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Cold-hardy container gardens decorate the out-of-doors

Ornamental sweet potato flowers in cool weather
Becca Badgett Images

Declining summer blossoms need not end the years' gardening pleasure. Extend your gardening season with cold hardy containers to decorate your porch, patio or indoor rooms.

Outdoor Containers Using Sedum

Late blooming variegated sedum combined with other succulents and herbs provides interesting height and texture and may be combined with colorful pansies or mums tucked into corners.

Stonecrop sedum and other member of the Crassulaceae family are drought tolerant and cold hardy to 5 degrees. Low maintenance Spurium 'Fuldaglut' and Spathulifolium 'Purpureum' are excellent cold hardy choices that happily overwinter outside. 'Hens and chicks' are perhaps the most well-known of these spreading succulents.

Include Traditional Fall Blooms

Traditional fall blossoms such as the pansy, viola and chrysanthemum add showy color to autumn pots. Sweet potato vines may be incorporated into containers with fall and winter blooms and may be easily removed when damaged by frost.

Winter Blooms Outside

The elegant Heleborus orientalis and numerous relatives provide evergreen foliage and beautiful long-lasting blossoms in the dark days of winter. Spring flowering bulbs that need the winter's chill, such as crocus or daffodils, may be included in the container for late winter serendipity.

Ornamental kale and flowering cabbage are attractive, cold hardy specimens and can compliment your outdoor container display.

Winter Blooms Inside

Amaryllis will produce a winter blossom when treated to darkness and proper indoor conditions.

Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus also provide exceptionally beautiful winter blooms indoors. These must be placed in darkness for 12 hours per day for six to eight weeks prior to bloom time if buds are not present.. Then bring them into a well-lighted area, fertilize and water for a few more days to begin the blooming display.

Paper White daffodils are popular for indoor winter flowers and may be purchased in easy to grow kits at your local home improvement center. Other spring flowering bulbs may be forced to put on flowering displays in winter.

Take advantage of these cold hardy display suggestions for both outdoor and indoor color and interest during cooler seasons.