Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Primer for Pansies

My summer periwinkles seem to be at their absolute peak. For a Texas gardener (and others who are lucky enough to have relatively mild winters), warm days and cool nights mean it's time to yank out those beautiful summer annuals and get the cool season annuals in the ground.

For me, the cool season annual of choice is the pansy. While I've blogged about the fabulous pansy before here, in this post, I thought I'd give you the quick scoop on the ideal way to prepare your beds, plant and care for your pansies to maximize their beauty throughout the fall and winter.

  • Choose a sunny location for your pansies. Ideally a half to full day of sun is required for the best flower production
  • Prepare the bed. Whenever you change out your annual color, add organic matter to your bed - compost, landscape mix or even potting soil will give any plant the ideal place to grow.
  • Apply a good, time released fertilizer to the prepared soil. I will occasionally use a water soluble fertilizer every other week or so to give plants a further boost.
  • After planting, apply mulch. Mulch not only protects the plants, increases moisture retention and helps keep weeds at bay, it also provides a clean, finished look to all of your landscape beds.
  • Water the beds after planting and continue to water enough to keep the beds moist for the first few weeks. After the plants are established, water every week or so. Over watering is the worst thing for pansies. Note: Do water your pansies before a predicted freeze. Water helps protect the plants during extended periods of cold weather. 
  • Enjoy the results!

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