Are you looking to add some color and life to your garden this winter in Southern California?
Look no further than these six winter flowers that thrive in Zone 10b.
Starting from seed is not only cost-effective, but also allows for experimentation with unique varieties.
- The cool season in Southern California lasts from October/November to April/May, and the temperature does not go below 30 degrees F.
- Growing from seed saves money and allows for trading with garden friends, and the author provides dependable and quality seed sources on their website. Readers can also join the author’s organic gardening community and receive free resources and newsletters.
1. Calendula (calendula officinalis)
If you’re looking for a winter flower that not only adds color to your garden but also has edible and healing properties, then you should definitely consider growing Calendula.
This flower, also known as pot marigold, is a favorite of the author for its versatility and beauty.
There are many benefits to growing calendula, including its use in cooking and as a natural remedy for skin irritations and wounds.
There are several varieties of calendula to try, including the Resina variety, which is recommended for its healing properties.
The best planting times for calendula are in the fall, before the first frost, or in the spring.
During the winter season, it’s important to care for calendula by providing it with adequate sunlight and water.
This winter flower is easy to grow from seed and will self-sow, making it a great addition to any garden.
2. Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana)
Although commonly known for their colorful blooms, pansies also have the added benefit of being edible and frost-tolerant, making them a versatile addition to any garden.
These hardy plants come in a variety of colors, from deep purples to bright yellows, and can be grown in both garden beds and containers.
When planting pansies, make sure to choose a well-draining soil and a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Pansies thrive in cool temperatures, making them a great option for the winter season in Southern California.
In addition to their decorative qualities, pansies are also a popular choice for edible uses.
The petals of the flower can be used to add a pop of color to salads or as a garnish on soups and desserts.
Pansies also make great companion plants for vegetables, as they attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.
When growing pansies in containers, make sure to keep them well-watered and fertilized with a balanced fertilizer.
With their bright colors and versatility, pansies are a great choice for any gardener looking to add some color to their winter garden.
3. Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
You’ll love how snapdragons add a spire-like shape to your garden and make excellent cut flowers with their long stems and vibrant colors.
These cool season flowers are best planted in the fall, just before the first frost.
To grow snapdragons successfully, here are some growing techniques and tips you can follow:
- Choose from a range of color varieties including pink, yellow, orange, red, and white to add a pop of color to your garden.
- Companion planting snapdragons with other cool season flowers like pansies, stock, and calendula can help attract beneficial insects and deter pests.
- To ensure longer vase life for your cut flower arrangements, cut the flowers when they’re just starting to open and place them in cold water immediately. Change the water every few days to keep them fresh.
Pest management for snapdragons can include regular monitoring for pests like aphids and spider mites.
You can wash them off with a strong stream of water or use insecticidal soap if necessary.
With these tips, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance snapdragons bring to your garden.
4. Stock (Matthiola Incana)
Get ready to add a powerful, sweet smell to your garden with the stock plant.
This cool season flower is easy to grow and self-sows with the right techniques.
Stock plants are known for their fragrant blooms that come in shades of pink, purple, white, and red.
They have a spire-like shape that adds height and texture to your garden.
Growing tips for stock include purchasing the spray variety to prevent aphids and other pests.
Let the plant self-sow by allowing a few flowers to go to seed.
Companion planting with vegetables like cabbage can also help attract beneficial insects to your garden.
With these tips, you can enjoy the beauty and scent of stock flowers throughout the cool season.
5. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
Add some color and flavor to your garden by planting nasturtiums. They’re a dual-purpose edible flower that also acts as a trap crop for cabbage caterpillars.
Here are some growing tips to make the most out of your nasturtiums:
- Nasturtiums prefer well-drained soil and full sun exposure.
- They can be directly sown into the ground in early spring or started indoors in late winter.
- The flowers are edible, with a slightly peppery flavor that adds a unique kick to salads.
- Nasturtiums are also great companion plants for vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes. They attract beneficial insects and deter pests.
In addition to being a beautiful and useful addition to your garden, nasturtiums have many creative uses.
The bright orange and yellow flowers can be used as a natural dye, while the leaves and flowers can be made into a spicy vinegar.
So why not add some nasturtiums to your garden this winter and enjoy their beauty and benefits?
6. African Daisy
Looking for a colorful and low-maintenance addition to your Southern California garden? Check out the African Daisy.
These lovely flowers come in a variety of colors, from bright yellow and orange to softer pinks and purples.
They are perfect for adding a pop of color to your garden during the cooler months, and they’re very easy to care for.
When growing African Daisies, make sure to give them plenty of sun and well-draining soil. They’re drought-tolerant and can even be grown in containers.
Companion planting with herbs like rosemary and thyme can help deter pests.
The flowers can also be used for medicinal purposes. Just be sure to deadhead regularly to encourage new blooms.
With their bright colors, low maintenance, and medicinal properties, African Daisies are a great addition to any Southern California garden.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you care for African daisies during the cool season in Southern California?
To care for African daisies during the cool season in Southern California, ensure they receive full sun and well-drained soil.
Water deeply but infrequently to prevent root rot.
Regularly deadhead spent blooms to promote new growth. Consider intermixing with chamomile to deter pests. Edible flower options include adding petals to salads or garnishing drinks.
Can you grow chamomile alongside these winter flowers, and if so, what are some tips for doing so successfully?
To grow chamomile alongside winter flowers, choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. Water regularly and avoid over-fertilizing.
Harvest flowers when fully open and dry in a cool, dark place. Chamomile also benefits from interplanting with herbs and attractant flowers.
What are some common pests or diseases that affect these winter flowers, and how can they be prevented or treated?
Preventative measures for common winter flower pests include regular inspection, removing infected plants, and using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Disease treatment involves pruning infected areas and using fungicides. Winter flower maintenance involves deadheading and proper watering.
Design tip: intermix flowers and vegetables for a beneficial garden.