Bedding Plants

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                                                                           WHAT YOU’LL NEED
● Keep bedding plants blooming
                                                                             Fork                      Growmore                  Trays/pots of
  over a long period by picking off
                                                                             Trowel                     (planting in               bedding plants
  any dead blooms to encourage
                                                                             Hoe                        spring/summer)
  new flower buds.

                                                                             Watering can              Organic matter            •For more
● Feed every one or two weeks
                                                                             Slug bait                  (mushroom/               information:
  with a liquid fertiliser.
● Keep the area between the
                                                                             Liquid fertiliser          potting/garden               THE EASY GUIDE TO
                                                                             Bonemeal (when             compost, well-           /advice

  plants free from weeds as they
                                                                               planting in              rotted manure)           www.plant
  will steal nutrients and water
                                                                               autumn/winter)          Chipped bark    

                                                                             H TA
  and may smother the plants.

● Hanging baskets may require

  watering more than once a day,
  especially during hot weather.
● If bedding plants become infect-
  ed with greenfly, spray with an
                                                                           HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION
  insecticide, preferably on a wind-                                       THE HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION IS RUN
  less evening. Ask your garden                                            BY THE GARDEN INDUSTRY FOR THE GARDEN INDUSTRY
  centre or nursery for advice.                                            It is dedicated to providing services, products, advice and information
● Slugs and snails can be con-                                             to help support and promote the business activities of garden
  trolled with one of the many                                             retailers, growers, landscapers, wholesalers,
  remedies available at your local                                         manufacturers and service providers in the UK.
  garden centre or nursery.                                                ● Tel: 0118 930 3132 or visit

TIME-SAVING TIPS:                                                          ● HTA Specialist Groups – British Bedding and Pot Plant

                                                                              R HS
● Spread a 5cm mulch of organic                                            Association (BBPA)
  matter such as compost or                                                ● PlantforLife – visit
  chipped bark between the plants
  to help retain water in the soil.
● Water bedding plants in the
                                                                           ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY

  evening to allow the plants                                              THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
  and soil to absorb it before the                                         IS THE UK’S LEADING GARDENING CHARITY
  summer sun burns it off.                                                 Membership benefits include:
                                                                           ● free entry with a guest to RHS Gardens Wisley,
                                                                             Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr;
BEDDING IN WINTER                                                          ● free entry to more than 120 recommended gardens;
Plants for summer colour usually die after the first frosts. Dig them up     privileged entry and reduced-rate tickets
as soon as this happens and, if you have a compost heap, recycle them!       for RHS flower shows;
Many plants can then be used that will look good during autumn and         ● free gardening advice service;
winter and provide colour on duller days. Try Myosotis (forget-me-not),    ● and free monthly edition of The Garden magazine.
ornamental cabbage, pansy, polyanthus, primula, viola or wallflower.       ● Call 0845 130 4646 or visit

                                                                           Photography: Tim Sandall/The Garden, Hozelock, GPL/Marie O Hara
                                                                           Made from at least 50% recycled paper; the remainder is from certified forests
                                                                            CHOOSING YOUR PLANTS
                                                                            First decide the colour schemes and plant combinations that you want to
For instant seasonal colour, flowering bedding plants are the answer!
They are useful for filling in gaps between plants and shrubs that aren’t   achieve. You will need to consider the area that you are trying to fill;
fully grown, for using in containers or for planting up a whole bed for     think about whether you want to create instant effective patches of
immediate effect. They can also be planted in hanging baskets, window       vibrant colour or a whole bed. You also need to consider how big the
boxes and troughs. Although they are short lived (lasting one season        plants will grow and arrange your pattern accordingly. If you’re going to
only) they grow fast and provide excellent value for money.                 put lots of ‘hot’ colours together like yellows, reds and oranges, you
  Bedding plants are ideal for sunny or lightly shaded but relatively       might like to include a lot of white in the mix.
sheltered areas. The municipal style of growing them in straight lines      When buying plants in the garden centre or nursery, choose plants that
is best avoided in a garden – so plant them in large drifts or clumps       are bushy and healthy. Avoid any plants that look droopy or withered or

to create impressive splashes of colour.                                    that have dry compost.
  Many bedding plants can be grown easily from seed or are available

cheaply as young plants from garden centres and nurseries. Bedding          SUMMER COLOUR                                                                                                       NICOTIANA (tobacco plant)
plants are available for spring, summer or early autumn colour, which       Here are a few varieties that                                                                                       (pictured left) – red, pink, white,
will transform an otherwise dull border in a very short period of time.     should normally be planted when                                                                                     yellow and green fragrant flowers
                                                                            the danger of frost has passed,                                                                                     in June–Oct. 25–60cm
HOW TO PLANT THEM                                                           usually from the end of May:
                                                                            AGERATUM (floss flower) – fluffy,
                                                                                                                                                                                                PANSY – summer- and winter-
                                                                                                                                                                                                flowering varieties can be planted
PREPARATION & PLANTING TIME: 30 MINS                                        powder-blue flowers ideal for                                                                                       to give year-round colour in a
                                                                            edging and containers. 30cm                                                                                         huge range of shades. 15–25cm
● Don’t plant when it’s too hot and                                         ANTIRRHINUM (snapdragon)                                                                                            PELARGONIUM (geranium) –
  water the new plants thoroughly                                           (pictured right) – a wonderful                                                                                      these bedding geraniums come in
  while still in their pots.                                                range of trumpet-like flowers in                                                                                    many different flower colours and
● Make sure the planting area is                                            soft, pastel hues, including shell                                                                                  often scented leaves. 45cm
  free from weeds. Fork over or hoe                                         pink, golden yellow, apricot, rose                                                                                  PETUNIA – fantastic colour range
  the area thoroughly, ensuring you                                         and peach. They form a long-flow-                                                                                   in every shade and hue, with
  don’t disturb any nearby plants.                                          ering cloud of summer colour for                                                                                    striped, veined or double blooms
● Dig a hole bigger than the roots                                          bedding and containers. 40cm                                                                                        on upright or trailing plants. They
  of the plant and water the hole.                                          BEDDING DAHLIA – perfect for                                                                                        flower early in the season and
  Tap the plant out of its pot or                                           bedding and container growing,                                                                                      give a superb garden performance
  tray, disturbing the roots as little                                      dwarf dahlias often come in mix-                                                                                    especially when deadheaded reg-
  as possible. Gently push into the                                         tures of bright, starry flowers in                                                                                  ularly. They look great in all types
  hole and firm the surrounding                                             shades of red, rose, pink, orange,                                                                                  of containers and baskets. 30cm
  soil. Repeat with the other plants.                                       yellow and white. Lift the tubers                                                                                   SALVIA SPLENDENS – these
● Place tall plants to the rear and                                         in autumn, once frost has black-      CALLISTEPHUS (aster) – huge            IMPATIENS (busy Lizzie) – these        popular, compact, neat plants are
  compact edging plants at the                                              ened the foliage, and store over      range of colours including yellows,    plants provide a great splash of       one of the first bedding plants to
  front. Don’t overcrowd the plants.                                        winter in a frost-free place. 45cm    whites, blues, pinks and purples       colour in baskets and containers,      bloom, creating a blaze of red for
● Some bedding plants come in                                               BEGONIA SEMPERFLORENS –               and flower shapes. Best for bed-       or planted en masse in the border.     months. Effective planted in mass
  pots made from peat which                                                 flowers all summer from June–Oct      ding displays in borders. 60cm         The white, pink and red flowers        bedding displays, but can be over-
  should be planted as well because                                         with red, white and pink flowers      CLARKIA – lilac-purple flowers,        keep going until the first frost and   powering in other situations. 40cm
  the roots grow through them.                                              in profusion. 15–25cm                 best sown in groups to achieve a       do best in part shade. 25cm            VERBENA – very attractive sum-
● After planting, sprinkle a general                                        BRACHYCOME (swan river daisy) –       dramatic display. 40cm                 LOBELIA – flowers from June–Oct        mer bedding plants, with dark
  fertiliser such as Growmore light-                                        daisy flowers in shades of white,     COSMOS (pictured above)– always        in blue, red, white and mauve,         green leaves and delightful,
  ly around plants and water well.                                          blue and violet, each with a strik-   delightful in a flower border with     and includes trailing and upright      rounded clusters of flowerheads
● Bedding plants grown in flower-                                           ing black or yellow centre. Flowers   large blooms in velvety rose-pinks,    types. 15cm                            in shades of white, yellow, orange,
  pots, containers, hanging baskets                                         all summer and very effective in      reds and pure white, and attrac-       MESEMBRYANTHEMUM                       pink, red and blue. Ideal for
  and well-mounted pots, should be                                          containers and hanging baskets.       tive ferny foliage. Best as a border   (Livingstone daisy) – These vividly    containers, beds, border edging
  filled with potting compost mixed                                         Best in full sun. 25–30cm             filler or for large pots. 60cm         coloured flowers open with the         or window-boxes. 30cm.
  with water-retentive gels and                                             BROMPTON STOCK – clusters of          FUCHSIA – flowers July–early Oct       sun and are an excellent spread-       VIOLA (pictured above left) –
  slow-release fertiliser pellets.                                          sweetly scented spring flowers in     in white, pink, red and purple,        ing plant in borders. 8cm              small pansy-like flowers in March–
  For more details see our leaflet                                          shades of white, pink and mauve.      and includes bush and trailing         MARIGOLD – orange and yellow           Oct in white, yellow, orange, pink,
  Hanging Baskets & Containers.                                             Ideal for a sunny border. 45cm        types. 30–60cm                         flowers all summer. 15–30cm            red, mauve and blue. 15–20cm

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