Pansies – Ornamental Plant of the Week for Dec. 7 2015

Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.  |  12/5/2015 3:11:38 AM

Matrix Morpheus pansy

Pansies are the “decoration of winter landscapes” in the South. With a multitude of flower colors and sizes, these are durable and well-justified cool-season bedding plants for November through April. Some keys to landscape success:

– Prepare the landscape bed properly to allow for good internal drainage and aeration. Make sure your soil comes from a reputable supplier. Cheap soil is “bad”; expensive soil is “good.”

– Add fresh, nutrient-rich, finished compost to landscape beds to provide nutrients. Compost also is a great source of organic matter.

– Apply a slow-release fertilizer at planting as a regular practice. Most slow-release fertilizers for home use are formulations that feed the plants for three to four months.

– Make sure landscape beds for pansies have a soil pH between 5.5-6.0. Pansies require more acidic growing conditions than some other bedding plants.

– Select a full-sun planting location. Eight hours of direct sun a day is best.

– Choose varieties with small and medium-sized flowers. These hold up better long term than larger-flowered pansy varieties. This is especially true when you have a winter with above-average rainfall.

– Irrigate only when needed. Over-watering leads to many problems with cool-season bedding plants.

– Be aggressive and plant in masses for the best visual enhancement. Space individual plants 8-10 inches apart and at least three to four rows deep.

– Removing old flowers (deadheading) is suggested by some horticulturists but typically is not needed.

Allen Owings
Rick Bogren

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