Canadian County OSU Extension Service

Winter Color

As a gardener, this time of year is a little melancholy.  After enjoying the last six months of gardening, it will be nice to take a well deserved rest, but at the same time it is a little sad to see your colorful garden fading before your eyes. Before you go into garden hibernation, there is one thing you can do to ensure your garden will have a longer color display.


Winter annuals are a great way to rejuvenate the color in your garden one last time before winter. Pansies are an old favorite, because of their ability to provide color throughout winter, even after a snowfall.   


To encourage more flowers, it is important to deadhead the plants. Deadheading a plants means to remove the old flowers so they do not produce seed. This process allows the plant to put energy into making new flower rather than developing a seed.


Although, even with deadheading, flower production may slow when we are deep into our Oklahoma winters, but soon pansies will again bloom strong in the early spring. 


The pansy flowers come in a rainbow of colors and sizes.  However, if you are looking for a smaller flower, a relative of the pansy is the viola, which also comes in a range of colors. 


In addition to these flowers, you can also add some color to your garden by planting winter hardy ornamental kale.  Ornamental kale has white, red and green foliage and the texture varies depending on the variety.


Another important thing to remember is how you feel in February, when you are itching to get outside again, tired of the dull, dreary winter and anxious to see the first bit of green pushing its way out of the ground.  Remembering how you feel then will encourage you to get outside now and plant your spring bulbs. 


Tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths are just some of the bulbs that can be planted at this time.  These bulbs require a chilling phase in order to initiate blooming.  Therefore, planting them now will allow them to get rooted and be chilled by the winter temperature, so they are ready to give you a wake up call from your garden hibernation in early spring. 


Until next time - STOP, LOOK, and ENJOY!

~ Casey

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