Growing Bidens in Containers- Growing this Tender Perennial

Bidens make excellent plants in containers
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In this article, we will discuss how to grow Bidens in containers. You can say that this tender perennial is one of the easiest bedding plants to grow. It is a prolific growing plant with honey-scented, yellow blooms. Bidens is part of the Aster family and 200 species are found in South America and Europe. It occurs naturally in America, where you often can see wild species growing at the side of roads. They are famous for the tiny-sticky seeds that cling to clothing.

Bidens make excellent plants in containers
Bidens make excellent plants in containers

Traditionally the older varieties produce yellow or orange blooms, but newer varieties can come in pink, golden yellow or white.

In countries that get no frosts, the plant is a perennial, but in other countries, it is treated as an annual.


You can either grow them from seeds or you can find them as garden-ready plants for planting directly in gardens.


First, fill a seed tray with seed compost between February to April. Water it well and sprinkle the seeds thinly over the top surface of the compost. Sieve a thin layer of seed compost on top of the seeds and place a propagator lid on top of the tray. Place it in a warm windowsill and after 20 days the seeds should start to germinate.

Bidens alba
Bidens alba

Once the seedlings are big enough to handle prick them out and transfer them to individual 7.5cm pots full of multipurpose compost. Continue to grow on and from late May to early June, you can harden the plant off before planting them in containers outside.


First, choose a container that is within character and size for the plants in question.  Make sure it has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom and then add a 1cm layer of gravel to aid drainage. Fill it with a good quality multipurpose compost and dig a hole slightly bigger than the root ball it came in the original container.

Bidens ferulifolia
Bidens ferulifolia

Place the plant in at the same level it came in the original pot-no shallower and no certainly no deeper. Backfill the plant with the growing media, making sure that any gaps that remain are filled with more compost.  Firm the plant in and water well.

You can grow them as a specimen plant but they can also be combined with Verbenas, Surfinias, Petunias or garden Helichrysum.

Place them in the brightest location possible where the blooms will be their best. They need at least 4 hours of sunlight a day. Without adequate light, they will grow very leggy and this will spoil the look. This is why it may need to be cut back to keep it compact and productive.

It will need to be watered when 5cm below the top of the surface of the compost feels dry when you stick your finger in. It Will wilt in prolonged drought but will soon recover once it is watered again.

It is best to feed weekly with a high potash liquid fertilizer at the manufacturer’s recommendation to get the plant to bloom for long periods. More fertilizer means more blooms but not too much as you can kill it with too much kindness.

You will also need to deadhead regular, along with regular trimming will keep the plant productive, in terms of flowers and also will keep it neat and tidy.


The good news is that the plant does not suffer readily from pest attacks it diseases that can ruin the plant, Overwatering can lead to root rot and this is why drainage is very important.


Bidens alba produces daisy-like, white blooms with bright yellow centres.

Bidens ‘Campfire Burst’ has tricoloured petals of deep, red-orange and a yellow centre that complements its look.

Bidens pilosa
Bidens pilosa

Bidens ‘Hawaiian Flare Bicolour Star’. Modern breeding has introduced the sensational bicolour blooms of the Hawaiian Flare Series. Bidens ‘Hawaiian Flare Bicolour Star’ is an extraordinary variety with bright orange blooms and a splash of gold at the base of each petal. The star-shaped flowers are borne in profusion, covering the feathery foliage throughout summer. Other varieties in the Series include ‘Hawaiian Flare Yellow Red Star’ and ‘Hawaiian Flare Neon Orange’.

Bidens ‘Pink Princess’.The feathery foliage and pink bicolour blooms of Bidens ‘Pink Princess’ have a lovely airy feel. Unlike traditional varieties, this modern cultivar remains compact with a neat upright habit all summer long.

Bidens ‘Yellow Port Royal‘. A dazzling display of semi-double, golden flowers appears above the spreading feathery foliage of this showy Biden.

Bidens ferulifolia ‘Golden Nugget’ has yellow flowers with orange centres, and is one of the most eye-catching varieties to grow with its fern-like green leaves. Other varieties include ‘Golden Eye’ and ‘Gold Strike’.


In this article, we have discussed how to grow Bidens in containers to bring a lot of colour to your display. As you can see they are easy to grow, only requiring to be deadheaded regularly, watering in dry periods and feeding weekly when the plant is in flower to help prolong the period it is in bloom. They do not suffer from pests and diseases so what is not to like.

They can be grown from seed or you can buy garden-ready plants to use in your bedding schemes.

If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make on growing Bidens in containers, please do so in the comment box below.

Happy Bidens growing.

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