Planting winter bedding in a pot

How to plant winter bedding in a pot

Discover how to plant winter bedding such as primulas, cyclamen, pansies and violas in a container to create a pretty winter display.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is at its best in January

Plant is at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is not at its best in July

Plant is not at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is at its best in November

Plant is at its best in December

To do
To do

Do To do in January

Do To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do To do in November

Do To do in December

Pots of winter bedding will bring cheer to your garden during the coldest months, and they’re easy to create. Look out for trays of pansies, violas, outdoor cyclamen and primroses at the garden centre, and plant them on their own, or combined with evergreens such as skimmia.

Discover five colourful winter containers.

You can space plants more closely that you would in spring or summer, as they won’t grow much during winter. They may not flower during very cold weather but will pick up again during milder spells.

Cold, wet compost can cause the roots to rot, so ensure that your pot has drainage holes in the bottom and stand it on pot feet, so that any excess water drains away. Keep the compost moist but not wet.

Follow our easy guide to planting winter bedding in containers.

Look out for trays of pansies, violas, outdoor cyclamen and primroses at the garden centre.

You will need

  • Winter bedding plants such as primroses, pansies, violas or cyclamen
  • Multipurpose compost
  • Suitable container
  • Watering can
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Total time:

Step 1

Fill a pot to around 10cm from the rim with good quality multipurpose compost. The larger the pot, the more plants you’ll be able to include, giving the display more impact.

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Step 2

Remove the plants from their pots, teasing out the roots if they are pot-bound. Plant each one so that the top of the rootball and compost are level, just below the rim of the pot.

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Step 3

Fill in any gaps between the plants with more compost, holding the flowers out of the way. Gently firm the compost around the plants so that there are no air pockets, but don’t compact it.

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Step 4

Water well. If the compost settles unevenly, top up the gaps with more compost. Position the pot where you can enjoy it easily in winter – near the front door or on the patio.

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What to do when the display is over

In spring, transplant the plants to your borders, where they will flower again next year. Then plant up your pot with new bedding for spring and summer.