Driving through a South Carolina neighborhood can sometimes feel like a trip to a botanical garden. Flower gardening is a favorite pastime of many South Carolinians. This can sometimes be a labor of love, particularly during the summer months. Fortunately, many of the most popular bedding plants in South Carolina are also easy to grow and maintain. Bedding plants can put on a show in your South Carolina garden.
Petunias are one of the most popular bedding plants in South Carolina gardens. They thrive in window boxes, hanging baskets or planters, though the newer Wave variety can be also be used as a ground cover.
South Carolina gardeners love petunias because of their sweet smell and beautiful, long-lasting blooms that come in many colors. For the best results, petunias should be planted in sunny places. Water them frequently to keep the flowers from wilting, and pinch off any blooms that are past their prime. This allows the petunia to produce more buds.
If you like the pinks, reds and purples of petunias, but prefer a smaller or less-fragrant flower, consider planting vinca in your flower beds. Vinca works well in areas that receive full sun, but requires less watering than some other bedding plants. This reduces upkeep and conserves resources, which is important if a South Carolina city or county invokes water restrictions during the summer.
Vinca works especially well in planters. Place just a few plants in each one and you'll soon have full containers of colorful flowers and rich green foliage. It's a low-maintenance way to brighten your front porch all summer long.
Marigolds are another summer favorite in South Carolina flower beds. Marigolds have a high tolerance for both hot sun and dry weather, conditions that are almost a given during June, July and August.
Plant marigolds as a border around your flower bed or around a bush or shrub in your yard. Their flowers will add a pop of yellow, orange or red to brighten up the landscape. Marigolds are also rumored to be a natural repellent against bugs and animals that might damage your garden or flower bed.
Flower gardening in South Carolina is predominately a spring and summer activity, as the temperatures drop just enough in the winter to kill most bedding plants. There is one exception: the pansy. With a rainbow of color, pansies brighten up the drab winter months almost everywhere you look. They are particularly popular in landscaping, and are also commonly found in planters and hanging baskets.
Pansies do require regular watering, but don't fear the frost and freeze warnings with these plants; they seem to thrive after some of the harshest winter weather events, such as ice storms.