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February is the shortest month of the year which is great news as it brings us closer to the first day of spring! There are a surprising number of plants looking good and flowering at this time of year, many of them scented, to encourage us to go outside and take our minds off those grey skies. So, here are my top plants for February.

1. Daphne mezereum (February daphne)

Daphne are hardy shrubs renowned for their scent, and this no exception. Also known as February daphne due to their early flowering, this makes them a great choice to be planted close to the house.

The pretty flowers are strong and sweetly scented, with purple/pink colouring.

  • Flowers in winter-spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 1.5m tall and 1m wide
  • Moist but well-drained, well drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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2. Garrya elliptica (silk-tassel bush)

Next, is an easy to grow shrub that’s happy in sun or shade, making it ideal for a north or east facing wall or corner. At this time of the year, mature specimens are covered in highly decorative, long drooping catkins that look like silk tassels.

  • Evergreen foliage for year-round interest
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 4m tall and 4m wide
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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3. Edgeworthia chrysantha (paperbush)

For an interesting looking, unusual shrub, look no further. Like a lot of winter flowering plants, they produce the bright yellow flowers before the leaves to give both winter scent and colour. What’s more is they look great in beds, borders, or containers – as long as pollinators have access!

  • Flowers winter to spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1.5m tall and 1.5m wide
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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4. Camellia japonica (camellia) ‘Nuccio’s Gem’ 

This easy to grow, upright, compact camellia is covered in white double flowers. The shiny, evergreen leaves guarantee interest all year round. The gorgeous flowers are the start of the show and can grow up to 10cm in diameter.

  • Flowers late winter
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 4m tall and 4m wide
  • Moist but well-drained, well-drained soil (acidic/neutral)
  • Full shade or partial sun
  • Sheltered
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5. Hamamelis x intermedia (witch hazel) ‘Orange Beauty’

These very hardy slow growing shrubs have great autumn leaf colour, ranging from yellow to deepest orange. As well, they have exquisite small flowers in shades of orange to red in February/March. It’s ideal to mulch the soil around their roots every autumn, and they’ll pretty much look after themselves.

  • Flowers in winter
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 4m tall and 4cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained (acidic/neutral)
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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6. Crocus tommasinianus (crocus) ‘Whitewell Purple’

Planting crocus will give a glorious splash of colour lower down on the ground because they only grow up to 10cm tall. This pretty cultivar has mauve coloured petals above silver lined leaves, which provide much needed food for pollinating insects.

  • Flowers late winter/early spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 10cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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7. Eranthis hyemalis (winter aconite)

Next is another pick that’s early flowering, easy to establish and multiply, and virtually maintenance free. Winter aconite are ideal for planting in informal grassy areas or under deciduous trees and shrubs. The cup-shaped bright yellow flowers will brighten any area on a cold, grey day and are perfect for attracting pollinating insects to the garden.

  • Flowers in winter and spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 10cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained, well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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8. Iris unguicularis (Algerian iris)

These vigorous plants produce a late-winter show of richly fragrant, purple flowers, so they are ideal winter perennials for February. Planted in full sun, they’ll do well whatever your soil type.

  • Flowers in late winter/early spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 50ccm tall
  • Well-drained
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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9. Ophiopogon planiscapus (lily turf) ’Nigrescens’

Although these clump-forming evergreen plants look like a type of grass they are actually part of the lily family, hence their common name, lily turf.  The wonderful dark, strap-shaped leaves will turn even darker when grown in full sun.

They contrast beautifully with snowdrops in late winter and produce small spikes of mauve, bell shaped flowers in the summer. Plus, they’re really easy to grow and maintain.

  • Evergreen foliage for year-round interest
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 20cm tall and 30cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed
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10. Erysimum (perennial wallflower) ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

It’s possible to keep this amazing perennial in flower 12 months of the year if you remove the dead flowers regularly. Although it’s short lived, it’s easy to take and grow on cuttings to replace. This undemanding evergreen plant produces masses of mauve flowers above grey, green leaves and will grow even in the poorest of soils too.

  • Flowers from winter
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall and 1m wide
  • Well-drained
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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So, now you have my top ten plants for February. All that’s left to do is pick which plants to bring into your garden this month to bring a boost of colour.

Spring is on its way, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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