Whatever the time of year, you will find it hard to resist Cleeve Nursery’s selection of bedding plants.
Bedding plants are usually annuals. They are grown from seed each year and can be bought in pots or trays to add an immediate splash of colour – a swathe of bedding plants gives instant drama to your garden. Use Bedding plants to fill the gaps between perennials and shrubs in mixed borders or plant up a whole bed for immediate wow factor.
Bedding plants are also essential for a great show in containers, hanging baskets, pots or window boxes. Because they are temporary you can change your displays every season – and bedding plants can provide much of your winter colour. Providing some of the most prolific and colourful flowers available, bedding plants grow rapidly, have dependable growth patterns, and flower over a long period if looked after. They are great value for money.
The range of bedding plants is huge and you will undoubtedly know many of the usual ones, such as pansies, primroses, busy lizzies (impatiens), petunia, marigolds, cornflowers and begonias. Plants that are perennial in warmer climates can be grown as annuals in colder climates. Half hardy annuals are those that can handle frost, but can’t survive extremely cold winter weather, such as osteospermums, snapdragons (Antirrhinum) and even pelargoniums (often called geranium and a top favourite for pots and containers). There are several hardy annuals that tolerate frost, the most familiar of which are winter pansies and violas – great for your flower boxes.
Most bedding plants are relatively easy to grow from seed, and at Cleeve Nursery you will find a wide range of seeds, along with pots, trays, compost, dibbers and labels. You don’t necessarily need a greenhouse or propagator (heat box) to germinate most annual seeds (but, of course, we can supply these too) – covering a seed tray or pot with a polythene bag and placing it on a window-ledge is a good method. But some of the smaller seeds can be hard to grow and not everyone has the time, so buying bedding plants as seedlings or plug plants is popular.
Seedlings come with only a couple of leaves, and plug plants are more mature – both need potting on before planting out. Trays of older plants and individual plants in pots come in different sizes, and can be used straight away in the border or container. These are often already in flower, with the advantage that you get to see what you are buying and can create an immediate show. Here at Cleeve, we have used our wide expertise to grow your bedding plants from seed in our own nursery, carefully potting on (i.e. the fiddly bit) so that you can buy vigorous healthy and, importantly, ethically grown local plants, with confidence.
Care of bedding plants
Plant summer-flowering bedding plants in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Please note that they will be for sale before frost-free weather can be guaranteed, and will need to be kept in a cool, light and airy place until the weather is right for planting them out. Prick out plugs into individual pots – water them first and try not to touch the stems as this can cause damage. Keep them in a greenhouse or cool, light room and water regularly, and then harden them off in a cold frame for two or three weeks before planting out.
Bedding plants are almost maintenance-free – remove any flower buds that form in the first two weeks, and dead-head spent blooms before seeds form to encourage a longer blooming cycle. When plants become straggly and untidy cut them back or pinch out the tips to encourage new, bushy growth. To get the largest blooms with the brightest colours, keep plants well fed and watered, particularly those in containers. Our expert staff will advise you on planting, situating and maintaining your displays of bedding plants.
Meet The Cleeve Nursery Team
At Cleeve Nursery we don’t just employ staff we employ people that love gardening and thats why we are a happy family of individuals who, with over a 170 years of combined experience, guarantee the friendliest and professional service and advice.