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Top eight winter bedding plants

Colourful large flowered primroses

Fill your hanging baskets, window boxes, patio containers and borders with winter bedding plants to keep your garden looking lovely all year round. These hardy plants are an easy way to add cheerful bursts of colour and fabulous foliage to your outside space. Here are eight of our horticultural team’s particular favourites…

In the meantime, browse our full range of winter bedding plants to brighten even the darkest of days.

Pink, red and white bellis flowers

1. Bellis

Compact hardy perennials with pom-poms of delicate petals, Bellis provides texture and colour. For beautiful displays that flower twice a year, choose Bellis perennis ‘Rose’ or ‘Bellisima Mixed’. After flowering from September to November they produce a second flourish from February to March!

Caring for bellis plants

Deadhead to extend the flowering period and encourage more blooms.

Closeup of colourful hellebores against cream background

2. Hellebores

A quintessential winter favourite, hellebores provide essential early nectar for pollinators. Thriving in shadier spots, they make lovely cut flowers. Choose Hellebore x Hybridus ‘Mixed’ for a gorgeous mixture of white, purple and red flowers that bloom from December and return year after year.

Caring for hellebores

Apply a mulch to protect roots from cold temperatures. 

Multicoloured pansies flowers

3. Pansies

Pansies are perfect for brightening winter hanging baskets or filling gaps in borders. The large, low-growing blooms are available as single colours or bright mixes.

Easy to care for, try Pansy ‘Matrix™ Mixed’. This hardy variety flowers from November to March and the petals are edible too. 

Caring for pansy plants

Plant pansies in rich, fertile soil that drains well. Grow in sun or partial shade.

Yellow and red polyanthus

4. Polyanthus

Polyanthus offers a lovely late winter display, with plants carrying bunches (umbels) of long-lasting blooms on each thick stem. Perfect for pots, window boxes and borders, try Polyanthus ‘Firecracker’ for gorgeous eye-catching blooms.

Caring for polyanthus plants

Plant in sun or semi shade. Deadhead faded blooms to encourage more flowers to form.

Light yellow wild primroses

5. Wild primulas

With pretty clusters of pale lemon petals, Primula vulgaris is one of our most loved native flowers. Great for naturalising, it thrives in shady areas and is fast growing. Plant in patio containers for beautiful, scented flower displays, or position under trees for a natural woodland effect.

Caring for wild primulas

Water regularly during hot spells and deadhead faded flowers for more blooms.

Peach and pin coloured primroses

6. Primroses

Primroses are available in a variety of vivacious colours and are ideal for naturalising as they self-seed to provide years of cheerful blooms. In addition to container and border growing, plant them under hedges and trees. Try Primula ‘Amore’ for delicately-scented pink flowers with lemon centres.

Caring for primrose plants

Primroses prefer cool, semi-shaded areas and thrive in moist, but well-drained soil.

Single yellow and brown viola flower

7. Violas

Violas provide vibrant colour from October to May, giving you plenty of bang for your buck. Compact and eye-catching, plant directly into borders or pack them into pots and position wherever you need a little boost! Try Viola ‘Sorbet Peach Melba’ for exquisite petals in subtle shades of light maroon, peach, pink and yellow.

Caring for viola plants

Don’t overwater in winter to avoid root damage. 

Group of red and pink cyclamen

8. Cyclamen Metis

This gorgeous Cyclamen Metis collection brightens up sheltered rockeries, patios and window boxes with long-lasting colour from autumn through to spring. Hardy enough to spend the winter outdoors (with a little protection during really cold spells), they also make thoughtful gifts.

Caring for cyclamen metis

Cover with fleece if the temperature drops below zero.

Spoilt for choice? Why not brighten up your garden with a lucky dip of high quality winter bedding plants selected by our professional team? This is a cost-effective way to fill your beds and borders from autumn to early spring, and you can choose packs containing from 15 to 72 plants, as required.

Lead image: Primrose ‘Large Flowered’ from Suttons

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