By Pamela Crawford, author, Instant Container Gardens
Photographs courtesy of Pamela Crawford
This window box has more coco-fiber showing than most of my other arrangements. Whereas most of the containers were planted in spring, this one was planted in fall. The cool weather that followed caused the pansies to grow much slower than the plants in the spring containers. It still had the coco-fiber showing two months after planting. But the ‘Matrix Sunrise’ pansies were so pretty that the container became an asset to that side of my home.
The bok choy in the center is a vegetable that takes some winter cold. It gets quite tall, however, and requires some trimming.
I tested many different types of pansies. The ‘Matrix Sunrise’ did particularly well.
Pansy ‘Matrix Sunrise’: 16 plants from 4.5” pots
Ti plant: 6 plants from 4.5” pots
Bok choy (Chinese mustard): 1 plant from a 1-gallon pot
Light: Full sun is ideal.
Season: Pansies thrive in the cool season, in spring in most areas and are used commonly in winter in zone 7 further south. Bok choy and this ti plant take cold down to about 28 degrees. I moved this box indoors when the temperature went under 28 degrees.
Lifespan: Five to six months in this container.
Care: Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat if the leaves look yellowish or washed-out. Trim the bok choy if it gets leggy.
Water: I planted this container for winter use. Not much water was needed. But be sure to check it! Water when the potting mix is dry to the touch. Be sure to water it before cold spells, which really dry out containers.
Troubleshooting: No problems. This was a wonderful, trouble-free basket.
Planting Plan: Easy. Plant the ‘Matrix Sunrise’ pansies in the sides. Plant the bok choy and ti plants in the top. Plant the rest of the pansies around the top edge.
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, and in over 300 newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, gardenloverstv.com and numerous local tv shows.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.