Meet the Pansy Family!
Pansies are the most commonly planted fall and winter annual in our area and for very good reason. Pansies bloom from fall into next spring, all the way through time to plant warm season annuals. They offer a large variety of color choices and offer a variety of bloom colors and interesting features. Care is simple; we suggest using Ferti-Lome Premium Bedding Plant Food at planting as well as Good Earth brand Jump Start to promote rooting. Additional feedings with water soluble BR-61 (which is like steroids for flowers!) is also recommended. This can be done during warm spells for best utilization by the plants. Mulch after planting and water as needed.
As mentioned above, pansies offer a wide variety of color choices. Blotch pansies, which are also referred to as ‘with face’ are pansies that feature a dark area near the middle of the plant. The blotch color varies depending on variety and may be a darker tone of the same color, or as on light colored pansies, it can be a dark maroon or brown color. Blotch or no blotch, which to go with? It’s all a matter of personal choice, both are beautiful. Keep in mind that all these varieties we mention move fast, and there is a different selection each week. Don’t wait to plant or you could miss out on your favorite colors!
Pansies typically have large blooms, which are very showy! However, sometimes the large blooms get weighed down with rain and winter weather. Depending on how long they are wet, they don’t always stand back up. Violas on the other hand have much smaller blooms that don’t get weighed down during rain, the result being flowers that stay upright. Violas are also known for more heat and cold tolerance, which can mean a better spring display.
One more great option to mention is Panola! Panolas have the best of both worlds, durability of the viola and the larger bloom size of a pansy.
Nature Series Pansy
Let’s talk about the Nature series of pansies; wow, are they cool! They are more compact than a viola, with blooms standing up taller. The bloom size is closer to a viola than the bloom size of panolas but the color choices are lovely. Ocean, which is a striking blue color and Mulberry Shades are staff favorites. Nature series pansies are very cold tolerant and feature unique bloom colors!
Cool Wave Trailing Pansy
We can’t finish this conversation without mentioning one of our favorites; the Cool Wave trailing pansy. The bloom size is smaller but the trailing/ spreading growth habit of these plants makes it perfect for pots. Our staff knows from personal experience how awesome these are; we are talking gorgeous color, trailing out of containers with a length as long as eighteen inches. These also create mounds of color in landscape beds; the spreading habit means you can plant them much further apart.
As always, use quality potting soil in pots and prepare the planting area in landscape beds. You can get the best plant, plant them correctly and in the best spot, fertilize, water and mulch them, and STILL not have a great looking if the proper soil isn’t chosen or the bed areas haven’t been prepped. Take a few minutes to visit The Good Earth’s Learning Center for more planting tips, and pick up some Good Earth brand Professional Growing Mix. It’s what we use for a reason… it’s the best. Keep in mind that all these varieties we mentioned move fast, and there is a different selection each week. Oh, and add in some dusty miller, cabbage, and kale for more interest. It’s the perfect time to plant fall color; the longer you wait, the smaller the selection will be!