Our favourite February plants

Crocus and daffodils naturalised in grass

The first signs of new growth, bring with them an array of exciting blooms to bring colour to your garden, from tiny gems to spectacular shrubs. Here, we share our favourites. There’s something for every space, whether you want a pot to brighten a patio or a statement shrub to bring years of pleasure. Our choices include recommendations from the Gardeners’ World team and familiar faces from across the gardening industry.

Find more February inspiration:


Loropetalum

Loropetalum is sometimes called the Chinese fringe flower and has showy evergreen foliage

Chosen by Nick Bailey, Gardeners’ World presenter

For fabulously cheery burgundy winter foliage, splashed with pink and white on varieties like ‘Jazz Hands’, you can’t beat this 1.5m tall shrub. It’s a great container specimen and has the bonus of eye-catching deep pink witch hazel-like blooms in the depths of winter.


Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’

Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ will grow in sun or partial shade, and is perfect for a pot

Chosen by Sue Kent, Gardeners’ World presenter

I’ve always wanted a Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ and finally I bought one last year and put it in a pot by the front door. Its beautiful, highly scented pink flowers excite the senses ready for spring


Rhododendron dauricum

Rhododendron dauricum ‘Midwinter’ is covered in 4cm purple flowers from December to February

Chosen by Errol Reuben Fernandes, The Great Garden Revolution presenter

I love the deciduous rhododendrons, for me, they offer much more dynamic change through the season, are easier to combine with other plants and are often more tolerant of alkaline soils, such as mine in London, than the evergreens. The foliage of this medium sized shrub is small and aromatic when brushed against and in mid-winter it is covered in small purple flowers borne on silver branches. When frosted, the shrub appears to be sprinkled with candied violets.


Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum

Tree philodendrons hail from South America and can grow to 2m tall and wide even as a house plant

Chosen by Gynelle Leon, Prick Ltd founder

The tree philodendron adds so much tropical drama to a room. I enjoy running my hands over the large, glossy foliage every time I walk past, which grounds me and provides a quick connection with nature.


Crocus tommasinianus

Crocuses grow best in gritty soil in full sun, and look lovely in pots, borders or lawns

Chosen by Emma Crawforth, horticultural editor

Crocus tommasinianus forms huge mauve carpets that look spectacular and attract early pollinators like bumblebees. All crocuses are such welcome signs of spring, but this reliable, early-flowering variety is the best for naturalising in lawns.


Forsythia

Forsythias are hardy deciduous shrubs flowering February-April, they grow in sun or partial shade

Chosen by Catherine Mansley, digital editor

Forsythia gets a bad press – gardeners dismiss it as municipal and boring because it is ubiquitous. But the reason for its ubiquity is that it’s reliable and easy to grow. Its vibrant (yes, maybe slightly garish) yellow flowers are like tiny rays of sun on cold, gloomy days.


Phlomis russeliana

Phlomis russeliana, or Turkish sage, bears whorls of yellow flowers up its 90cm tall stems

Chosen by Oliver Parsons, horticultural sub-editor

This is a classic summer plant but I love it for its weird seedheads in winter. They have a fantastic silhouette in low, winter light, and are held in a way that I can only liken as follows: perfectly spaced mushrooms on a kebab stick. I did say they were weird!


Snowdrops

Snowdrops, or Galanthus, grow best in partial shade, and can be planted in spring or autumn

Chosen by Miranda Janatka, senior content creator

There are so many wonderful snowdrops to enjoy, but you are likely to spot Galanthus ‘Nivalis’ popping up in gardens and woodlands, or even rural roadsides. The plants either self-seed or are planted around by those who really adore them. The delicate flowers have pretty green markings and are best viewed from the ground up.


Hazel

Hazel chosen by Lily Middleton

Chosen by Lily Middleton, content creator

Hazel has to be my February pick, mainly due to it’s wonderful catkins which I’ve only recently started to admire. These long, yellow, flower clusters are lovely sight before our gardens burst into the spring.

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