As soon as summer makes its long-awaited appearance, one of our favourite things to do is embellish our garden with vibrant and beautiful flowers. Apart from hanging baskets, fruit trees and other garden plants, bedding plants are a great way to create a stunning display bursting in colour.
From begonias and petunias to lobelia and geraniums, the options for bedding plants are endless. The flowers most suitable for bedding are colourful, flamboyant, easy to maintain and with a long bloom period to ensure a long-lasting display.
To help make your gardening that much easier, we've made a list of the best bedding plants you can get on the market.
Related: The best shade plants 2021
What are the best bedding plants?
Petunias, begonias and geraniums are a few of the most popular choices for bedding plants due to their long blooming periods, vibrant colours and easy maintenance.
When should you plant bedding plants?
Bedding plants are not frost hardy, which means it's important that you plant them after the risk of frost has passed. For the UK, we recommend waiting until May or June, to stay on the safe side.
The best bedding plants
1. 12 Plant Pack Jumbo Geranium Palladium Summer Bedding Mix
Geraniums are a fabulous choice for bedding plants given that they're sturdy, tolerant to a variety of climates and - most important of all - stunning to look at. This variety produces clusters of flowers all through summer until early September, so you're guaranteed a long-lasting display. They come in a pack of 12 large red, pink and peach flowers that are ready to be planted.Care instructionsEnsure they are in well-drained soil and use a liquid fertiliser to feed through flowering season. Remove dead flowers regularly to promote the growth of new blooms.Review: "I have been a gardener for a while now and l was really impressed with the quality of the beautiful plants. They are healthy and sturdy and clearly grown by professionals."
2. 12 Plant Pack Jumbo Petunia Parade Summer Bedding Mix
If there's one thing you need to know about petunias, it's that they make for the most eye-catching bedding displays. Other than coming in a vast array of wonderful colours and being easy to maintain, petunias are also long-blooming, meaning you can enjoy a colourful display all summer long. You'll be getting 12 plants ready to bed, in a mix of pinks, whites, purples and more wonderful colour combos.Care instructionsFeed with liquid fertiliser and deadhead frequently.Review: "Healthy live plants which arrived well packed ready for planting out. Will definitely buy from this supplier again."
3. Begonia semperflorens 'Organdy Mixed'
A versatile choice for bedding plants, begonias are flamboyant and come in many wonderful flower colours. They cope with a wide range of weather conditions and hold on to their colour beautifully.Care instructionsPlace in a sunny or semi-shaded spot that is protected from strong winds. Feed and water frequently during the growing season but avoid over-watering.Review: "Healthy plants. Arrived well packed and with a handy leaflet about plants."
4. Lobelia 'Monsoon'
A trailing variety of lobelia named 'Crystal Palace', this wonderful mix of sapphire flowers is a summer must-have. The green foliage transforms to a shade of bronze with time, making for a dazzling contrast and display.Care instructionsPlace in a sunny or semi-shaded position, feed and water frequently through summer.Review: "I found these plants in good condition and have potted them on until I am ready to use them. They appear to be slug resistant, hooray!"
5. Calibrachoa 'Million Bells White'
What better than a classic white display? These bell-shaped blooms are incredibly fast-growing, providing a large cluster of dazzling white flowers. They're also resistant to weather changes, which is always a plus knowing British summer. Care instructionsPlace in full sun, feed and water regularly especially in the summer. Avoid over-watering in cooler periods.
6. Gazania 'Tiger Stripes Mixed'
We can't quite get enough of these unique gazanias, also known as African daisies. They're easy to grow, tolerant to droughts and are simply astonishing to look at - what more could you want?Care instructionsFeed and water until fully establishedReview: "5***** beautiful, unusual plants that lasted all season and still in flower. Would buy again, thanks!"
7. Begonia Plug Plants
Another set of begonias - but can you blame us? The vibrant hues will make an impression against the beautiful, deep green foliage. They are easy to grow and maintain, and thanks to their rainforest origins they're also tolerant to shade.Care informationEnsure the risk of frost has passed and water frequently.
8. Rudbeckia 'Enchanted Embers'
Add life to your garden with vibrant Rudbeckia blooms. The 'Enchanted Embers' variety blooms flowers in a burnt orange shade which deepen in colour as time passes. They're nectar-rich, meaning they are fabulous pollinators and are also super easy to grow.Care instructionsFeed and water regularly, deadhead faded flowers to encourage growth.
Which bedding plants like shade?
Most bedding plants are sun-loving and require direct sunlight to grow and flourish. Having said that, a few varieties including Begonias, Fuchsia, Lobelia and pansy can tolerate part-shade.