Green Thumb: Top 5 Bedding Plants to Grow In The Winter
18 Feb 2019
Winter is one of those seasons that is ideal for displaying your bedding plants. The preparations, however, start one season earlier in autumn, when you have to get the right containers for the bedding procedure and fill them up. Go through your garden and collect all the borders, beds, windows boxes and hanging baskets you can find. If some got broken from last season, then buy new ones at a garden centre or the local DIY store. The main purpose of bedding plants is to provide structural foliage and a touch of colour while all other plants around are out of bloom. Of course, there is always the question which bedding plants to grow each new winter, as some prove impractical. We have compiled a short list of the topmost 5 bedding plants that are in vogue this winter and what their traits are.
No, not the popular alcoholic beverage, but a plant closely related to sunflowers and belonging to their genus. It is native to the Mediterranean basin but it grows around the planet, blooming especially well on the American continent. Bellis is a perennial plant that grows anywhere from 5 to 20 centimetres tall. You might have read about it in Shakespeare’s Hamlet where Ophelia mentions it, so it traditionally associated with innocence.
The other name for the bellis plant is daisy, which surely you must have heard of and know what they look like. They are good for a winter garden primarily because of their colour palette that includes shades of red, pink, and white.
The second plant on our list isn’t as colourful as a daisy but what it lacks in variety, it makes up in the intensity of hues. Firstly, violas belong to the big family of violets which numbers more than 500 species, not all of which are perennials as there are annual plants and even shrubs. They are plants that like to bask in the sun, even if it’s just mild winter sunlight. They thrive just as well in a semi-shade, so they should be kept near a window. Their foliage grows compactly, so you can have yellow, white and purple flowers next to one another.
The best species that can be used for bedding are “Viola Sweeties” and “Allspice Mixed” that can be acquired at any garden center as they are the most common species at the same time. The best display for them are hanging baskets that can be placed in a greenhouse or next to the window. However, green thumbs like to use them in their home garden, not because of the colour but because of the fragrance violas have. The smell they give out is sweet in flavour so they are ideal for rooms that you spend time in every day, like the kitchen. Another neat place for them is near the front or the back door so every person entering your house will be hit by the aroma of winter violas.
Another plant that can boast with a pleasant fragrance is the wallflower. Normally, this plant from the south of the European continent blooms in spring but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t suitable for bedding in winter. Actually, some gardeners argue that the hues of its flowers are best in winter, as dark red, yellow, orange, and brown get a special shade then. Some leaves will unfortunately yellow and fall off but this is perfectly normal as the plant is adjusting to the cold climate. If you treat them well and add extra compost, they will bounce back immediately.
They are more suited for the countryside than the city as their rustic look goes well with all the wood found in nature. Because they grow in the wild, they are very resilient and rewarding as they need little attention but return a full bloom, even in winter. Of course, you are still going to have to prune them, so keep tools like the ones Hoselink company makes close at hand. All the 5 plants we list here are hard to kill but that doesn’t mean that they require zero attention and upkeep.
Now, this one is everybody’s favourite and probably the favourite childhood plant. Forget-me-not’s trademark five-leaf flowers are mostly blue but they can be pink and white as well. Scorpion grass, as it is also called, grows on both hemispheres, which means that the transition from warm to cold cannot harm it. They take one year to complete their growing cycle, so they are likely to die after winter, having served their bedding purpose well. However, forget-me-nots are abundant in seeds that you can save for next year to plant them again in autumn. They are, before all, decorative flowers for outdoor spaces, so once inside, you can decorate them with some rocks, artificial grass or a water source, like a small fountain.
We have left the most colourful flower for last. Primroses are basically made for winter time as they take cold so well that they bloom in snow. Their flowers vary in both size and colour, so you can choose which ones you like. The colour palette ranges from red, orange, and yellow, all the way to blue, green, and white. Unlike other flowers on the list, primroses have an intensive colour scheme that covers the entire surface of the leaf. Another thing that they have going in their favour are the possible containers, as they look well in borders, beds, and window boxes. An interesting thing is that both the flowers and leaves are edible, so evening primrose, for example, tastes like lettuce when chewed. You can also make tea from it, the ideal hot beverage for those long winter months.
In horticulture, bedding is the way some plants get a chance to shine even during harsh winters. However, not all plants are good for bedding, as some will simply die out after a few days. That is why you should try your luck with any of the 5 plants listed here. Whether you choose violas or primroses is entirely up to you, just don’t forget to nurture them just as summer flowers.