Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Fall’s almost here and that means the garden centers will have pansies today on Southern Gardening.
Pansies are one of those tough plants that will perform all through the fall and winter season in our Mississippi landscapes. I’m in the habit of planting the next seasons flowering annuals before the current plants start to decline and this drives my wife crazy. But if you wait you run the risk of not having a good selection to choose from at the garden center. A group of pansies that will be a sure thing in your landscape are the Delta pansies. Delta Fire feature brilliant yellow flowers with blotches that range in color from burgundy to rusty red and orange. Delta Wine and Cheese is an attractive mix of primrose, red, violet and smooth pale yellow shades that are very much reminiscent of the actual namesakes. These pansies have freely branching growth characteristics and will get eight inches tall and wide. Delta pansies produce more flowers and much earlier than other pansies. The huge flowers are held above the foliage by strong stems and allow the petals to flutter in the slightest breeze. In the landscape prepare the soil as you would for summer flowering annuals. Keep the planting beds evenly moist, even in the cold temperatures of winter. Pansies may be the perfect winter flowering annual. The plants can freeze solid and thaw with little damage.
The short, sturdy stems resist stretching, which means the plants will look good long after the days begin warming up in the spring season. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.