Skip to content

What’s in Bloom? January at RBG

December 28, 2023

What Blooms in January?

Note: this is a general guide of what typically blooms this month at RBG. Bloom periods may vary by up to 2 weeks. For the best view of what’s blooming right now at RBG, see the current photos on RBG’s Instagram, or find the “Bloom Watch” section on the What’s in Bloom page.

Indoor spaces and winter-interest plants make the gardens an escape to nature all year long! Following a visit to the latest Winter Exhibit, continue through RBG Centre to explore the Mediterranean Garden, the seasonal breezeway display, the Orchid Case, and the Cacti and Succulent Collection.

  • Close up of a yedda-hawthorn plant blooming small, dainty flowers with yellow and a hint of blush at the centre.
  • Horticultural Collections - Bird Of Paradise Bloom
  • blossoming jade plant
  • golden lantana flower with the large bird of paradise tree in the background
  • Cluster of bright yellow flowers hidden behind the leaf stems.

Pictured, left to right: Yeddo-hawthorn, Bird of Paradise, Jade, Lantana, European Fan Palm

Enjoy a winter walk through Hendrie Park or the Rock Garden! Get some “winter interest” garden inspiration, and appreciate conifer displays, berry-producing shrubs, and the many textures of deciduous tree bark.

At the Arboretum, witch-hazels are one of the last shrubs to flower in the year (Hamamelis virginiana, October to December) and also its cultivars are the first shrubs to flower in the year (Hamamelis ×intermedia, January to April). Along the Homestead Trail, located at the north-west end of the Arboretum, you’ll find the ‘Pinetum’ collection to explore this winter. Along with pines, spruce, and firs the Pinetum explores the diversity of conifer genera around the world and features 140 unique types represented by over 200 individuals.

Plant life slumbers but the nature sanctuaries are still full of life and interest. Long views of the Cootes Paradise landscape and the amazing glacial water carved rolling hills and ravines are available from the George North, Bulls Point, and Pine Point Lookouts on the north shore of Cootes Paradise, and the Sassafras Point lookout on the south shore.

Laking Garden is closed for the season. We eagerly await its spring reopening!

  • Witch Hazel In Bloom
  • limber pine branch covered in snow
  • white fluffy spent seed heads of a japanese anemone plant
  • Norway spruce tree with many cones

Pictured, left to right: Witch-hazel, Rose hip, Limber pine, Japanese anemone, Norway spruce

January Favourites

white citrus bloom with glossy red leaves

Mediterranean Garden

Two landscaped levels showcase cultivars of native and exotic Mediterranean plants. This indoor garden blooms through the winter, creating an ideal escape from the cold.

soft pink hellebore

Breezeway Display

Our talented gardeners change the space with a variety of themes each year, culminating in a holiday season show of poinsettia and winter greens.

This year’s display features a botanical moose made out of Pilea glauca (the head), Callisia repens (the centre bodice), and Ficus pumila (the rump).

Looking over Cootes Paradise marsh from the north shore in winter, with some water covered by ice and snow

Winter Hiking

Explore RBG’s Nature Sanctuaries with 27km of hiking trails through Hamilton and Burlington!

Plants of Interest in January at RBG

  • Witch Hazel (Rock Garden, Arboretum, Hendrie Park)
  • Jade (Mediterranean Garden)
  • Citrus Collection (Mediterranean Garden)
  • Summer Snowflake (Mediterranean Garden)
  • Yeddo-hawthorn (Mediterranean Garden)
  • European Fan Palm (Mediterranean Garden)
  • Aloe (Mediterranean Garden)

Blooms by Season

Plants of interest are ever-changing in RBG’s five cultivated garden areas and nature sanctuaries. Learn what’s blooming now or see the blooms calendar for a rough estimation of what to expect each season.