November 6, 2012
If there's one bedding plant that just can't be beat in our cool season landscape, it has to be the pansy. As a group, pansies are great for outstanding performance. The pansy series that has taken the landscape by storm are the Matrix pansies, and they have quickly become one of the industry's leading cool season bedding plants. There is a wide range of colors available. Many have the traditional blotch, sometimes known as being faced. This is the dark coloration of the lower flower petals. A really attractive group of Matrix flowers have the clear colors. These flowers don't have a blotch, and really flash pure color. Another series of must have pansies, that are an oldie but goodie, are known as Delta Fire. These plants feature brilliant yellow flowers with blotches that range in color from burgundy to rusty red and orange. These warm colors are unusual for pansies. Both of these pansies have great growth characteristics. The plants will grow up to eight inches tall and ten inches wide. When mass planted, these pansies can be impressive in the landscape. Perhaps the most important characteristic of these sturdy plants are the short stems. This is good because the flowers are large, and held high above the foliage. Plus, the plants also freely branch, and this means even more flowers to enjoy. The short, sturdy stems resist stretching, which means the plants will look good long after the days begin warming up in the spring season. Matrix and Delta fire pansies will give you non-stop color to get you through the winter months. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.