winter bedding plants

With our guide to planting winter bedding plants, you’ll achieve wonderful winter garden displays to brighten your outside space and life your spirits in the dark days of winter.

Why use winter bedding plants?

Bedding plants add flurries of vibrant colour to your garden for a season or two. They need replacing when they fade each year or at the end of each season. As many bedding plants only bloom during the spring and/or summer, adding winter bedding plants will extend the flowering season in your outside space.

Even if you aren’t planning to spend much time outdoors during winter, you can see your garden from your windows. So make sure it provides a lovely view that is packed with colour.

Flowering plants will lift your spirits in the short winter days. If you don’t have a large garden, consider window boxes and patio pots or add hanging baskets around your exterior doors. Winter bedding will brighten your garden and fill any gaps in bare borders, plus hanging baskets and pots offer a warm floral welcome to visitors during some of the darkest months of the year.

Coloured primroses for winter bedding
Primroses fill your garden with pops of colour through the winter
Image: Shutterstock

How to plant winter bedding plants

As summer draws to an end, your existing bedding plants will start to lose their colour and flowering will stop. This means that it’s time to brighten up your borders, hanging baskets, and patio pots with some winter bedding plants!

Autumn is the perfect time to plant your winter bedding plants out, which means planting them in their final flowering positions. Here they will establish and take over from your spent summer plants, offering fresh new flowers to enjoy.

To replenish your garden with winter bedding plants, simply remove any old bedding plants and compost them. If you are planting in pots or containers, replace the compost as most of the nutrients will have been used by the previous plants. Pop your plants into their final flowering positions and water them in.

How to care for winter bedding plants

Once established, your winter bedding plants will only require watering in prolonged dry spells. Be careful not to overwater potted plants as this can lead to rot. Deadhead the spent flowers from your winter bedding plants to encourage more blooms to form.

What are the best winter bedding plants?

Selecting the right bedding plants for your garden is exciting but with a range of varieties to choose from can also be daunting. We’ve made it easy for you to select the perfect plants by creating bedding plant themes.

Winter flowering bedding plants are those varieties that can withstand the cold and rain of a UK winter, and the choice of colours and shapes will surprise you! Our most popular varieties include:

Pansy Plants - F1 Select Mix

Pansies

Hardy & easy to grow, pansies bloom with large, striking flowers in an amazing array of colours.
Perfect for growing in containers, beds, and borders, these plants add something special to your garden from November to mid-spring. Pansies thrive in well-draining, fertile soil in a sunny spot.

Forget-me-not 'Mon Amie Mix'

Forget-Me-Nots

Forget-Me-Nots offer clusters of dainty flowers that self-seed, so you can enjoy their colour year after year.
These elegant flowers are perfect for hanging baskets, patio pots and containers, and thanks to a breeding breakthrough, our ‘Mon Amie Mixed’ variety flowers twice in a year!

Honeybee on a wild primrose flower

Wild Primroses

Primrose Vulgaris and Primula veris are some of our most loved native wildflowers with pretty clusters of delicately scented yellow flowers. Loved by pollinators, and perfect for brightening up shady corners of your garden, these wild primroses create eye-catching displays in early spring. Just remember to regularly water your flowers during hot weather!

Polyanthus Plants - F1 Spring Fever

Polyanthus

Polyanthus plants carrying bunches of long-lasting blooms on each thick stem in late winter. Bred for cold weather hardiness, these plants bloom in remarkably large numbers – a perfect & simple way to add colour to your winter garden!

Primula Plants - Rubens Mix

Primulas (Primroses)

Primroses are available in vivacious colours and are ideal for naturalising as they will self-seed freely. With some varieties growing up to 20 cms, add statuesque and colour displays to your hanging baskets, beds, containers & borders.

Top 5 tips for growing winter bedding plants

  • Grow winter bedding plants in window boxes, hanging baskets or patio pots – they’re more than just border plants.
  • Make sure you replenish any compost before planting winter bedding plants, as most of the nutrients would’ve been used up by your summer bedding scheme.
  • Water winter bedding plants sparingly after longer dry spells. Overwatering can lead to rot.
  • Encourage more blooms on your winter bedding plants by deadheading any spent flowers.
  • Make sure you pick varieties that can withstand the colder temperatures and heavy rain of UK winters.

Whether you’re planting for colourful displays over the winter or continuing interest in early spring, our guide to winter bedding will help you create a bright & bold display for the darkest months. Shop our full range of winter bedding plants here & get inspired!

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