Bedding plants are a way to temporarily decorate your garden with seasonal flowers. You can grow bedding plants from seeds or purchase them already grown in pots ready for planting. But when do you plant out bedding plants? Here’s Sunday Gardener and the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) advice.
When to plant out bedding plants
Bedding plants are not hardy, and shouldn’t be planted until after the last frost of the year.
You’ll spot bedding plants in shops and garden centres from March, but that doesn’t mean they’re all ready to be planted from March.
Normally, frost doesn’t completely pass until May. That’s why you should wait until May to plant out bedding plants.
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Half-hardy perennials can live for several years and usually flower from the second season.
The RHS said: “Frost-tender, and often discarded at the end of the season, yet they can be overwintered if given frost protection.”
Examples include Bellis (daisy), begonia, Pelargonium (geranium) and lobelia.
Some perennials, such as Bellis (daisy), busy Lizzies and Viola (pansy) are grown as annuals or biennials.
Half-hardy or tender sub-tropical plants
Banana plants, cannas and palms often form a focal point or centrepiece for bedding schemes and are examples of half-hardy or tender sub-tropical plants.
The RHS said: “Succulents can be useful for creating patterns (see carpet bedding below).”
Hardy perennials or shrubs
Hardy perennials or shrubs such as Erica (winter-flowering heather), euphorbia and heuchera can give valuable flower and foliage colour through the winter months.
The RHS site says: “Saxifraga, sedum and sempervivum are excellent for green roof and vertical modular wall planting.
“Additionally, agave, dwarf conifers, cordylines, Phormium (New Zealand flax) and ornamental grasses can provide a central focus for beds and containers.”
Let’s not forget bulbs! Some bulbs such as allium, Anemone blanda, crocus, hyacinth, early-flowering Iris reticulata and tulips are suitable for bedding.
The RHS site says: “These bulbs can be mixed with biennial bedding plants and will give combinations of colour in the early spring months.”