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Must Have Bedding Plants

yellow spring bedding plants

Bedding plants started as a way for our Victorian ancestors to show off the prestige of their gardens. Back when the country’s landscape could be described as ‘dull grassy areas’, horticulturalists were tasked with finding new and exotic plants. They added flurries of colour to gardens and landscapes all across the land, and flower beds soon became an excuse to show off to neighbours.

When bedding plants really started to take off, new varieties were being discovered all of the time which meant everyone had beautiful and vibrant gardens! This means that today there are so many wonderful and wild variations of bedding plants that you’re spoilt for choice!

We’ve selected our absolute favourite bedding plants and must-haves for your garden, with some hints and tips on how to display these magnificent plants.

Bigging up Begonias

Begonias are popular in many garden displays. These versatile flowers can be planted in flower beds & borders but also look great potted around the patio. Their heritage lies deep within the rainforest which means they don’t worry about shaded areas.

Begonia – President Mix

Begonia F1 'President Mix' from Suttons
Fill gaps in your beds and borders with stunning begonias.
Image: Begonia F1 President Mix Suttons

The commander-in-chief of your garden, the F1 president brings bright vibrant colours contrasted with elegant deep green foliage! Perfect for hanging baskets and as potted plants. The best part is, they come in a range of plug sizes to suit when you’re ready to plant them!

Out of this World Cosmos Plants

The best part about Cosmos plants is the size and individuality of the flowers! These flowers really show how decorative a garden can be. Long stems with very vibrant, colourful flowers makes them really stand out in flower borders. Naturally, our favourite is:

Cosmos – Apollo Mix

Cosmos Apollo Mix Floranova from Suttons
Try ‘Apollo Mix’ in containers for breath-taking displays across the summer.
Image: Cosmos Apollo Mix Floranova

These flowers grow in compact areas and produce large bright pink flowers that explode colour into flower displays. The best places for these flowers has to be either in your summer bedding plant displays or in decorative containers around the garden. Make them a showstopper in your displays!

Being truly out of this world, the Apollo Mix also look mesmerizing in cut flower displays. With the various flurries of shocking pink, light pink and white, these flowers truly are one of the best bedding plants you can buy. 

Jazzy Geraniums

Geraniums are a favourite of gardeners everywhere! Easy to grow, with vibrant colours and charming summer scents. What’s not to love? We could talk about geraniums forever, there are over 400 varieties and we love them all but if we had to choose our absolute favourite we’d choose these stunners:

Geranium Great Balls of Fire

Geranium Great Balls of Fire from Suttons
Bred to thrive in even the hottest summers, these geraniums look stunning in beds, containers and even hanging baskets.
Image: Geranium Great Balls of Fire

Geranium – Cabaret Mix

Geranium 'Cabaret Mixed' from Suttons
Flowering from June, these geraniums are perfect for some early summer colour.
Image: Geranium ‘Cabaret Mixed’ from Suttons

Early to flower, these amazing plants add profusions of colour to wherever they’re planted! With a vibrant mixture of red, white and orange these flowers will brighten up summer flower displays. The reason we love these so much is they grow into compact bushes that just explode colour. When they’re next to other flowers in beds and borders they tend to just really stand out. 

Trailblazing Lobelia Plants

A traditional looking flower bed often with rich blue colours, lobelias are among Britain’s favourite bedding plants. They’re primarily used for edging, but due to many variations of the plant being cascading, they also make for perfect hanging basket displays. Many of the variations we sell help to add much-needed contrast to your flower beds and borders, allowing much more prominent flowers stand out more. 

Don’t be fooled by this though some variations of lobelia can be real showstoppers. Take our favourite for example:

Lobelia Cascade Mixed

Lobelia 'Cascade Mixed' from Suttons
The perfect addition for hanging baskets
Image: Lobelia Cascade Mixed from Suttons

Lobelia – Queen Victoria

Lobelia 'Queen Victoria' from Suttons
Add some contrast to your borders with the bronze foliage of ‘Queen Victoria’.
Copyright: Visions BV, Netherlands

These majestic plants have deep scarlet red blooms contrasted with dark bronze foliage. The Queen Victoria looks like fountains of lava coming from the ground and is a highly distinctive, eye-catching piece at the back of any flower bed.

Beloved Perennials – Petunias

Petunias are prolific bloomers, so they’re great at filling large areas with masses of flowers. They traditionally flower from June to October and come in a massive range of colours. So whether you have a colour code for your bedding or just want a flurry of various colours, Petunias are the way forward. With this in mind, of all the petunia varieties our favourite has to be:

Petunia – Fiona Flash

Red Petunia Fiona Flash from Suttons
These easy, low-maintenance flowers add amazing structure to hanging baskets and window boxes.
Image: Petunia Fiona Flash from Suttons

Truly beautiful plants, Petunia Fiona Flash produce velvety red flowers that make them difficult to miss amongst a flower bed or border. However, we feel that these flowers need their own show so we much prefer to see them in a decorative flower pot on their own or with other flowers that compliment them.

There’s a truly regal elegance to these flowers, and any garden would be lucky to have them this summer.

Elegant and Vibrant Verbenas

Bright and vivid colours packed into blooms sat upon delicate stems. Verbenas are a very sophisticated plant with flowers that add just the right amount of colour and grace to flower beds and flower borders. 

Being borderline hardy, these flowers look similar to primrose. The reason we love Verbena so much is because of its versatility as it can be planted anywhere from flower beds to hanging baskets or decorative flower pots. With this in mind our favourite is:

Verbena – Trailing Mix

Verbena Plants - Trailing Mix
Trailing Verbenas create a waterfall effect from containers and patio pots.
Image: Verbena Plants – Trailing Mix

‘A waterfall of colours’, these flowers will remind you of days on holiday walking through warm sunny villages. They cascade beautifully down the side of hanging baskets creating beautiful collages of pinks, purples and the green of the foliage. Another great way these flowers can be used is in tall decorative flower pots so they have room to trail down the side slightly.

We hope this helps you to decide what sort of plants will suit the style of your garden and flower beds. This was a whistle-stop tour of our favourite bedding plants but we really are spoilt for choice. Our full bedding plant range has hundreds of different varieties of each of the plants mentioned above, all with their own beautiful qualities that we’re sure will complement any garden they are planted in.

Extra Value Plugs

These are our best value plugs and come in packs of 45. We’ve germinated the seeds for you and grown them into small plants. They will need to be potted on, but each plant costs as little as 9p!

Extra Value Plugs image from Suttons

Value Plugs

These are larger than our Extra Value plugs. They’ll still need potting on but provide balance between value and effort. Our Value plugs come in packs of 20, from as little as 21p per plug.

Value plugs from Suttons

Garden Ready Plugs

These plugs are ready to plant in the ground and provide a great kick start to your summer bedding display. Our Garden Ready plugs come in packs of 15, from as just 38p per plug.

Garden Ready Plants from Suttons

So, if you’re as excited as we are and want them ASAP then the extra value plugs can be planted as early as March. Alternatively, if you’re late to the game the Garden Ready Plugs can have your flower beds looking great by May, ready for summer!

Click here to check out the full Suttons Bedding Plants range.

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2 thoughts on “Must Have Bedding Plants”

  1. Sam Evans says:

    Great advice, thanks! We love hearing from our customers and what you’re up to in your gardens!

  2. K.M.Riley. says:

    Growing plants in seed trays. For many years, I have used this method of raising seedings. Sow seeds in small tray, 9 inch, and allow to grow till can be handled. Take standard 14 inch seed tray and construct a device to enable One to plant 25 seedlings uniformly in tray such that they can then be easily removed for planting out. Take a piece of wood, 1 inch X 1/2 inch slightly longer than tray then nail to one end at right angles similar timber just over width of 14 tray, You now have an “L” shaped arrangement. Decide how many rows of plantlets you want per tray, 25 is a nice number, then measure off 4 equal spaces on long side of timber and drill through 4 quarter dia. holes to take quarter dia. dowels just slightly longer than width of tray. Take an un-used black waste bag, cut off bottom and slice up one side so you now have a plastic sheet from which you can now cut strips of plastic the width of tray. Place the timber former over tray, clip plastic sheet at one end, clothes pegs will do, and now pour in your peat seed compost and slightly tamp down before inserting the seedling, 5 a time, across the tray. Water and place warm frame to grow. In time, when you are ready to plant out into prepared flower garden, a small tug to one end of plastic sheet, will raise the seedlings ready for planting. QED., job done. Year before last, only had 45 trays with 25 plants to deal with. Neighbours and friends benefited. As I am now 90, just like my gardening to be as enjoyable as possible. Must get some seed potatoes, King Edwards of course, ready for sprouting. Ken.

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