Despite winter being perceived as a cold and drab time of the year, many plants produce an abundance of bloom during this period. Cooler temperatures and short-day lengths ensure perfect growing conditions for many plants. This is particularly relevant to those that originate from more temperate climates. Many annuals perform at their best during this cooler period lending a mass of bloom to gardens both large and small. This creates a stark contrast against the dry brown grass that abounds in many parts during winter.

However, parts of the province with milder climates often have winter gardens that are ablaze with colour, almost akin to spring. This is a list of winter flowering plants for KwaZulu-Natal gardens.

Annuals and perennials (low growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual

Aloe hybrid ‘Twice as Nice’ (clump forming aloe) (E) (I) – Note: many aloe hybrids flower in winter
Aloe chabaudii (grey aloe) (E) (I) – Note: most aloe species flower in winter
Argyranthemum frutescens Hybrids (marguerite daisy) (E)
Bellis perennis (English daisy) (E) (A)
Bergenia cordifolia (pig’s ears) (E)
Brachycome iberidifolia Hybrids (Swan river daisy) (E)
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) (E) (A)
Calibrachoa x hybrida (miniature petunia) (E)
Cheiranthus x hybrida (wallflower) (E) (A)
Cheiranthus maritimus (Virginian stocks) (E) (A)
Chrysanthemum multicaule (yellow buttons) (E) (A)
Cotyledon orbiculata (pig’s ears) (E) (I)
Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation) (E)
Diascia integerrima Hybrids (twinspur) (E) (I)
Dimorphotheca sinuata (Namaqualand or African daisy) (E) (I) (A)
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Livingstone daisy or bokbaaivygie) (E) (I) (A)
Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose) (E)
Hyacinthus orientalis (Dutch hyacinth) (D) (B)
Iberis sempervirens (perennial candytuft) (E)
Iris x hollandica (Dutch iris) (D) (B)
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Hybrids (flaming Katy) (E) (I)
Kalanchoe pumila (kalanchoe) (E)
Kalanchoe thyrsiflora (paddle plant) (E) (I)
Kleinia fulgens (coral senecio) (E) (I)
Kniphofia uvaria (red hot poker) (E) (I)
Lavandula stoechas (French lavender) (E)
Leucojum aestivum (snowflake) (D) (B)
Linararia x hybrida (toadflax) (E) (A)
Lobelia erinus (lobelia) (E) (A)
Lobularia maritima Hybrids (sweet alyssum) (E) (A)
Matthiola incana (stocks) (E) (A)
Muscari armeniacum (grape hyacinth) (D) (B)
Narcissus x hybrida (daffodil) (D) (B)
Nemesia fruticans Hybrids (wild snapdragon) (E) (I)
Osteospermum ecklonis Hybrids (African daisy) (E) (I)
Pelargonium peltatum Hybrids (trailing geranium) (E) (I)
Pelargonium zonale Hybrids (bush geranium) (E) (I)
Petunia x hybrid (petunia) (E) (A)
Primula acualis (primrose) (E)
Primula malacoides (fairy primrose) (E) (A)
Rehmannia elata (perennial foxglove) (ED)
Senecio cruentus (florist cineraria) (E)
Verbena x hybrida (verbena) (E) (A)
Viola tricolor hybrids (heart’s ease) (E) (A)
Viola x wittrockiana hybrids (pansy) (E) (A)

Shrubs and climbers (medium to tall growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual

Aloe arborescens (krantz aloe) (E) (I) – Note: many aloes flower in winter
Aloe ferox (bitter aloe) (E) (I)
Buddleja auriculata (eared sagewood) (E) (I)
Camellia japonica Hybrids(japonica) (E)
Correa alba (white correa) (E)
Crassula ovata (jade plant) (E) (I)
Dombeya burgessiae (pink wild pear) (D) (I)
Euphorbia pulcherrima Hybrids (poinsettia) (D)
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) (E) (C)
Leptospermum scoparium Hybrids (tea bush) (E)
Leucadendron Hybrids (cone bush) (E) (I) – Note: many different cone bushes flower in winter
Leucospermum Hybrids (pincushion) (E) (I) – Note: many different pincushions start flowering in winter
Leucosidea sericea (oldwood) (E) (I)
Magnolia deVos and Kosar Hybrids (D)
Magnolia stellata (star magnolia) (D)
Mahonia lomariifolia (Chinese holly) (E)
Pyrostegia venusta (golden shower) (D) (C)
Reinwardtia trigyna (yellow flax) (E)
Serruria florida (blushing bride) (E) (I)

Trees (tall growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual

Aloidendron (Aloe) barberae (tree aloe) (E) (I)
Dombeya rotundifolia (wild pear) (D) (I)
Erythrina caffra (coastal coral tree) (D) (I)
Erythrina lysistemon (common coral tree) (D) (I)
Halleria lucida (tree fuchsia) (E) (I)
Magnolia x soulangeana (tulip magnolia) (D)
Nuxia floribunda (forest elder) (E) (I)
Stenocarpus sinuatus (catherine wheel) (E)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual


Whilst every care and caution has been taken in compiling these lists in terms of correctness and accuracy, Blackwood’s, nor any of their employees can be held liable or responsible if any of the recommendations are found to be incorrect in any way whatsoever. They are merely a guide to help gardeners and staff in finding solutions to gardening problems. All plants listed may not be available for sale at times. They do however all grow in the greater KwaZulu-Natal area and are to be found growing successfully in local gardens.