Cold Climate Plants & Shrubs


Shrubs and other plants used for landscaping in some of the coldest climates in North America must display hardiness to the winter weather in order to survive. In addition to cold-hardy shrubs, trees, perennials, grasses and needled evergreens fit this description.


  • Among the types of trees appropriate for growing in cold climates are American arborvitae, Colorado spruce, Norway spruce, red cedar, paper birch and quaking aspen. Shrubs with the ability to grow where weather gets cold include ninebark, lead plant, alpine currant and coralberry. Bitter switchgrass, rush and common bearberry are other cold-climate-worthy plants.


  • Ninebark is representative of many shrubs capable of serving as landscaping plants in cold climates. Cutting ninebark to the ground when winter comes will not kill it; it rejuvenates when spring returns to the region, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden.


  • Growing in cold climates does not preclude native plants from producing flowers attractive enough to enhance a landscape. Shrubs such as ninebark and arrowwood viburnum flower profusely, while perennials including blue-eyed grass and the glossy-leaved aster yield colorful blooms. Ornamental berries are another by-product of flowering species such as bearberry, ninebark and lily of the valley.

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