Bedding plants are a popular option for gardeners looking to add annuals to flower beds and planters alike. When using more than one plant in the same space for aesthetic reasons it is important to incorporate plants that grow well together as well as compliment each other in terms of colors, textures, height and growth pattern. But never fear, because when it comes to bedding plants there are tried-and-true winning combinations that will ensure color, texture and the health of your flower beds and containers throughout the growing season.
There are a number of bedding plant combinations for shady areas. However, they all start with impatiens. Impatiens plants come in a variety of colors and require no deadheading. These garden staples can be combined with coleus, which are richly colored and patterned foliage plants, for an interesting combination of color and texture.
According to Fine Gardening, an online gardening resource and forum, lime green coleus makes a great backdrop for the dark foliage and vibrant blossoms of the impatiens. However, coleus can also be found in dark purple as well as green and pink variegated for additional color combinations. Hosta, a bulb perennial, is also a great addition to a bed of coleus and impatiens. The hosta acts as the center piece and coleus and impatiens plants can be planted around the hosta in a combination of green mixed with color from the impatiens.
Large mound beds are often positioned for full sun. These flower beds make an amazing showcase for tall colorful flowers such as zinnias and cosmos. This classic combination is both vibrant and whimsical. Both flowers come in an array of pinks and oranges and they both grow to be approximately 24 inches and will tolerate an exposed but well drained flower bed. In addition, the East Bay Regional Park District in California asserts that this flower combination is a known attractant of butterflies. The plants offer butterflies a healthy buffet of nectar.
Tuberous begonias can be combined with impatiens and sweet potato vine for a dramatic circular container. All of these plants will tolerate a certain amount of shade, perfect for a porch or entry way, and each offers color and depth. The begonia should be used as the centerpiece because of its large and showy blossoms.
Plant the impatiens around the begonia in complementary color combinations and a sweet potato vine placed in the front of the pot to drape over the side for dramatic detail. Sweet potato vines can be found in either bright lime green or dark purple to accent the impatiens and begonia.