A splash of colour gives any garden that edge. Bedding plants are a great way to add some colour that will last for months and give your garden the wow factor. With so many varieties to choose from though, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Here, plant supports specialist Suttons utilise their knowledge of bedding plants so that you can effectively create a garden that oozes colour:
Types of bedding plants
With more than one option available to you, bedding plants come in the form of seedlings, plugs and those stored in pots and trays.
Opting for seedlings will provide you with between 100 and 400 seeds sown in trays and 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.
However, individual pots or trays is the most common method available. Keep in mind 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.
The remaining option is bedding plants from plugs – this is generally the quickest and easiest solution. Plug plants are also usually larger than seedlings, grown in trays which contain an abundance of v-shaped cells.
Arranging your bedding plants
After purchasing your bedding plants, you’ll want to take some time to consider how you plan to arrange them in 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Looking after your bedding plants
The aftercare of your bedding plants is just as important as displaying them correctly. Without sufficient care, your plants could die before your garden has seen the benefits.
To ensure the best display in your garden, bedding plants that have only recently been planted will need to be watered on a regular basis to ensure hydration is kept under control. 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.
Keeping your garden beds tidy is the icing on top of the cake. Messy bedding can ruin your display and take away the wow factor. Removing dead flowers when you notice that they are beginning to fade is wise. This also helps to encourage new blooms from the other plants.
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