There is a well-known song called, “Summertime” with the lyrics, “summertime and the livin is easy,” but that sentiment is not always true for flowers and plants. When it comes to surviving in summer, it can be difficult to know which flowers and plants stand a chance.
Did you know that there are plants called bedding plants specifically made to be seasonal sensations? We have some suggestions for flowers and plants that can beat the heat and bring your summer landscaping to the next level.
What are Bedding Plants, Really?
Bedding plants are flowers placed in a planting bed to be a seasonal, visual stunner. They create beautiful flower beds for landscaping. The plants are typically short in stature, bloom for a long time and display an abundance of colorful blooms.
Bedding plants are some of the easiest flowers to grow outdoors. They are also an affordable option for creating a big burst of color in your yard. Bedding plants are mass-produced and marketing at a reasonable price to retailers. They are sold to the public by the cell pack, which typically contains six plants. This means that bedding plants are a relatively inexpensive way to make a summer statement in your yard.
Now that we have a general idea of what bedding plants are, let’s look at which bedding plants are the best flowers to plant and grow outdoors this summer.
Begonias can thrive in both sun and shade. They have large, gorgeous blooms in a variety of colors and flower continuously up until the first few frosts. For an interesting begonia, the dragon wing begonia has dangling clusters of red and pink flowers. It grows strongly in all regions, and their pretty flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Sweet peas have a lovely fragrance and come in every color except yellow. However, some newer varieties aren’t as fragrant as original sweet pea varieties. Sweet peas are easy to grow, and the vines can reach six to eight feet in height. They prefer rich, well-drained soil.
Sweet peas have a long season of blooming. Their abundant flowers attract bees and make gorgeous cut flowers to decorate your home. There are also dwarf varieties.
If you want to add some pizazz with patterns, look no further than the exciting petunia. Their large, trumpet flowers come in an array of colors and patterns like stripes to add visual interest. Most varieties will bloom throughout the summer unless faced with extreme heat. They benefit from pinching or shearing midseason.
Are you feeling blue? Lobelias are dense and full of pretty, delicate flowers in colors of blue, purple and white. They are easy to grow and compliment any bedding scheme. They like full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They bloom for a long time and need frequent watering during any hot, dry periods of the summer.
Zinnias are colorful, cheery flowers. They can be grown in containers or flower beds. They like full sun and can adapt to most soil conditions. Zinnias attract butterflies and are beautiful in bouquets. It is said that these flowers symbolize thoughts of absent friends.
Geraniums are one of the most popular bedding plants. They flower all summer and do well in hot, dry conditions. They require moist, well-draining soil and at least six to eight hours of sunlight. There are hundreds of species and many have fragrant leaves you can use in the kitchen. These beautiful flowers are drought-tolerant and come in many colors.
For a big, spreading plant with lots of fruit-inspired colors, busy lizzies have a long flowering period where they produce large flowers. They prefer partial shade and are also known as impatiens. Busy lizzies are perfect for pet parents because they are non-toxic to cats and dogs.
For a tower of a flower, antirrhinum grows long colorful spikes of flowers in a wide range of colors and different heights. The flowers look like a little mouth when squeezed, which makes children like them almost as much as the bees that ingest their nectar. Plant them in partial shade. Giving them approximately an inch of water per week in times when it does not rain is essential for them to thrive throughout the hottest part of summer.
Before You Plant
When choosing bedding plants, look for those with unblemished leaves, plenty of blooms and bright colors. Select the plants that will do best in your area. If you are uncertain which plants to choose, check labels and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Proper preparation on the bed is essential. Remove grass and weeds. Till at least six inches down. Enrich the soil and fertilize. Before you remove the plants from their containers, water the pots. Loosen and spread the roots. Once they are in the ground, you can add mulch to keep the grass growth at bay and keep the moisture in the soil.
Many bedding plants require the removal of old blooms, which is also known as deadheading. Some bedding plants will not survive many frosts. For these plants, you may have to replace them with cool-season blooms.
If any of this sounds like too much effort, that doesn’t mean you have to live without the color and beauty that fresh flowers provide. Our florists at Wild Strawberry & More serving Okemos, MI, live for flowers and plants. We love it when we get to extend that beauty to others. Let us know if you have questions about bedding plants or would like a beautiful bouquet or arrangement to celebrate summer.