Bedding plants are often used to give a splash of color to a boring landscape. These plants, which can be annuals, perennials or biennials, can be grown from seeds in the ground or in containers. The University of Florida Extension recommends choosing only a few types of flowers for a flowerbed because too many flower forms can hinder a flowerbed’s overall appearance. Even one plant species is enough to create an attractive display.
The amaryllis is a popular bedding plant. Grown from bulbs, amaryllises produce solid or mixed blooms of pink, red and white. They need well-drained soil, so if a location fails to drain properly, create an elevated bed for better drainage. Amaryllises also need fertilizer for continued blooming. Florida Plants.com warns that although fertilizers with high concentrations of nitrogen make amaryllises fat, they cause fewer blooms. For the best results, feed amaryllises a fertilizer with a small amount of low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Marigolds, often grown in flower beds, come in colors including yellows, oranges, reds, creams and maroons, as well as combinations of these colors. These annuals have either rounded or flat heads. Because they need about 45 to 50 days to flower after they’re seeded, plant marigolds indoors in either late March or early April, suggests the West Virginia University Extension. Then transplant them outdoors following the last frost.
Pansies, also called Pink-eyed-Johns and various other nicknames, are common bedding plants that come in various sizes and colors. The Backyard Gardener warns that pansies can’t aren’t suited for hot weather and that faded, spent flowers should be removed. Pansies do well in partially shaded locations, but don’t thrive at all planted in dense shade.
The coleus, a popular North American annual, is one of the top bedding plant in the United States. Home Greenhouse Profits.com recommends growing them from seed for a wide variety of forms and colors. They don’t need shade, but require sufficient moisture when potted in small containers. They come in colors including deep red, plum, burgundy and purple-splotched greens, notes Canada.com. "Burgundy Sun," "Rainbow," "Volcano" and "Black Dragon" are among the leading coleus hybrids.
Perennials are ideal for bedding plants, since they return annually. Because they come in various heights, colors and textures, perennials produce flower beds that can be enjoyed for an entire growing season. Popular bedding perennials, such as daylilies, calla lilies, Shasta daisies and yarrow, do need some maintenance, such as deadheading which is removing worn-out bloom heads. Dividing these plants every few years also helps prevent overcrowding, notes Backyard Landscape Ideas. Perennials, such as delphiniums, need to be replaced every few years.