Winter flowers in the southeastern US have traditionally been pansies but in the past few years some exciting new-comers have entered the market. "Proven Winners" has come out with a series called 'Fall Magic' that has some true winners in it. I have been experimenting with these in my own yard for a few years and have a few favorites of my own. My top 4 from this series are Goldilocks, Lavender Cotton, Purple Petticoats and Ogon Grass. Each of these adds a little something different to you containers and/or garden.
A growing new trend is the use of winter snapdragons. These plants usually grow to about 2 feet and bloom in the late fall (Oct-Nov). Snapdragons come in all shades of pink, yellow, white, lavender, and red. Once the flowers die the plant will stay green through the worst of our winter months and began to bloom again in the early spring (late Feb-March). My favorite variety is 'Liberty' which seems to stand up to rust better than some other varieties.
Another choice is the Ornamental Cabbage or Ornamental Kale. These plants come in pink, white and red. While they grow to the same height and width as the edible variety, these are decorative only! The cooler the weather, the more vibrant their colors will become. Cabbage and kale plants not only have a great foliage to add texture but they, like the snapdragon and lavender cotton, will bloom in the spring.