A guide to bedding plants

A guide to bedding plants

Is your garden craving a bit of colour? Bedding plants could be just what your garden needs to splash some colour. With so many varieties to choose from though, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Thankfully, plant supports experts Suttons has everything you need to know so that you can make the most of your bedding plants and ensure your garden has the wow factor during bloom…

Picking out your bedding plants 

Bedding plants are available as seedlings, plugs and those found in pots and trays.

Purchasing your plants in pots or trays is generally the most common method. Keep in mind though that due to these plants being grown together in the same compost, there is a risk that the roots will be damaged when you attempt to separate them into individual pots.

Out of the two remaining options, take note that growing bedding plants from plugs is the quicker and easier solution of the two. Plug plants are also usually larger than seedlings, grown in trays which contain an abundance of v-shaped cells.

When buying seedlings, you will be treated to between 100 and 400 seeds sown in trays which are filled with compost. Just be aware that you will need to pot the baby plants into little pots, or space them out into separate seed trays upon delivery so that they are granted plenty of space to grow.

Impatiens Plants - F1 Lollipop Bubblegum Mix

How to display your bedding plants 

To give your garden that wow factor, you’ll have to take some time to look into how best to display your bedding plants around your garden. Here’s a checklist so that your outdoor space becomes a scene that everyone will want to take the time to marvel at:

  1. Choose a strong colour theme that has a simple design. A selection of warm oranges, reds and yellows is one option for achieving this, while a mixture of cool blues, purples and whites is another. 
  2. Structure your bedding by height. Taller flowers like cosmos, nicotiana and sunflowers should sit towards the back of a bed or border, while short plants like annual phlox, marigolds and petunias should take the front row to ensure they are seen. 
  3. Height can be added to a garden bedding scheme with the inclusion of some climbing bedding plants. Therefore, it is wise to purchase some sweet peas, ipomoea lobate and morning glory plants and then support their stems using either obelisks, trellis or a teepee or bamboo canes. 
  4. If you have many flowers in your bedding scheme, break them up with some foliage bedding plants. Coleus, Senecio cineraria ‘Silver Dust’, Ricinus communis ‘Castor Oil’ and nigella all make for great solutions here, as do edible foliage plants like kale or Swiss chard which include the added benefit of creating a multi-purpose garden bed too. 
Cineraria maritima Seeds - Silver Dust


Once you’ve planted your bedding plants, your work doesn’t end there. Aftercare is very important to ensure the most spectacular of displays. If you slack, your beautiful garden won’t be beautiful for long.

The majority of plants need to be kept hydrated regularly. Bedding plants are no exception. Bedding plants that have only recently been planted will need to be watered on a regular basis. However, once they are established, you will only need to water them when your garden is subjected to periods of prolonged dry weather. A general rule of thumb is to water plants daily in the summer weather, though opt to make this procedure a twice-daily occurrence for any plants in containers and hanging baskets.

Onward nutrition needs to be considered. Some plants require additional nutrition, whereas plants which are grown in the ground will not require any extra feeding — the same goes for winter bedding plants. Meanwhile, summer bedding plants which have been placed in containers should have enough nutrients to keep them healthy for six weeks of growth. Following this period, feed them on a weekly basis using a balanced liquid fertiliser; adding the liquid feed into your watering should do the trick.

Keep on top of your garden’s bedding by removing any dead flowers and again, water when required. This also helps to encourage new blooms from the other plants.


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