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Bedding plants - flowering now and for a few months to come?

What bedding plants can I buy now which are also flowering now and which will continue to flower for at least two more months (and preferably throughout the winter, even though I assume that the latter is most unlikely!).

I was thinking of pansies and petunias, etc but would welcome all viable suggestions.

Must be bedding plants that flowers with multiple, bright colours. For exampe, what I don't want is various shades of one colour.

I'm very much a beginner gardener, so please assume that I know nothing. image

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  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,125

    ' At least two more months' means the end of October and means that plants may potentially be exposed to frost or at least very low temperatures overnight. Most bedding plants are either annuals, now coming to the end of their life, or tender perennials, like petunias, that cannot take the cold. For flowers into winter you are pretty much limited to pansies and  violas or primroses and polyanthus. These all cover virtually the entire colour spectrum and are often sold as mixtures, so should suit your purpose.  They are completely hardy; flowering will be somewhat reduced when it is very cold, but pick up again in mild spells.

    You will see other things on sale such as dwarf chrysanthemums and little cyclamen and these will survive until the first hard frosts - fine if you live somewhere mild, not much good if, like me, you live in a cold part of the world! There are other things for winter colour such as evergreen shrubs and things like hellebores and some clematis, but these may not be what you require.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,064

    Summer bedding plants don't last the winter. Petunias are not hardy and will be almost finished by now anyway.   If you can wait a couple of weeks you should be able to plant a fine display of pansies, violas and/or primulas in a wide range of colours.   Keep them dead headed and they'll go through autumn and winter to spring but will, of course, go limp and sad if we get a spell where temps go, and stay, below freezing.  However, they do recover and carry on flowering once they thaw.

    Another plant you can put in between them or behind them for a change of height and form is wallflowers which tend to come in bundles from the garden centre.   Soak the bundle's roots in cold water for an hour or so then plant out the individual plants as you see fit.  They will provide colour and perfume in spring and come in a wide range of colours - but garden centres won't have as many colours as if you'd sown them yourself.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ta for the advice.

    Presumably then I can, relatively cheaply, buy Pansies and primroses now that will already be in flower?

    Nice idea about the Wallflowers too. Will they already be on sale and in flower?

    I ask some of these questions as looking online (at the Thompson & Morgan website for example) they often state that the plants aren't available until the end of September or October but that they only flower in March onwards. This is though, I presume, due to their scheduled growing periods and is not reflective of what I would find in my local garden centre?

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    It's not the companies being awkward - when plants are available depends on their life cycle.

    Winter-flowering pansies are in the shops already, and some will be in flower or have pictures on the labels so you can see what you're getting.  Don't know about primroses/primulas but I'm sur you can buy them soon.  They normally flower in early spring but I daresay the breeders have made them do so earlier.

    Wallflowers are biennials - they'll have been sown early this summer and are normally planted out now-ish to flower next spring.   Again, you may be able to find earlier-flowering ones.

    If you have a good local garden centre or nursery (i.e. one without a coffee shop or overpriced presents) you may find a knowledgeable nurseryman who can show you what's available.

  • ERICS MUMERICS MUM Posts: 561

    Have a look at perennial wallflowers Erysium - "Bowles Mauve" is the most sturdy and prolific variety.  In my East Anglian garden it flowers year-round for about 3 years then looks straggly so I replace It. You can take cuttings but I've never succeeded, the art of taking cuttings is on 2016 New Years Resolutions List.

    also in this neck of the woods those big blousey Begonias "Non-Stop " variety flourish until the end of Oct

    i love the bright colours and unusual leave patterns of the small outside cyclamens as mentioned above.  I put them in large pots with a few bits of trailing ivy for autumn colour and put small bulbs in that grow up over winter.  Mini daffodils such as tete-a-tete and tiny irises.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,126

    You could consider a display of evergreens to see you through the coldest days of winter. They make a good foil for pansies and primroses too. Some of the grasses will look good through winter as well as shrubs such as euonymus and lonicera nitida bagessens gold, both of which can be kept neatly clipped. Michaelmas daisies will be in the garden centres now and they will flower through the autumn and will come up year after year.

  • Excellent, thank you all. image

  • ERICS MUMERICS MUM Posts: 561
    Jo47 have you tried any of the other varieties ? There's one with orange flowers and another with variegated leaves but they don't last long in my garden and they're much more expensive. Hey Ho.



    I'm going to have another go at cuttings.
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