Best summer bedding plants to grow in Jersey
From the pots and hanging baskets on the balconies, flower borders and beds in the gardens to the complexity of colourful displays in public parks, bedding plants are a great short-term option to spruce up any outdoor area.
Whether grown from the seeds, cuttings or purchased as pot grown specimens, we have put together a list of the best summer bedding plants for your outdoor living room.
What should I consider before buying my bedding plants?
Soil and aspect matters. While some plants such as geraniums can tolerate drought, and others such as begonias can tolerate shade, most bedding plants thrive in moist, humus rich well-drained soil in full sun position. If the soil in your garden is on the heavy side, its alteration is a viable option. You can find all about soil preparation HERE.
Create a plan. The two elements to bear in mind here are the height of plants and the colour. Taller bedding should be positioned in the center or towards the rear of the flower beds, and lower inhabitants around the edges or the front. While the colour combination is up to your own satisfaction, we recommend refraining from too many different colours to avoid fussy appearance. Keep it simple. Select two to three colours you like best and stick to them. Click HERE to find out more about colour combinations for your design.
Calculate the number of plants needed. For best results, we recommend planting the bedding in closer proximity, approximately 20 cm apart. This will allow for 20-25 per meter square. Measuring the area will give an idea of the quantity of plants needed.
How much time can you dedicate to maintain your colour display? Bedding plants are demanding and require regular watering, feeding, and deadheading.
Our list of recommendations includes
Pelargoniums whether upright or trailing, are arguable all-time favorites for most gardeners. They provide a long-lasting flower display of many different colours and shades. If kept outside all year round, they rarely survive the winter, however, they can be overwintered inside of the greenhouse or in the house on the windowsill. By alternating the climates, geraniums can flower virtually all the time. Use of geraniums is wide, including tubs, baskets, and beds.
Plant in moist, well-drained humus rich soil. Although they are drought resistant, avoid exposure to severe drought. To ensure the long-lasting colour, deadhead geranium regularly by removing spent flowers and stems back to the main stalk.
Geraniums are very easy to grow and one of the easiest to propagate but are susceptible to rust and viruses.
Another popular choice are marigolds, upright bedding plants belonging to the aster family. Creamy, yellow, and orange flowers are produced throughout the growing season. Warm, bright colours of marigolds look best when combined with cooler colours such as blue or purple, and can be used in flower beds, tubs or hanging baskets as a centerpiece. Marigolds repel white fly, making them a great addition for your vegetable patch.
Plant in moist well drained and humus rich soil in full sun and in the sheltered spot. Deadhead regularly to prolong the flowering period.
Although they are usually problem free, powdery mildew can cause a few troubles at times.
Begonias are tender perennials of two different types flowering until the first frosts. Bedding begonias produce white, pink, and red flowers, while tuber begonias (Illumination series) show a display of bright yellow, orange and red colours. While they grow best in the full sun positions, they can thrive in partial or a light full shade.
As most bedding plants, they prefer moist, fertilized well drained soil. Tuber begonias should be deadheaded regularly to promote flowering, while bedding begonia can be left untouched. Avoid water logging to prevent tuber rot.
During the season’s first hot suns, leaf scorch might appear on tender plants. Further problems can be caused by powdery mildew leaf spots.
Begonias are toxic and possess danger to dogs and cats if ingested.
Petunias are tender perennials native to South America; however, they are mostly grown as an annual in our climate. They usually decorate pots and baskets but planting them in beds doesn’t do any harm. Large trumpet-like flowers are produced in many different colours and shades, lasting from the spring till frosts. Smaller flowers are produced on the petunia’s close relative, Calibrachoa, commonly known as Million bells.
Petunias grow best in sunny sheltered spots when planted in well drained, humus rich moist soil. to ensure prolonged flowering period, deadhead them on a regular basis, ideally before the seeds are formed.
Most common problems can be found in the form of diseases such as powdery mildew, root rot and wilt, and pests including slugs, caterpillars, and mites.
Bedding cosmos is a taller upright annual plant reaching the height of approximately 60 cm. They are ideal plants to spruce up flower beds and borders but can be easily grown in pots. We don’t recommend planting cosmos in the hanging baskets.
White, pink, and red flowers produced throughout the season are a magnet for bees and butterflies and are ideal for cutting. For best results, plant cosmos in larger mass as a single choice of your bedding plant, combining two or three different colours of shades.
Cosmos thrives in the sheltered sunny spots in most well drained soils. Powdery mildew can be a problem at times. Deadhead regularly to encourage new flower production.
Snapdragons are perennial or annual old-fashioned upright plants of medium size, approximately 30-45 cm tall. They are a great option to decorate your pots and flower beds, whether grown as a single genus or combined with other bedding plants. Various colours of 2-lipped flowers are produced in the late spring or summer to late autumn and attract wildlife.
They grow best in full sun position in most well-drained garden soils. Remove spent flowers regularly to prevent seed formation. Snapdragons are prone to diseases such as root rot, rust, and powdery mildew.
For their attractive flowers produced from late spring to early frosts, fuchsias are a popular choice to contribute to colourful displays of flower beds, borders, pots and hanging baskets. There are hundreds of varieties of fuchsias to choose from, the flowers can be found in many different colours, shades and shapes, the growing habit can be upright or trailing.
Plant fuchsias in moist, humus rich well-drained soil in sheltered areas and deadhead regularly to prolong flowering.
In recent years, fuchsias have been prone to fuchsia gall mite, a disease characterized by leaf curl. The affected growth should be removed and disposed of to prevent further spread.
Bedding salvias are taller, tender perennials found in various heights ranging from 30-60 cm. Nectar rich white, red, and blue flowers lasting all season attract bees and butterflies. Salvias are mostly used to decorate the flowerpots, flower bed and borders as a single genus or a part of a more complex planting scheme.
Grow salvias in full sun, in fertile, well-drained and moist soil. Remove spent flowers and the stems before seeds are starting to form. They are susceptible to powdery mildew, mites, aphids, and white flies.
As opposed to Salvia officinale (Common sage), bedding salvias are nor suitable for cooking and should not be ingested.
Surfinias are vigorous trailing perennial or annual plants with green oval leaves, trumpet-shaped flowers of tons of different colours produced from spring till late autumn. In simple terms, surfinia is a trailing petunia. They are excellent plants to be used in hanging baskets, pots and raised beds when planted along the edges.
Surfinias thrive in well-drained, humus rich moist soil and should be deadheaded regularly to promote new bloom.
Similarly to petunias, they are susceptible to diseases including powdery mildew, root rot, stem wilt and pests such as slugs, mites and caterpillars.
Bacopas are tender perennials native to South Africa work toothed leaves. Masses of smaller white, mauve, and blue flowers emerge in the spring and last till the winter. They can be overwintered in the greenhouses or in the house to be ready for the next season. The trailing habit makes them a perfect choice for pots and hanging baskets. Bacopas look exceptionally attractive when accompanied by geraniums.
For best results, plant in growing compost in full sun and feed regularly. Deadheading is not a necessity, but when all the flowers are spent, shear them off.
Bacopas are generally disease free but can be prone to pests, especially aphids.
Annual lobelias are compact low growing dense plants reaching heights of 15-20 cm. They can be found in upright and trailing form, making them suitable for planting in flower beds and borders, pots and hanging baskets. Smaller 2-lipped flowers are produced in masses from late spring till late autumn. Lobelias do not overwinter and should be removed at the end of the growing season.
Grow lobelias in full sun or partial shade in sheltered spots. They thrive in fertilised well-drained soil of almost any texture and Ph.
Lobelias are generally disease and pest free. As opposed to hardy lobelias, the bedding lobelias are not toxic.
Sweet peas are annual climbing plants reaching heights of up to 2 meters and are native to Italy. Sweet, scented flowers of various colours are produced in the summer and the autumn. Suitable for cutting, they can bring lovely fragrance to your indoors.
They can be grown in pots, flower beds, borders or in the veg patch. Provide support in form of a wire or string when grown against the wall and obelisk or arch when growing in pots and flower beds.
Plant in a sunny, sheltered area in humus rich, moist but well-drained soil and deadhead regularly. Sweet peas are susceptible to viral diseases and leaf spot.
The seeds are mildly toxic and can cause stomach discomfort if ingested.
Osteospermums, also called African daisies, are evergreen perennial plants native to South Africa and reach a height of approximately 50 cm. Larger daisy-like flowers are produced from spring to the winter. They can be grown in pots, flower beds and borders but also in the hanging baskets as a centerpiece. Osteospermums can also be grown in any garden wanting to bring in a little Mediterranean twist.
Well drained, moist, humus rich soil and a full sun exposure is needed for growing, avoid planting in clay. To encourage more bloom, deadheading on a regular basis is desired.
Pests such as aphids and diseases such as verticillium wilt can be a problem.
Coleus is a tender tropical perennial usually grown as an annual. It was widely used as a bedding plant during the Victorian period. As opposed to other bedding listed above, coleus is mostly grown for its colourful foliage, however, some gardeners prefer to maintain the blossom. It can be grown in pots, flower beds and borders.
Plant in full sun or partial shade in well drained, rich soil. Remove any flowers emerging to encourage the growth of a new foliage.
Coleuses are susceptible to mildew, root rot and stem rot. The foliage is toxic and should not be ingested.
These low growing tender perennials are native to Africa. Medium sized prolific, single, or double flowers are produced from spring to frosts and can be found in large varieties of colours, normally cool or neutral.
Warm, striking colours can be seen on their relative, New Guinea busy lizzie. They are larger perennial plants with long, dark green toothed leaves.
Both varieties are suitable to use in pots, hanging baskets, flower beds and borders. Busy lizzies grow best in full sun or light shade, in well-drained garden soil of most textures. Deadheaded or not, the flower production is very prolific.
Downy mildew might be a problem at times.