The 11 Best Bedding Plants for Autumn in the UK
Just because summerâ€™s over, it doesnâ€™t mean your garden canâ€™t still be enjoyed. Instead of leaving your beds cold and bare, spend some time infusing them with life and colour. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy beautiful blooms all year round. Here are the top 11 bedding plants that will bring your garden to life this autumn and winter.Â
Versatile pansies flower from mid winter into spring. Plant them in autumn before the frost comes to enjoy these beautiful but hardy blooms. Pansies come in a huge variety of colours, from gentle mauve to vibrant red. They grow best in semi-shaded areas and can grow to 15x15cm height and spread. Make sure you remember to deadhead your pansies to keep them flowering for longer.
These pretty pom pom flowers will look great as bedding plants. They come in varying shades of red, white and pink. Bellis flowers from late winter into spring. They are hardy plants that will make a welcome addition to any garden.
Primroses come in all colours and sizes, and bloom best in mid winter. Avoid planting on frosty days and donâ€™t over water them so their roots can get established.
Fragrant polyanthus looks a lot like primrose, but these smaller flowers bloom in clusters. Theyâ€™re very long lasting, flowering from January to May. Choose from a great variety of colours or opt for a mix to brighten up your beds. Polyanthus grow to 10x10cm height and spread.
These dainty pink and white flowers not only look beautiful covering your beds, but theyâ€™re also really low maintenance. Perfect when you donâ€™t fancy spending much time outside on wet autumn days. Their leaves showcase a delicate marble effect, which is just as pretty as the blooms themselves. They do best in a semi-shaded spot. Plant cyclamen for ground cover. It also self seeds so you can enjoy them for years to come.
If you like pansies, youâ€™ll love the dainty violas with their sweet fragrance. These also come in a huge range of colours, although you might know their purple and white varieties best. Violas come in both trailing and upright varieties. Perfect for beds and hanging baskets. Be sure to deadhead regularly to keep them fresh and blooming from autumn through to spring. Theyâ€™ll reach up to 10x10cm in height and spread.
Less well known, but no less stunning is plumbago. With its sky blue flowers and wine tinted leaves, these blooms arenâ€™t going to be overlooked. They do best in September and October, when placed in a sunny area of the garden. Plumbago is also excellent for pollinators.
Who says you need flowers? From winter to mid spring, let colourful heather take the stage. Pink, white and even golden coloured heather would make a striking addition to your garden beds. It works especially well in rockeries and alpine beds. Heather plants grow up to 15x15cm height and spread.Â
Another non floral addition to the list – heucheras come in a striking array of colours, including zesty lime, vibrant pink, sunset orange, deep purple, burgundy and even black. These large bedding plants spread up to 30x30cm so can fill plenty of space in your winter garden. Let them stand alone or use them as structural foliage for some contrasting blooms.Â
Not just a cooking herb, sage can look beautiful as an ornamental bedding plant. Itâ€™s evergreen, so you can enjoy it all year round. And it comes in purple as well as green. The fact that you can also use it in cooking is just an added bonus. Another evergreen herb that works well as an autumn bedding plant is sageâ€™s close cousin – thyme.
11. Heavenly Bamboo
If the name isnâ€™t enough to convince you, the fact that this plant gives you year round colour should. From beautiful yellow and green tones in summer, to bright red in autumn. Heavenly bamboo is also noted for its red berries, which not only look lovely, they also keep the local birds fed in winter.Â
The great thing about many of these plants is that they can often be re-used as permanent garden plants.
Before planting your new array of autumn bedding plants, youâ€™ll need to remove the old bedding plants and put them in the compost. Replace the compost before you plant your new plants. The earlier you plant, the stronger the roots will be to withstand winter and the more flowers youâ€™ll enjoy.
If your existing bedding soil is poor or damaged, or youâ€™re planting on a patio or courtyard, you may want to purchase topsoil to ensure these plants can thrive. Beds will need around 20cm of topsoil. Look out for nutrient rich, quality graded topsoil.
Natalie is the content writer for Green Circle Concrete and updates our blog every month.