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A guide to planting winter bedding

Winter bedding closeup

Fill your garden with colour from autumn through to spring with winter bedding plants. Pansies are one of the most popular choices for winter planting schemes, but there are many other beautiful bedding plants to lift your spirits through the darkest days. If you want advice on when, where and how to plant your winter bedding, we’ve got you covered.

Why should you plant bedding plants in winter?

Many bedding plants only bloom during the spring and summer, but frost-hardy winter bedding plants have been specially bred to extend the flowering season in your outside space.

Even if you don’t spend much time outdoors during winter, a colourful view from your windows will keep your garden looking attractive all year round. And for instant kerb appeal, use eye-catching hanging baskets, window boxes and containers to welcome visitors to your home and brighten your entrance. 

Flowers are a great way to lift your mood when the days are short and dark. Arrange to have a wide range of winter bedding plants delivered to your door and wait for a sunny autumn afternoon to plant them out into gaps in your borders and empty containers. 

When should you plant winter bedding plants?

Pansy Plants - Matrix Mixed (NEW) from Suttons
Make sure you fill any containers with fresh compost before planting your new winter bedding varieties
Image: Pansy Plants – Matrix Mixed (NEW) from Suttons

Autumn is the perfect time to plant your winter bedding plants out into their final flowering positions. A little warmth will help them get established and grow flower buds, ensuring you’ll have a good display over the coldest months when they grow less. 

To set up your garden for the winter, simply remove any old bedding plants and compost them. If you’re planting in pots or containers, replace the compost first 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.

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

Best winter bedding plants

Viola ‘F1 Sorbet Honeybee’ from Suttons
Brighten up your winter bedding displays with the golden-faced Viola ‘F1 Sorbet Honeybee’
Image: Suttons

Our range of winter-flowering bedding plants features those that are best able to withstand the cold and rain of a UK winter. The wide choice of colours, shapes and varieties may surprise you! Choose the flowers you like the most or opt for a carefully curated colour theme. Some of our most popular varieties include:

  • Bellis – a compact hardy perennial with multitudes of delicate quilled petals in pretty pom-pom shapes.
  • Pansies – low-growing flowers with large, hardy, striking petals in an amazing array of colours.
  • Polyanthus – carries bunches of long-lasting blooms on each thick stem in late winter.
  • Primulas (Primroses) – available in vivacious colours ideal for naturalising as they will self-seed freely.
  • Violas – flower from October to May, so you can enjoy months of wonderful colour.
  • Sweet William – loved for their sweet scent, fabulous colours and long-lasting blooms.
  • Bumper bedding pack – a lot of plants including different varieties and excellent value for money.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of food for thought, but if you’re looking for more inspiration, take a quick look at our top ten winter bedding plants article. And as winter makes way for spring, replant your baskets, beds and containers with summer bedding plants to enjoy sensational summer colour!

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