Bedding Plants 101


Bedding plants are a great way to add color and texture to your garden. They’re inexpensive, easy to grow, and can be planted in spring for a summer of beautiful blooms. If you’re new to gardening or just want an easy way to add color and texture to your yard, bedding plants are the perfect solution. But what exactly is a bedding plant? What do they look like? What kind of conditions do they need? And do I have room for one? If this sounds familiar (or if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Jewel Staite voiced an informational video), read on!

What are they?

Bedding plants are a group of annual and perennial flowers that have been bred to have a long flowering period in the garden. They are usually sold in a container and planted as young plants, usually in spring or summer.

What plants can I grow?

When it comes to choosing plants for your garden, there are three types you can choose from: annuals, perennials and bulbs.

Annuals are plants that live for only one season, then die. They don’t have any permanent root system and will only survive by reseeding themselves over the course of their short lifespan. Annual bedding plants include marigolds, impatiens and zinnia flowers.

Perennials are those that have a long life cycle and live for more than one growing season before dying back each winter to come back again next spring when conditions are right (for instance if temperatures dip below freezing). They come in many varieties such as foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) or daylily (Hemerocallis fulva).

How do I care for bedding plants?

  • Water the plants regularly.
  • Prune the plants to keep them healthy and attractive.
  • Remove dead flowers, leaves, old plants and weeds.
  • Protect your bedding plant garden from pests like aphids, spider mites and caterpillars with a good insecticide spray or soapy water mixture (1 drop soap per 1 litre).
  • Protect from frost by covering with fleece or horticultural fleece as required (a minimum height of 40cm should be maintained until growth commences).

When should I plant them?

You can plant your bedding plants at any time of the year. The best times to plant are:

  • Early spring, mid-spring, late spring and summer (mid-March through June). Make sure you have a good base of organic matter in your soil before planting.
  • Late summer and early fall (August through October). If you live in a cooler climate, it’s also important to note that many bedding plants are frost tolerant. Consult our list below for specific information about each plant’s hardiness zone tolerance level.

What’s the difference between annuals and perennials?

Yes! It’s a little bit like dogs and cats. Annuals are temporary plants that die in winter, whereas perennials are the ones who stick around for longer than one season.

Annuals can be great for beginners because they’re easier to grow than perennials—you don’t have to worry about them surviving the winter, so it’s less work on your part. You get instant gratification when you see your flowers bloom in the springtime, but after that first season is over and done with, it’s time to start over again next year.

Perennials take more time and effort to keep alive through multiple seasons of growth and maintenance, but they are also much more rewarding in terms of their beauty (and yours!).

What are annuals?

What are annuals?

Annual plants are those that grow, bloom, and die within a single growing season. They germinate from seed and grow from seedlings. Annual flowers can usually be grown from seed or by taking cuttings (more on that later). Because of their short life spans, they tend to be very easy to care for.

What are perennials?

Perennials are plants that come back year after year. They are also known as hardy plants, meaning they can survive winter in your garden. Some perennials are easy to care for and can even thrive with little attention from you.

If you’re new to gardening, perennial plants will be a good choice for you because they don’t need as much maintenance as annuals (plants that only live one year). Perennials are also great if you have limited time but still want to add color and interest to your landscape.

Which plants should I choose?

The next step is to choose bedding plants that will look good together. This can be difficult at first because it’s hard to know exactly what you want, but don’t worry! You don’t have to be an expert on every plant and flower out there. You just need to think about the colors of your home, what kind of feel you want for your garden and what kinds of plants are easy-to-grow varieties.

As with any design project, choosing easy-to-grow varieties is key when starting a bedding plant garden. If you’re not sure which bedding plants are best suited for your needs, ask someone who knows all about them—like the staff at our local garden center! They’ll be able to help guide you through all the options available based on where you live (cold climates versus warm ones), how much time and money is available each year for maintenance tasks like watering or fertilizing (or both!), etcetera

Choose plants that will look good together.

Your second step is to choose plants that will look good together. You wouldn’t put a purple flower next to a yellow one, so don’t put two different colors or heights of bedding plants next to one another. Make sure the blooming season is similar for each plant (e.g., all at once or staggered). And most importantly, make sure that your plants have the same water needs: if you forget about how much water they need and over-water them, you could kill all of them!

If you’re not sure about pairing certain colors together in one garden bed, try putting them in separate beds instead!

Choose easy-to-grow varieties.

Choose plants that do well in your region. This may seem obvious, but it’s something to keep in mind when sifting through seed catalogs and websites. Plants from warmer climates won’t thrive where you live (or vice versa). You’ll also want to consider whether or not the variety has been bred for specific purposes such as cut flowers or culinary use, as those aren’t always ideal for a garden.

Find a plant whose size matches the space available. Bedding plants come in all shapes and sizes, so choose something that is appropriate for your garden’s scale and style—you don’t want to put a mini-rosemary bush into an enormous pot! For example: if you’re starting out with just one container on the patio, look into smaller annuals like petunias or cockscomb instead of taller perennials like delphiniums. On the other hand, if you have more than one planter on hand but little room left over within each one (e.g., three containers with four holes each), opt for something small enough that it won’t take up too much space between these openings yet still offers plenty of color or texture throughout springtime months ahead!

Use bedding plants as a design tool.

If a bedding plant gardener approaches the garden in the same way that a painter might approach a canvas, then it makes sense to use plants as tools for adding color and pattern.

When you’re using bedding plants in your garden, you have access to an enormous range of colors, shapes, sizes and textures. Some are small and delicate; others are large and bold. Some bloom only once per year; others continue blooming throughout the growing season from early spring until late fall. The possibilities are nearly limitless!

Bedding plants give you a simple way to play with color and pattern in your garden, filling it with flowers.

Bedding plants give you a simple way to play with color and pattern in your garden, filling it with flowers. They are easy to grow, available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors. Bedding plants offer great variety for both big and small gardens alike.

  • Bedding plants can be planted in containers or directly into the ground (if they are sturdy enough). Either way they will need regular watering during periods of hot weather. If you want more tips on how to care for bedding plants check out our blog post here: How To Care For Your Bedding Plants


So, if you’re looking for something a little different than your usual garden, bedding plants are the way to go. They’re easy to care for and quick growing, so you can always change things up if you don’t like what’s happening in your garden at any given moment. They also give you a chance to experiment with design ideas and colors that might not work well with other types of plants (like vegetables). But most importantly: they look great!

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