Plants for colour in every month

Vibrant red and yellow dahlia 'Julie One'

In every month of the year there are plants that stand out more than most.

Some of the most useful of these seasonal stars are those that flower in the winter months, providing much needed cheer.

If you’re after individual plants that look good all year round, check out these stunning trees for year-round interest, or these plants that look good all year round.

Discover 12 of the best plants to bring you colour in every month.

Snowdrops are often the first plant to bloom in the year, pushing through the frozen soil and opening to reveal pretty, nodding flowers.


January – Snowdrops

Snowdrops are often the first plant to bloom in the year, pushing through the frozen soil and opening to reveal pretty, nodding flowers. Check out 12 snowdrops to try growing.

A clump of snowdrops

February – Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata and other irises like Iris histrioides and Iris unguicularis are plants for early colour. You can grow them in pots filled with a gritty compost mix, or grow them in ground that doesn’t get too wet.

A clump of blue blooming iris

March – Primula vulgaris

The arrival of spring heralds the primrose, and lots of other flowers that form a colourful carpet in deciduous woodlands, like violets and wood anemones. In the garden, you can use plants like dogwoods, hamamelis and philadelphus to create your ‘canopy’.

Pale-yellow primrose flowers

April – Small spring flowers

By mid-spring, the increased warmth and light available encourages spring flowers like auriculas, violas and grape hyacinths into bloom. Check out this beautiful spring bulb tray to create, which combines lots of spring flowers.

Potted auriculas and violas

May – Tulips

Tulips are a spring essential, adding an extravagant touch to the plot, whether you go for striking tulip combinations of different varieties or stick with one colour to suit the style of your garden. Parrot tulips are especially flamboyant – discover some of the best parrot and fringed tulips to grow.

Tulips and forget-me-nots

June – Roses

There are hundreds of rose varieties, with different colours, flower shapes and growth habits to suit your needs. Find out more about the different types of roses to grow and gather inspiration with these rose planting combinations.

Pink-purple blooms of rose ‘Charles de Mills’

July – Sweet peas

For many, the fragrance of sweet peas in the garden is unrivalled, especially on a warm, still evening when the scent can linger in the air. The best sweet peas for cutting are those with long, straight stems and a strong fragrance.

Pink and white blooms of sweet pea ‘Painted Lady’

August – Dahlias

Dahlias usually make their first appearance in July, but it’s in August when they really take off, combining just as well with each other as they do with other flowers, such as cosmos, phlox and sunflowers. Find full advice on growing them in our dahlia grow guide.

Vibrant red and yellow dahlia ‘Julie One’

September – Echinceas

Few flowers can match the prairie charm of echinaceas. Bolster the effect by growing them alongside plants like agastache, vulcan grass and molinias. Discover 12 of the best echinaceas to grow.

Pink echinacea blooms amongst grasses

October – Nerines

Most nerines flowers are shades of red and pink, so they combine beautifully with warm-toned autumn leaves. Plant the bulbs in a sunny spot in well-drained soil to get the best display from them. Find out how to lift and divide nerines.

Coral-pink nerines

November – Fothergilla major

There are so many plants in November providing gorgeous autumn foliage, but Fothergilla major is one of the best. Its fabulously scented spring and summer blooms make it even better. Try growing a range of deciduous trees and shrubs to provide an array of colour. Check out these shrubs that are looking good in November.

Golden foliage of mountain witch alder

December – Dogwood

Dogwoods, in particular Cornus alba, Cornus sanguinea, Cornus sericea and their cultivars have fantastically coloured winter stems. The key to getting the best colour is to prune out the oldest stems in late-winter or early spring. Discover how to prune your dogwoods for winter colour.

Brilliant orange-red dogwood
A border of bright-pink and salmon-pink flowers

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