Bedding plants create dense areas in the garden. Plant beds, which often are low to the ground, cultivate plants that put on colorful flower shows. Beds provide an opportunity for gardeners to get creative with color and texture, and many different plants grow well in a plant bed.
Boasting colorful common names such as "stepmother's flower," "heart's ease" and "ladies delight," the pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) is a cheerful-looking flower that boasts floppy, brightly colored flowers available in almost every color combination imaginable. The result of years of hybridization, pansies are generally pest-free and require little maintenance. Often used in containers, pansies also are a very common bedding plant. Pansies will do best in USDA zones 7 to 10, in bright or filtered sunlight, even shade (though they will produce fewer flowers in complete shade). Pansies will grow in most soil types as long as the soil hold moisture well. Pansies should be watered frequently for best results.
A native of South Central Texas and Mexico, dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba) is a bushy annual commonly found as a bedding plant in dry, hot areas. The low-growing plant boasts delicate, silvery foliage accented by sunny daisy flowers, which appear in late summer and early fall. "Golden Cascade" and "Shooting Star" are two of the most well-known cultivars of the plant. Dahlberg daisy grows best in USDA zones 9B to 11. Full sunlight and a well-drained, loose soil with a pH of 6.8 or higher provides the best conditions for this plant. The dahlberg daisy moderately tolerates drought, but regular watering is preferable.
A member of the dogbane family, Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) is a fast-growing evergreen notable for its broad, glossy leaves and small silky flowers, which grow in shades ranging from white to pale pink and brilliant magenta, depending on the cultivar. The plant works well in a low-maintenance flower bed or flower box. Madagascar periwinkle, a tropical plant, will only really thrive in full or partial sunlight in USDA zones 9 to 11. The plant does better in poor, infertile soils; rich soils may limit the plant's flower production. Fairly drought tolerant, Madagascar periwinkle should only be watered as needed. Watering too much will harm the plant.