Pansies with personality

PansiesAfter a long winter, few floral ground covers can perk up a perplexed gardener as much as a flat of pansies. And did you know that this is the perfect time to plant them? Pansies come in many colors – all with a personality of course. Whether “clear-faced” or “blotched,” the color range is limitless. 

The pansy is an amazingly cold-tolerant flower. Early-spring planted pansy’s will bloom profusely until early June in a container or if planted in the garden bed. They can even be inter-planted with other annuals after the threat of frost for a “layered” look. Newer cultivars allow gardeners a much longer time frame to plant and enjoy pansies both this spring and again in the fall.

Plant pansies by themselves or mix in with spring flowering perennials such as columbine or foxglove in a moist, well-drained soil. Pansies prefer bright light but it is best to plant them where they can be sheltered from the hot afternoon sun. As a reminder, gardeners should buy short, chunky, well-branched plants. These will fill in and perform much better than leggy ones.  Fertilize with a balanced, slow release formula.

Some gardeners would rather have smaller pansy “cousins” known a violas. Also in beautiful purples, lavenders and yellows, these hardy but delicate plants will give a garden just what it needs to pop this spring!

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Gardening in Michigan

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