We’ve never understood why the name pansy got associated with wimpy when they’re the toughest flower we’ve ever seen. Pansies can weather single digit temperatures and wintry precipitation one day and bounce back and start blooming a few sunny days later. They are truly a hardy little flower and should be your go-to flower in North Texas if you want colorful blooms during the colder months of the year. A few tips on how to get the most out of your pansies…
- They prefer a loose well-drained soil so they don’t stay wet after watering. An easy way to accomplish that is to add potting soil to the bed.
- Pansies are like candy to rabbits, so if you have a large population in your area, it may be challenge to grown them. I haven’t found anything that is 100% effective to keep rabbits away, but many recommend using fox or wolf urine as a deterrent. You can buy discount urine here: ThePeeMart.com (only on the internet, right?). The downside to using this is you have to apply it every few weeks. • Mix blood meal into your soil. Not only is a great organic fertilizer for pansies, it also acts as a rabbit deterrent.
- The key to nice blooming pansies is to fertilize them a little but mostly, don’t over water them. That’s the fastest way to kill them.
- If pansies are planted too early and are exposed to warm weather, the plant will get tall and leggy and won’t really recover – the recommended soil temperature is below 65 degrees.
- Finally, you can cover pansies when the temperatures drop below freezing. That keeps the blooms from being burned off. If you don’t cover them you’ll lose the blooms and they have to re-set again, but they will look nice again a couple of weeks later.
When it comes to pansies your choice is often between these two varieties: Majestic and Crown.
Majestic has a larger bloom and is two-tone, with an eye in the middle. Because these have large blooms, you can’t get the mass of blooms you would from the smaller ones but the two-tone color lets you blend a mix of colors. They are also good if we have a wet winter (they seem to survive better.)
The Crown has smaller blooms, and fill in becoming a mass of solid color.
Lately growers have introduced quite a few other varieties, with a lot of different names, but tat the end of the day the same rules apply. You either like two-tone larger blooms or a solid mass. It really is a personal preference.
As far as color, pastels seem to be the weakest of all pansies, especially if we have a wet winter. They always struggle more than other colors.
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