Using Bedding Plants in the Landscape

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape November 14, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

The main purpose of using bedding plants in the landscape is to provide lasting color throughout the growing season. A bedding plant can be an annual, biennial, or perennial plant.

Some basic guidelines to follow when choosing bedding plants:

  • Look for plants that provide color accent for your existing landscape
  • Use annual plants to fill in "holes" while perennial plants become established
  • Avoid too many different varieties of plants
  • Flower beds should be prepared before purchasing your plants
  • Plan for the mature sizes of the plants to prevent crowding
  • Know your site conditions – soil type and pH and hardiness zone
  • When planning perennial bedding plants, select for a continuous sequence of bloom times throughout the growing season

Be sure to have fun. You have gone through a lot of preparation to get to this point.  Find the desired plants and create a landscape that looks great and conserves water too.

brightly colored flowering plants in front of a house porch






planting bed with colorful flowering plants along a fence


Annual bedding plants provide bright color throughout the growing season. Photo credit: Derek Severson Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Bedding plants along a fence. Photo credit: InAweofGod'sCreation Flickr CC BY 2.0

Additional Resources:


Utah - Annuals for Utah Gardens


Florida - Bedding Plants
Gardening With Annuals
Kentucky - Bedding Plants
Louisiana - Bedding Plants for Louisiana Landscapes
North Carolina - Selection and Use of Stress-Tolerant Bedding Plants for the Landscape


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.