Although October brings a definite chill in the air to many parts of the country, it doesn’t mean that gardening season is over. In fact, a number of perennials and annuals actually bloom during the coldest months of the year – sometimes when there’s still snow on the ground. A little planning now in your garden will allow you to enjoy a few bright spots of color when it’s needed most during a gloomy winter.

Here are just a few of the flower varieties that will be able to survive through October in your zone 5 garden:


With the right level of care and maintenance, these flowers can grow to an incredible eight feet tall in some areas. Although they prefer well-draining soil and full sun to grow, they are known to thrive in zone 5 gardens as well. Their height makes them an excellent plant to have at the back of your garden area.


These flowers are known for being able to withstand colder nights and even light frost in many cases. They will also bloom continuously until such time as a hard freeze arrives, providing excellent value for money. Snapping off the seed heads once they’ve bloomed and dried and saving them will allow you to plant again when spring arrives.


It’s recommended that these flowers be planted during fall if you would like to enjoy an early spring show of them in your garden. They usually look best when planted along the front of border areas or in rock gardens, and are known to even start blooming when there’s still snow on the ground.


Also known as Lenten roses, these perennials tend to make their appearance during mid to late winter, depending on the species chosen. Although these flowers may look and feel delicate, they’re in fact one of the tougher plants around that should thrive in your zone 5 gardens during cold snaps.


These gorgeous blooms are known for making their appearance when virtually everything else in your garden is starting to fade away for the winter. They are available in shades of lavender, blue, purple and pink, so they will provide a beautiful pop of color to your garden.


Also called coral bells, this perennial is extremely cold-tolerant. It’s available in several different shades and colors and the frilly leaves will provide a lovely show of color in your garden long after any other annuals may have already faded for the winter.

Choosing the right flowers for your Chicagoland garden will help ensure that they not only survive the colder winter months; you will be rewarded with a beautiful show of color at a time when most other plants have gone into hibernation as well. If you would like to find out more about the various flowers and plants that will thrive in your garden during a cold winter, get in touch with our landscaping team today.