How to Plant Bedding Plants

Overview

Bedding plants are annuals that conclude their life cycle after one growing season. Typically, bedding plants offer colorful blooms and are used to add a splash of color to your landscaping efforts. When purchasing your bedding plants, ensure each type comes with plant-specific care instructions. These instructions should include the amount of sunlight required, along with a planting and maintenance guide.

Planting in Flower Beds

Step 1

Choose a style of flower bed design based on your home or landscape's style. Formal designs, which typically include straighter lines, fit in well with suburban areas. Informal designs, including naturalized flower beds with wildflowers or native grasses, work best for rural settings.

Step 2

Draw out a rough blueprint of your flower beds and how you'd like your bedding plants arranged. Visualize how this arrangement will look in your flower beds, making sure the design will be appealing from all angles.

Step 3

Prepare the soil in your flower bed several days before planting. Add required fertilizers, based on the types of bedding plants you intend to plant, and mix thoroughly with the soil.

Step 4

Plant the bedding plants after the risk of frost has passed. Arrange the plants, still in the pots, according to your blueprint. Now is the time for any last minute changes to your layout.

Step 5

Dig a hole for your first bedding plant, using a gardening shovel, to the recommended depth. Bedding plants usually come with an insert that will display the depth and spacing measurements for that plant.

Step 6

Plant each annual, as directed, and fill in the holes around the plant with soil. Make sure each plant is sitting straight and the root system is covered.

Step 7

Water all the bedding plants thoroughly after planting.

Step 8

Spread mulch out on the soil in between the bedding plants, if desired. Mulch keeps the soil moist, helps regulate soil temperature and discourages weed growth.

Step 9

Deadhead blooms as needed and check for insect infestations regularly. Spray with insecticide if necessary.

Planting in Hanging Baskets

Step 1

Make drainage holes in plastic baskets if they are not already present. Wire baskets filled with moss or other porous material does not need drainage holes.

Step 2

Fill the baskets with a light-weight potting soil. Lighter soils provide better aeration and drainage for your bedding plants.

Step 3

Plant the bedding plants, according to their depth and spacing needs. Plant one less bedding plant than your baskets has room for. This will help ensure your plants are not crowded once they begin to grow in size.

Step 4

Water the baskets thoroughly. Hanging baskets need water a minimum of once daily; sometimes more in areas that are exposed to sunlight for most of the day.

Step 5

Fertilize the soil in your hanging baskets regularly. Frequent watering flushes out nutrients, which must be replenished. Regular addition of a liquid fertilizer is recommended.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use soil from your garden to fill your hanging baskets. This soil type is not light enough and will not provide adequate drainage and aeration for your plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Bedding plants
  • Fertilizer
  • Gardening shovel
  • Water
  • Mulch (optional)
  • Insecticide (optional)
  • Hanging baskets
  • Potting soil

References

  • "Introductory Horticulture;" H. Edward Reiley and Carroll L. Shry; 2002, 2004
  • University of Illinois Extension: Designing a Flower Bed
  • Benefits of Mulch

Who Can Help

  • Flower Bed Designs
Keywords: bedding plants, flower beds, hanging baskets

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.