When we think of flowers, we tend to think of vibrant florals surrounded by lush green grass on a hot summer’s day. We don’t often associate them with cold conditions, and in a way, we’re right not to. After all, there are countless species of flowers that bloom and thrive during the warmer months.
However, there are plenty of flowers that bloom in Autumn and Winter too.
Of course, it’s no secret that these months can get pretty cold.
Subsequently, it’s only natural to wonder how long our flowers can actually last in such low temperatures.
So, how long can flowers last in the cold? Flowers can last from a few days to a few weeks in the cold. The range in time largely depends on the species of flower, how cold it is outside, where they are planted, and even how well cared for the flowers are despite the cold conditions.
The truth is. What impacts a flower(s) longevity in the cold is largely dependent on several factors.
I’ve covered the main ones below.
Then we will look at the type of flowers that tend to last the longest, those that don’t, and tips and suggestions for extending their life even during the coldest of months.
- 1 Factors That Impact How Long Flowers Will Last In The Cold
- 2 Flowers That Typically Last Longer In The Cold
- 3 Flowers That Typically Don’t Last Long When Kept In The Cold
- 4 How To Ensure Your Flowers Last When It Gets Cold
Factors That Impact How Long Flowers Will Last In The Cold
Of course, the key to determining whether or not a flower will be able to endure the cold is to first understand the species of flower at hand.
As I lightly touched on above, some flowers bloom during winter, whereas others bloom during the warmer months.
It’s fair to make the general assumption that the former last longer in cold conditions, whereas the latter prefers warm weather.
Similarly, it’s only logical to assume that the more tropical the flower’s origins are, the less likely it is to fare well in the cold.
Whether the flowers have bulbs is another key contributor.
Bulbs tend to be quite tender. As a result, when they encounter cold or even freezing weather conditions, it’s unlikely that they’ll survive very long.
Such flowers include begonias, dahlias, and more.
On the other side of the spectrum are flowers that are all-around resilient.
Flowers such as peonies and baptisias are completely capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, both cold and warm alike!
Second, how cold are we talking?
Whilst some flowers can bear a bout or two of strong winds, it doesn’t mean they’ll last very long at all in freezing temperatures.
Many flowers do survive Autumn, and quite easily so, but the general pattern is that as soon as the first frost hits, they begin to struggle.
Essentially, the harsh conditions shock the flowers, causing them to die within just a few hours.
Nonetheless, not all flowers are doomed.
There are several varieties out there that are renowned for their ability to thrive in the face of adverse weather conditions.
Violas, pansies, and even hyacinths are just a few of them!
Finally, how long a flower lasts in the cold goes beyond just the flower type and the temperature.
There are multiple other elements that they’re exposed to, which either help them to survive or do the complete opposite.
Whether or not there is substantial rainfall during the winter is one of these factors.
Provided the soil is well-drained, rain, as long as it isn’t too extreme, is usually beneficial to a flower’s lifespan.
After all, plants need water in order to survive. On the whole, dry winters are much more detrimental to plants.
Similarly, the amount of sunlight a flower gets heavily dictates how long it will last in cold temperatures.
Again, it’s important to remember that every flower is different.
Whilst some prefer full sun, others prefer shade, even if it’s only partial. Essentially, some form of light is a must.
However, different plants have different optimal exposure levels.
For instance, whilst violas thrive with just four hours of exposure to sunlight, forsythias prefer a minimum of six hours.
Flowers That Typically Last Longer In The Cold
As you may have ascertained by their very name, snowdrops do a pretty good job of enduring the frigid temperatures that winter throws at them.
They typically bloom in the crux of winter each year during the months of January and February.
They’re extremely hardy and can be relied on to flower come rain, wind, or even snow.
In fact, they have a reputation for springing through the ground, even if it’s covered in frost or layers of snow.
Plus, their perennial status means that they’re hardwired to do the same again every year!
As long as their soil is well drained and they’re planted in an area that gets some shade, you can leave your snowdrops to their own devices and trust that they’ll grow on schedule.
If crocuses aren’t in the cold for long enough, they simply won’t bloom.
They need the cold to grow and thrive. The reason is they originate in cold climates, such as the Alps.
Their need for the cold is in their very DNA.
Once they have eventually bloomed, the flowers can be expected to last for just shy of a month, whatever the weather!
They are the perfect example of deceptive looks, i.e., they may appear to be delicate, but really, they’re as resilient as they come!
Nevertheless, just as they require cold weather to bloom, they need full sun too.
In an ideal world, they would get over six hours of exposure to the full sun a day which is admittedly rather tricky given the short winter days.
Flowers That Typically Don’t Last Long When Kept In The Cold
Marigolds are an extremely popular flower amongst gardeners.
Not only do they have a unique aesthetic, from their serrated leaves to their perfectly proportioned golden flowerheads, but they also bloom profusely too.
However, they’re very much summer flowers.
Whilst you may encounter some marigolds that bloom during early Autumn, they’re unlikely to survive very long once the first frost of winter arrives.
Given that they originate in Mexico and Guatemala, their temperature preferences are hardly surprising.
To thrive, marigolds need warm weather, full sun, and drained soil.
Whilst it’s possible that they’ll be able to survive cold temperatures, they’ll be putting all their energy into merely surviving, as opposed to thriving.
Naturally, in such an environment, they’ll be in bloom for much less time than their usual three weeks.
Another flower with a name that speaks volumes of its characteristics!
Sunflowers are exactly that – flowers of the sun!
These yellow delights fill our gardens with cheer, but their presence is very much seasonal.
Their summertime blooms!
Unsurprisingly, they thrive in the warmth and can even withstand extreme heat, including droughts.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of their durability when cold, let alone freezing temperatures, are involved.
This is especially true of younger, less mature sunflowers, which are substantially less sturdy overall.
How To Ensure Your Flowers Last When It Gets Cold
Your flowers need you to care for them even in the best of temperatures.
So you can guarantee that they need an extra helping hand during the colder months when temperatures go from mild to extreme.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to protect your flowers and ultimately enable them to live the longest lives that they’re capable of.
I’ve outlined the most pertinent measures below for ease.
Whether it’s well-balanced, slow-release, or flower-specific, fertilizer might be just what your flowers need when the days are shorter and colder.
Fertilizer is essentially plant food. It provides your flowers with nothing but nutritious fuel, which is especially welcome during the winter when they naturally get less sunlight.
The extra dosage of nutrients will help to ensure that your flowers are as strong and healthy as can be despite the elements.
Many plants and flowers are dormant during wintertime.
Hence, it’s a great time to protect them from the harsh conditions to come by applying a generous layer of mulch on top of them.
The mulching process effectively insulates them, keeping both their temperature and the temperature of the soil steady and tolerable.
This is a good approach for most plants and especially benefits those on the tender and delicate side.
Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
Winter is a great time for planting and transplanting.
Some gardeners chose to move their plants in preparation for harsh winter weather. They may move them to warmer areas of the garden, heated greenhouses, or choose to move them indoors.
If this is the right path for you, be sure to treat your flowers with the utmost care during their transportation.
The last thing you want to do is damage their root systems or bulbs and cause irreparable damage in the process.
Finally, with the right research, you’ll come to learn just exactly what your flowers need.
Flowers are truly unique, with their own needs and preferences.
Whether it’s full or partial sunlight or shade, extra pruning, or a specific fertilizer, it’s definitely worth investing a little time into learning what you’re working with and taking action accordingly.
Other guides you may want to check out:
- How Long Can Flowers Last In The Fridge?
- How Long Can Flowers Last In A Vase?
- How Long Can Flowers Go Without Water
- How Long Can Flowers Last In A Car? On Average?
Hey there – I’m Jesse, a professional florist, and gardening enthusiast. I created MyGardenFlowers to share all that I can about the flowers that I have planted and managed to grow in my garden.