November Blooms: Top Flowers to Plant This Autumn

Thinking it’s too late in the year to get your hands dirty in the garden? Think again! November may come with its chilly winds and shorter days, but it’s actually the perfect time to plant a variety of flowers that’ll ensure your garden is bursting with life come spring.

You might be surprised to find that there’s a whole palette of flowers just waiting to be sown during these cooler months. From the vibrant pansies to the hardy sweet William, your winter garden needn’t be dreary.

Best Flowers to Plant in November

In November, your garden’s landscape transforms into a canvas awaiting a splash of colour. It’s crucial to select flowers that not only survive but thrive in the brisk autumnal climate.

Pansies are a standout choice for their hardiness and the vivid splashes of colour they bring to gardens. These resilient blooms can withstand a frost, making them perfect for November planting. With a myriad of hues ranging from deep purples to warm yellows, pansies can brighten up any dreary winter day.

Then there’s the charming Sweet William. These flowers are known for their spicy-sweet fragrance and a beautiful array of pink, white, and red blooms. They’re biennials, so planting them now means you’ll have gorgeous clusters ready to herald in the spring.

For something a bit different, consider Winter Jasmine. Its bright yellow flowers are not only a rare find this time of year but also a cheering sight on the coldest days. Plus, winter jasmine is an excellent plant for covering trellises and walls, providing both decoration and structure to your winter garden.

Snowdrops and winter aconites also make for splendid November planting. Both produce lovely little flowers that can peek through the snow if it comes early, signaling the oncoming spring.

Flower Type Colour Variants Bloom Period
Pansies Purple, Yellow, Red, White, Orange Autumn to Spring
Sweet William Pink, Red, White Late Spring to Summer
Winter Jasmine Yellow Winter
Snowdrops White Late Winter to Early Spring
Winter Aconites Yellow Late Winter to Early Spring

While these flowers are quite robust, do remember to protect them from severe weather. A layer of mulch or a fleece can provide excellent insulation on nights when the frost bites a little harder. With the right care, these blooms will not just survive the winter; they’ll be the first heralds of spring in your garden.

1. Pansies

If you’re eyeing a splash of colour in your garden during the cooler months, pansies are an excellent choice to plant in November. They’re renowned for their bold and vibrant hues which range from deep purples to bright yellows, and their charming patterns often resemble a friendly face.

Pansies are pretty tough as flowers go. They boast a remarkable hardiness that allows them to withstand the UK’s chilly winters quite well. Given their vigor, they provide a long-lasting display that can brave frost and, on occasion, snow. They’re not just hardy; they’re versatile too. You can plant them in beds, containers or hanging baskets, which makes them a perfect fit for any size garden.

Taking care of pansies doesn’t require much fuss. Just make sure they’re planted in well-drained soil and are receiving decent sunlight. Surprisingly, these little beauties prefer cooler weather, so the main thing you need to watch out for is not overheating. To get the best from them, deadhead the spent flowers to encourage new growth.

When planning your garden layout, consider the mature size of your pansies. They usually grow up to about 9 inches tall and spread around 12 inches. These dimensions should guide you in determining spacing so each plant has enough room to flourish without competition.

To kickstart their growth, you can feed pansies with a general-purpose liquid fertiliser when they start to bud. It’ll give them the extra boost they need to produce those delightful full blooms that can perk up any dull winter day.

Remember, although pansies can handle the cold, they appreciate a bit of protection when weather warnings signal exceptionally harsh conditions. A layer of organic mulch or a cover of garden fleece can make all the difference. With just a little prep work, you’ll enjoy their cheery blossoms throughout the winter and into spring.

2. Sweet William

Next to the hardy pansies, Sweet William is another excellent choice for your November planting. Not only does it inject a range of pinks, reds, and white into your garden, but it also boasts a delightful spicy scent that’ll lift your spirits even on the coldest winter day.

Sweet William thrives in the UK climate, with a preference for sun to partial shade. When you’re planting these vibrant flowers, aim for areas of your garden that receive good morning light. This helps maintain their vivacious colours and contributes to overall plant health.

Well-drained soil is essential for Sweet William to prevent root rot. If you’ve got particularly heavy soil, consider raising your beds or adding grit to improve drainage. Regular watering keeps them plump and happy, but be cautious not to leave their feet wet for too long.

When it comes to maintenance, Sweet William is fairly undemanding. Cutting back the flowers after they bloom not only keeps the bed tidy but also encourages a second flush of flowers. Yes, you could have another round of blooms before the season ends!

To ensure robust growth, feed your Sweet Williams with a balanced fertiliser in early spring. If you’re planting in November, they’re likely to have established themselves for a nutritional boost as temperatures rise.

For those who love to bring the outdoors inside, Sweet William makes excellent cut flowers. They last a significant time in a vase and their fragrance can transform any room, bringing a hint of your garden’s charm indoors. Remember when you snip stems for the vase, it’s akin to deadheading and will promote more blooms in the garden.

With sturdy stems that stand up to the UK’s inclement weather, Sweet William’s eye-catching beauty extends well into the following year when planted in November, ensuring your garden remains a riot of colour throughout the seasons.

3. Primroses

When considering adding a touch of early spring to your autumn garden, primroses are a must-have. They’re not just charming; they’re also robust and can handle the unpredictable UK weather. You’ll find them in a spectacular array of colours, ranging from deep purples to gentle pastels. They’re sure to brighten the dullest of days as they flourish in the cool, moist conditions of November.

To get the best out of your primroses, choose a partly shaded spot in your garden. They’re woodland plants at heart, so they appreciate a bit of shelter from the harsh afternoon sun. Well-drained soil is crucial, though – you don’t want your primroses sitting in waterlogged ground. Incorporating some organic matter into the soil can improve drainage and provide vital nutrients for your plants.

Here’s what’ll help your primroses thrive:

  • Part shade, particularly dappled light
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Regular deadheading to encourage more blooms
  • A little fertiliser in the spring to kickstart growth

Planting primroses in groups creates an enchanting natural effect, similar to how you might stumble upon them in the wild. If you’re after a more formal look, they work brilliantly in borders or as part of a structured flowerbed. Remember, primroses aren’t just for ground coverage; they make excellent container plants too. With some basic care, they’ll return year after year, each time with an even more spectacular show.

For lasting impact, consider interplanting primroses with other November favourites. They pair well with the bold colours of pansies or the spicy scent of sweet William. The contrast can be quite striking, and you’ll find your garden becomes a tapestry of colour and texture that persists even through the chillier months.

As you watch the primroses nodding gently in the cool breeze, you’ll be reminded of why your November planting efforts are so rewarding. Their resilience and the joy they bring to an otherwise barren garden are escapism at its finest. So get those gloves on, and add a splash of primrose to your autumn palette.

4. Winter Aconites

As you meander through your garden, craving a splash of colour during the chilly November days, don’t overlook the charming winter aconite. Eranthis hyemalis, as it’s botanically known, is one of those treasures that’ll surprise you with their hardy nature and vibrant yellow blossoms peeking through the frost.

These perennials are a doddle to grow. You’ll want to get your hands on some tubers and plant them in well-drained soil with a bit of organic matter to give them a kick-start. Winter aconites prefer a spot that gets a generous helping of the winter sun but will also tolerate part shade. Here’s a tip: soak the tubers overnight to ease them back to life before planting; you’ll find they’ll spring up much more readily.

Not only do winter aconites bring cheer to your garden, but they’re also one of the first sources of nectar for bees in the year. Planting them beneath deciduous trees or shrubs can create an enchanting woodland feel, and once settled, they’ll happily self-seed and naturalise, popping up year after year.

You may not have given much thought to the particular layout for these golden beauts, but there’s no harm in a bit of planning. Try pairing them with snowdrops for a contrasting display—white against yellow—a classic. Or imagine them naturalising in your lawn, creating a whimsical, fairy-tale-esque landscape.

Maintenance is a breeze. Once they’ve flowered, let the foliage die back naturally, as this is when they gather strength for the next season. Minimal fuss for maximum impact, that’s what you get with winter aconites. And if you’re after a more refined look, pop them into pots and scatter them where they’ll catch the eye—perhaps near the entrance to greet visitors with their sunny disposition.

Keep your eyes peeled as you wander around garden centres or when ordering online. You’ll want to secure your aconites early to ensure they’re nestled in their beds before the first frost. So, roll up your sleeves, grab that trowel, and prepare to be one of the many gardeners who’ve been won over by the undeniable charm of winter aconites.

5. Cyclamen

As you explore the vivid tapestry of November planting, don’t overlook the charm of Cyclamen. These hardy gems thrive in cooler temperatures, making them perfect for the late autumn chill. With their swept-back petals and variegated foliage, Cyclamen offer a unique beauty that belies their robust nature.

Eager for a pop of colour in your garden as the year winds down? Here’s what you need to know about these autumnal beauties. Cyclamen prefer well-drained soil and a spot with filtered light, such as under a canopy of deciduous trees. They’re particularly fond of being nestled into rockeries or used to underplant taller perennials and shrubs. The dappled shade not only replicates their native Mediterranean habitat but also ensures the summer sun won’t scorch their delicate petals.

Planting Cyclamen couldn’t be more straightforward. You’ll want to place the tubers in the ground with the top just beneath the surface. Water them moderately; Cyclamen are not fans of soggy feet and can succumb to rot if overwatered. Once established, they require very little upkeep.

Perhaps one of the most delightful aspects of Cyclamen is the range of colours they come in—from pure white to deep magenta. They can even be found sporting bicolour blooms, making them a versatile choice to complement any garden palette. When other flowers might shy away from the cold, these stalwarts continue to flourish.

With their low-growing habit, Cyclamen are excellent at filling gaps in borders or weaving through a rock garden, where their foliage adds texture even when they’re not in bloom. It’s worth mentioning that while outdoor varieties are robust, the indoor Cyclamen, often seen gracing windowsills and conservatories, are more tender and need protection from the frost.

Remember, consistency is key. Keep a regular but light watering schedule, and ensure they’re shielded from the harshest of winter’s elements, and you’ll see them return year after year with minimal fuss. So why not add some Cyclamen to your November planting list? They might just become the unsung heroes of your winter garden display.


So you’ve got a good idea of what to plant this November. Remember, Cyclamen are your go-to for adding a touch of elegance to your autumn garden. They’re not just hardy; they’re pretty low maintenance too. Just find them a cosy spot with some dappled light and they’ll reward you with their striking blooms. Keep them watered without going overboard and they’ll be the gift that keeps on giving, year after year. Now’s the perfect time to get your hands dirty and bring some life to those chilly November days. Happy planting!