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winter bedding plants

Many gardeners bid farewell to their beloved gardens as days turn short and nights grow long in the winter. This leaves their garden beds lifeless until the warmth of summer re-fills them with plants once again.

However, you don’t necessarily need to leave your gardens plantless during colder months as you can choose to grow many winter bedding plants to add a splash of colour and life to your outdoor gardens. So, let’s explore what are winter bedding plants and some of the famous varieties that you can choose to grow.

What Are Bedding Plants?

winter bedding plants

Bedding plants are fast-growing showy plants that are used by many gardeners to create beautiful garden beds in less time. These plants can be used to fill any small or large outdoor space with vibrant blooming plants. Many plant lovers use these winter bedding plants.

These temporary plants are perfect for colder months when many other plants are going through their dormant period.

What Are Winter Bedding Plants?

Winter bedding plants are hardy plants that produce flowers in winter and are used in gardens by many planters. Usually, many bedding plants bloom in spring and/or summer, however, there are many bedding plants that bloom throughout the cold season to keep the spirits of your garden alive.

Even, if you don’t have large spaces to add bedding plants you can grow them in pots or even in patios. Winter bedding plants can be a great temporary addition to your gardens to keep them alive and fresh during cold months.

Moreover, these beautiful plants feature many pop colours which enhance the looks of your gardens in dark wintery environments.

Some Famous Winter Bedding Plants:

There are many varieties of  bedding plants that you can choose from. Here’s a list of some famous plants that you should grow:

Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana):

winter bedding plants

These bedding plants are one of the most famous ones due to their cheerful face-like blooms that come in many vibrant shades of white, yellow, pink, purple, red, and orange. Pansies bloom from November to the middle of the spring and can be grown in pots, garden beds, patios, and any other small or large space. Moreover, these tough plants can survive harsh cold weather conditions and even low amounts of snow. However, they prefer a sunny spot and well-draining fertile soil.


Violas produce beautiful flowers that are sure to improve the appeal of your gardens in winter. These bedding plants are closely related to Pansies and therefore, share the same characteristics. Viola “Bunny Ears” is one of the most famous varieties of these winter bedding plants and is known for its unique appearance and sweet aroma. These plants love partial shade and can be grown in baskets or patios.

Primrose (Primula vulgaris):

winter bedding plants

These bedding plants feature delicate, cup-shaped flowers that come in a variety of colours. Modern primroses are famously used for group planting to create a stunning display in winter gardens. These early bloomers start producing beautiful flowers from mid-winter. Moreover, these plants attract many pollinators in early spring. Primrose is perfect to plant in the corners of gardens.


These are some late-booming winter bedding plants that produce flowers from mid-February to mid-May. Cyclamen produces stunning butterfly-like flowers which come in shades of pink, white, red, and purple. These plants are a member of the Primrose family and can be grown in pots, baskets and patios.

There are many options for bedding plants that you can choose from and grow in your gardens during the cold months. Moreover, if you don’t want to grow the above-mentioned perennials you can also choose to grow many vegetables or edible plants such as kale, cabbage, and many hardy shrubs. You should also consider many factors such as your local temperature and climate, soil type and the availability of plants.

When To Plant Your Winter Bedding Plants?

As summer comes to an end many of your existing bedding plants will start to wilt or fade away. When this happens it means that your garden is ready for the arrival of winter bedding plants. Preparing your garden in Autumn will ensure a smooth transition in the changing season and will brighten your garden from November to February with beautiful plants.

To prepare your gardens for winter bedding plants you need to consider the following factors:

  • Choosing the right location: You need to pick the perfect location for your bedding plants and for that, you need to research the light requirements of your plants.
  • Prepare the planting bed: Use a well-draining soil mix and fertile soil for your bedding plants. Apply a layer of mulch to protect your plants from harsh environmental conditions.
  • Planting Techniques: We already discussed that Autumn is the perfect time to plant your winter bedding plants however you also need to check your planting techniques. Following proper spacing and planting depth.
  • Remove old bedding: Before planting your new bedding plants you need to remove your old bedding and if you are growing these plants in pots or containers then you need to remove the old compost.
  • Create a watering and fertilizing routine: Create a watering and fertilizing schedule for bedding plants. Use a slow-release balanced fertilizer in early winter or autumn. Winter bedding plants require less water than summer plants however they still need regular moisture so water them when the soil feels dry and avoid overwatering or watering the foliage.
  • Protect your plants: Even though winter bedding plants are able to withstand harsh climate conditions, they still need a little protection. So consider covering your plants with sheets or blankets to protect them from frost and if you are growing bedding plants in containers you can move them in any indoor or sheltered area. Make sure to remove the blankets and move the plants during the day to provide sufficient sunlight.

What Are The Benefits Of Winter Bedding Plants?

Apart from their beautiful and striking appearance winter bedding plants provide many other benefits which can benefit the environment in many ways. Let’s explore some of these benefits:

  • Prevents Soil Erosion: Winter bedding plants protect your soil from erosion with their root system when the old bedding dies.
  • Pollinator Friendly: These plants provide food and support to many pollinators when other plants wilt and they continue to do so throughout the winter till spring.
  • Enhances Mood: Gardens filled with winter bedding plants provide a way to enhance your mood as you can continue this hobby. Moreover, winter gardening also helps in fighting off the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by providing a garden filled with colourful flowers.
  • Wildlife observation: Moreover, these plants can be great for many wildlife enthusiasts as they attract many organisms and also provide shelter to birds.


Winter bedding plants are the perfect choice to incorporate in your gardens to keep them fresh during harsh climatic conditions. These hardy plants are easy to grow and don’t require much care. Winter plants come in many varieties for you to choose from and fill your garden with life till spring.

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