Summer bedding plants add a bold variety of colour and texture to any garden. With Summer right around the corner, there’s no better time to update your hanging baskets, window boxes and planters. Not only are they easy to grow, annual bedding plants give the freedom to change and refresh planting containers every year to a new aesthetic. They also fill gaps in the garden between plants that aren’t in bloom yet, keeping your garden looking fuller and more attractive for longer.
Bedding plants are ‘tender’ meaning they are not frost hardy, therefore it is best to place them outside after the risk of frost has passed. This will be towards the end of May. If you have a greenhouse, you can use it to store your planted containers until it is time to transition them to outdoors for the sunny seasons. This will help the plants become more established in their containers. When moving the plants outside, choose a more mild day as it will not cause as much shock to the plants as the temperature of their environment changes.
Dead heading is not only beneficial for maintaining plants appearance but also to help them continue to flower throughout the Summer. You can dead head your flowers simply by nipping the dead or wilted heads with finger and thumb. This will also increase the longevity by encouraging the plant to put more energy into new growth.
For the most part, the weather will take care of your plants for you, however it is important to water your bedding plants during the dry spells to keep the soil from drying out completely. Bedding plants in containers and hanging baskets are most at risk of drying out, so check the soil regularly.
Plantila’s Top 5
Native to South Africa, these bedding plants come in a gorgeous range of vibrant colours that will be sure to brighten up and add a subtle scent to any garden. These plants prefer 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, so it is best to place them in a sunny area to get the most out of them. When choosing your Geraniums look out for healthy leaves with no discolouration. Stems should be sturdy, not flimsy. This upright bedding plant can reach up to 36 inches tall, these plants can add height and depth to your hanging baskets and planters. Geraniums do not like to sit in soggy compacted soil, so using a well-draining potting mixture is ideal.
Native to Mexico these blooms usually come in red, orange or yellow shades making them complement each other well in hanging baskets and planters. They often have two colours within their flower. Their layered petals make them an interesting and very aesthetically pleasing plant. Marigolds have an unusual strong fragrance which repels some insects meaning they are less likely to be eaten by pests. Although Marigolds are an annual plant, their seeds can be collected when the flowers have started to dry up, meaning you can replant the seeds.
Native to Eastern Africa these dainty flowers come in shades of red, pink and white. The bright colours attract birds to your garden and they thrive in shaded areas away from wind, meaning they are the perfect choice to fill up that dull part of your garden. Busy Lizzies need watered regularly as if they are left to dry out they lose their leaves.
Native to South America Petunias are one of the most popular bedding plants, and with good reason. They come in a wide range of colours including single or double blooms with smooth or ruffled petals therefore there is a great variety to choose from. Petunias come in two types, upright and trailing. Upright is ideal for planters or anywhere in the garden you want to add height to as they can reach over 12 inches tall. And trailing adds a beautiful elegant and full appearance to hanging baskets where they can trail up to 3 feet. These plants flower all throughout Summer until the first severe frost in Autumn.
These large flowered hybrid plants were cultivated as a garden flower in the 1800s and are members of the voila family. The flowers themselves have an interesting shape and they come in a range of colours, the plants often have more than one colour in their flower, giving them a striking appearance which is perfect for hanging baskets and even borders to give your garden a head turning burst of colour. These plants are nearly effortless to care for making them an almost full proof option to incorporate into your summer bedding.
What is your favourite summer bedding plant? Drop us a comment below to let us know :)
Blog written by Ruth, Plantila Plant Parent