What are the Best Winter Bedding Plants?

Gardens can seem to go to sleep during the winter months and that glorious splash of colour which brings us such joy in the summer is sorely missed. Gone are the vibrant reds, oranges, pinks and yellows and instead our gardens sometimes offer shades of dreary brown and green.

But winter bedding plants can offer a welcome boost as they defy the colder months and stoically produce beautiful flowers despite the inclement weather. What are the best winter bedding plants for borders and containers? Here are some suggestions:


These stalwarts of winter displays are always popular and with good reason. A hardy species, they can endure all weathers to produce pink, purple and yellow petals and are perfect for hanging baskets and containers as well as plugging gaps in garden borders. Pansies can withstand frosty temperatures and while they may droop during harsher conditions, they should rebound when the temperature rises.

They can be planted in November and while they do prefer the sunshine, they can also thrive in semi-shade. Your pansies can bloom right through to the spring and if you pinch out flowers heads when they have finished blooming, you can lengthen their life – these removed heads will grow new buds producing more flowers which will last even longer.


Also from the Viola tricolor family, violas are smaller and daintier than pansies, but no less stunning – and these lovely bedding plants are surprisingly resilient. They can flower throughout the winter, surviving frost and snow, and even if a really cold spell stops them in their tracks, they will bloom again in early spring.

Flowers are a mixture of orange, purple, white, yellow and pink set against foliage in a deep, rich green hue. A charming addition to any garden either in pots or borders.

A top tip is to water sparingly until the roots are established but then avoid overwatering, as damp soil and chilly weather encourages rot.


As autumn and winter comes, these lovely flowers burst into life. These excellent perennials fade back during the summer but when the temperature drops, they come into their own again offering a succession of flowers.

The classic Primrose vulgaris has small, pale yellow flowers which look beautiful in containers, borders and lawns while cultivated variations have a wider range of bright colours to brighten up any winter garden.

Deadhead these compact winter favourites to encourage flowering for longer.


Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen hederifolium are delightful tuberous perennials which provide colour when little else is flowering, especially during late winter or early spring. Their dainty nodding flowers – usually in shades of pink, red or white – belie their toughness as they can endure all weathers.

Beautifully dark green marbled leaves frame the flowers which look perfect in pots, under trees, on banks or in a shady border.


Also known as Christmas roses, Hellebores are a joyous addition to any winter garden. Their elegant pink, white or ruby blooms are set against mainly evergreen leaves. These graceful plants flourish in shady areas and have a long flowering period lasting well into the spring. Hellebores grow best in fertile soil and prefer light shade and room to stretch their roots.

The friendly, knowledgeable experts at Poplar Nurseries are here to offer help and advice, all year round; come and see us in store or get in touch through our website’s Contact Us page.