Winter Weather Cold Hardy flowers Sweet William, pansies, sweet peas,
calendula, hollyhocks (a biennial) petunias. And more on list below.

California has five climate zones, according to the USDA Plant Hardiness
Zone Map, and though zones 5 to 10 are represented in the state, the
most populous areas, along the coast, are zones 8 to 9. Many winter
annuals, which provide a splash of color during the coldest time of
year, do well in all parts of the state. These plants should be put into
the ground in mid to late fall to get the best winter color. Start them as
cuttings now. Friends will contribute cuttings.

African Daisy

African daisies (Dimorphotheca) are popular in many climates as winter
color. These plants are hardy in cool weather and perform particularly
well in California's mild winter areas (lower elevations) and can grow
to 18 inches. African daisies, which are available mostly in purples and
yellows, will close in shade, during overcast times and at night.
Dimorphotheca pluvialis is available in apricot, purple, salmon, white
and yellow. The popular Glistening White variety is white on top with
violet or purple on the underside of the leaves while the Dimorphotheca
sinuata variety is yellow-orange on the top of the petals. These plants
perform best in full sun with moderate water and may be planted in the
fall.

Chrysanthemum  - TAKE CUTTINGS NOW

Marigold - SO SUNNY but they work in WINTER! WHO KNEW?

Marigolds (Calendula officinalis) are among the most common of annuals
and in California are used in the spring, but also may be planted in the
fall to provide a burst of color through the mild winter. Marigolds may
be transplanted or started from seed in mid-fall for a winter bloom. The
most well-known marigolds have bright orange or yellow blooms, but these
plants are also available in cream and softer yellows. Some varieties
may grow to 24 inches, but most are much shorter. Often used in mass
plantings in public spots like parking lots or medians, marigolds should
be deadheaded when blooms are spent. This will promote additional
flowering. Marigolds prefer full sun and moderate water.

CALENDULA, a  true FROST BUSTER AT THIS SITE:

http://cdn.buzznet.com/assets/users16/nickleonard/default/blue-purple-pansy--large-msg-123553453011.jpg

In winter, hardy annuals can be put to great use. Plant seeds of shirley poppies, larkspur, pansies and violas, baby's breath, cornflowers, sweet peas, and other hardy annuals directly in the sunny garden in November and December, after the weather cools. Thin the seedlings if they are too crowded. They'll grow through the shifts of cool and warm weather of the South's winter. A few months later, fabulously colorful blooms will be delightful.
Google 'cold tolerant' annuals, cold hardy, and don't forget biennials.

Pansies (Viola wittrockiana) are technically perennials, but like their
cousins, the viola, they are usually planted as annuals. In California,
these plants do well in the late winter to early spring and also late
fall through the winter. Often used as mass color in borders or as
edging, pansies are available in rainbow of colors, including blues,
purples, yellows and reds, and some bi-color varieties are also
available. Pansies, which may grow to nine inches, may be transplanted
or started from seed in mid-fall for winter blooms. These plants prefer
full sun and regular water.


Pansies like a special germination riff. START the SEED in a flat, in a semi shade
area of garden, a cool area, and under dark plastic, like trash bag, one sheet,
cut to size of flat, keep damp as it can dry out as it's hot now. Look
under plastic to see when it 'starts up. I sow seeds in flats with SUPER SOIL (only brand
that works, ) setting them on tables in dappled sunshine, meaning part shade.
not total shade. FLATS are useful things to get. If not, cherry boxes,
apple boxes, wine boxes, anything of wood. Drainage holes are necessary. Can be very
small.

<==BACK TO THE GARDENING INDEX PAGE