 ft height 2-3 in

rosemaryThere are many rosemary varieties that thrive in San Antonio. Upright rosemary is so tough and evergreen that it is sometimes used as a small foundation shrub. Trailing rosemary cascades beautifully down retaining walls and rocky slopes. It is rare to have challenges with pests or disease, so long as rosemary is given sunlight and good drainage.

 

“Pride of Houston” Yaupon Holly Sophora secundiflora partial   full width 5-10 ft height 15-20 in

ph_yauponThere are so many great holly plants to choose from for every space of your landscape. Pride of Houston is special for its shiny evergreen leaves and bright red berries (on the female plants) during the winter. It can be grown into a tall hedge along fences or as an understory plant.

 

Powis Castle Artemisia Artemisia x “Powis Castle” partial   full width 1-2 ft height 12 in

powisArtemesia stays evergreen during most winters in San Antonio. The Powis Castle variety has delicate foliage that provides texture and color contrast to other plants. The sweet smell makes it a nice addition to cut flowers brought into the house. Plant only in areas with good drainage to prevent rot during wet winter months.

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