Here's a cool-season combination that is simple to plant; it lasts for six months in most areas, easily rating a blue ribbon. Pansies are one of the stars of easy container gardening. They bloom in cool weather, which causes them to grow slowly. The slow growth means they can stay in smaller containers for longer periods of time than most other flowers. Create more impact by using several similar container gardens together.
Blue Pansy: 6 plants in 4” pots
Orange Pansy: 6 plants in 4” pots
Sedum: 8 plants in 4” pots
Photo from Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia.
Light: Light shade to full sun.
Season: Cool season when temperatures range from 22 to 85 degrees F. Shows some cold damage below 25 degrees, but recovers quickly. I have had pansies in containers in temperatures down to 15 degrees. They look bad when the weather gets that cold, but they recover quickly when it warms up. If you want them to look good all winter, bring them inside if the temperature drops below 25 degrees.
Pansies are commonly used in the spring and fall in areas that have bitterly cold winters.
Lifespan: Six months in this container.
Care: Easy! No trimming necessary. Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release fertilizer. If you have time, pinch off the dead pansy flowers.
Water: Water thoroughly when the plants show signs of wilt or the soil feels dry when you push your fingertip into the potting mix. As long as it rains occasionally, you shouldn't need to water much during cool weather. Conversely, very cold weather dries soil out, so be sure to water before a really cold spell arrives.
Troubleshooting: No problems at all.
Planting Plan: Plant the blue pansies along the center in a line. Plant the orange pansies in a line perpendicular to the blues. Fill in along the edges with the sedum. Be sure to plant in good quality potting mix, not garden soil, topsoil, or potting soil, which can kill the plants.
Container: 16” bowl.
This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s book, Easy Container Gardens, available through Amazon and other online booksellers.
Pamela Crawford, author of 12 gardening books, is considered one of the most accomplished container gardening experts in the country. In addition to designing gardens for over 1500 residences, her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens publications as well as in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Fine Gardening, Country Gardens, Country Almanac, Small Gardens, and in over three hundred newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, gardenloverstv.com and numerous local tv shows.
Pamela has an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Florida International University, where she received the prestigious "Torch Award” as an outstanding alumnus from the school of architecture.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.