How To Keep Color In Your Landscape Through The Winter

winter flowers gainesville fl

Although Florida doesn’t see the same winter as other states, that doesn’t mean your landscapes won’t start looking a little bit…drab. Trees start shedding their leaves, your grass starts to go dormant, and a blanket of brown makes your yard dull and lifeless! This can’t be a good look, especially with the holidays coming up.  But don’t worry, we’ve got some 

Let’s dive in!

Prep Your Garden For The Winter

First, be thankful we Floridians don’t have to be concerned about waking up in the morning to our car windows completely iced over or having to shovel a foot of snow from our sidewalks.

However, the average lows in the winter are generally around the mid to high 50s, with average highs in the mid-upper 70s. You might be comfortable in those temperatures, but some of your plants may not. Sometimes, temperatures might even dip as low as 30-40 degrees.

We suggest adding a coarse mulch that reduces water requirements and keeps the roots warm by acting as insulation. It also helps kill any weeds and prevents them from growing. You might want to consider a possible landscape refresh (which Sun Power Lawn Care provides).

In addition, if you know it’s going to get too cold, you can also take caution by using various types of cloth to cover more sensitive plants. Other materials, such as burlap or even old bedsheets would work as an alternative form of plant cover.

If you live closer to the coast than Gainesville, you’ll equally need to be mindful of the salt that might come from the ocean or the higher winds that blow through your garden.

Another thing to keep in mind is the location of the sun. During the summer, the sun is directly shining down from overhead. But in the winter, the sun will be sitting a bit south, which means sunlight could be less direct due to taller trees, buildings, etc.

Keeping these things in mind will help you choose colorful plants that will do well throughout the winter! But what kind of plants are the best for the winter in Florida?

Plant Cool-Weather Annuals That Love Winter winter violas

Before we talk about what plants to use, let’s first answer an important question: “What are annuals exactly?”

Annual plants go through their entire life cycle from seed to flower and then seed again within one growing season. The plant itself dies annually and leaves behind only the dormant seeds.

Cool-weather, or cool-season, annuals are not tolerant of heat, rainfall, and humidity. They are usually planted around fall and die out approaching summer (end of May/June).

You can start planting cool-weather annuals around November that can last all winter like violas, geraniums, and snapdragons. These can add a splash of brightness to your walkways/entryways when the winter hits and keeps them looking colorful throughout the winter.

Be mindful that there’s such a thing as too much. Using too many varieties of colors can be distracting, so pick a couple of them that stand out and have the biggest impact on your landscape.

Keep It Holiday Friendly

With the holidays around the corner, you might be thinking about prepping your yard for the holidays. One of the best ways to do that is by choosing new holiday plants to add some color back to your landscape.

Here are some that we recommend:


poinsettias gainesville fl

This one is probably the most popular and recognizable holiday plant. But be careful; overwatering is the biggest reason poinsettias don’t survive.


This one is another that is well-liked and recognizable. Holly is present in almost every holiday movie and song in popular culture today. There are a couple of reasons why we suggest this plant. One, it does very well outdoors as it is very wind-resistant. Two, Cahoon, American, and yaupon hollies are native to Florida. So not only are they local options, but they also make a great holiday accent plant!

Candy Cane Sorrel

These stunning plants are shaped like a trumpet with red and white stripes; just like a candy cane! Another cool thing about candy cane sorrels is that they close their petals at night, and then look even more like the striped candy we all love. 

Keep in mind, however, that this plant needs to be brought indoors if the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Buy From Local Garden Centers Or Plant Nurseries

It’s easy to just head over to the nearest grocery store, big-box retail store, or other national chains to pick out your plants and then go home. You need to think about whether or not it will grow in the location you want, how fast it grows, how much light and water it needs, and if it will even grow in our North Florida climate.

While these convenient grocery/big-box stores might have this information, typically they are all generic and broad-reaching. Most of the time, the plant offerings and staff knowledge will not be specific to where you live.

This is why we highly suggest you buy your plants from a reputable local garden center that only grows/sells plants as their business.

A lot of times, plants that are from big-box retail and other stores can be stressed from being moved too much, being a host to bugs, or not being grown properly.

A good garden center can give you the plant’s history like where it was grown, have a bigger and better selection of landscape plants specifically for Florida, help you find plants that fit your situation (like colors), and potentially even offer delivery in addition to planting services!

Adding color the right way this winter

Choose quality from the beginning so you won’t have to suffer down the road. Your plants will be healthier and not prematurely expire, which means your landscape can maintain its color throughout the winter. And as always if you need any assistance keeping color in your landscape through the winter, we’re here to help. Contact our sales team to learn more about our maintenance packages!

Here are some great resources to help your lawn look its best:

Leaves – What To Do With Them

Preparing Your Yard For The Holidays

Hurricane Season: How A Professional Lawn Service Can Help.