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Try Plentifall pansies in flowering baskets
I have been really impressed so far this winter with the performance of a new pansy called Plentifall.
The unique spreading and trailing growth habit of Plentifall pansies make them outstanding landscape plants. They are well-branched and vigorous growers. They can fill a landscape bed and provide pockets of color from fall all the way to late spring.
Plentifall pansies are particularly well suited for combination container baskets, and they do a great job in the role of the spiller plant. I have seen fantastic winter combination plantings of Plentifall pansies and the burgundy foliage of either Burgundy Giant mustard or Red Star cordyline.
Plentifall pansies come in three colors, and all are very attractive. Plentifall Lavender Blue has bright lavender-blue lower petals and royal purple upper petals. Plentifall Purple Wing has bright white lower petals with purple splotches and cheery purple-violet upper petals. Plentifall White has sparkling white petals. All three selections have whisker lines in the center of the flower that resemble an artist’s fine brushstrokes.
One particular attribute that impressed me is their cold tolerance. The Plentifall pansies I am growing in exposed wall sconces have stood up to several nights of 22-degree temperatures with minimal damage. These plants have performed well in trials all the way through U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zone 5, so they are well adapted to Mississippi.
Plentifall pansies’ growth habit and winter hardiness give the home gardener an option for making flowering baskets in the winter.
Select attractive pots or baskets that don't overpower the plants. Plastic pots are lightweight and retain moisture longer, but they are available in only a few colors and sizes, which limits your final arrangement. Wire baskets give a wider variety of styles and sizes. From dressy brass to contemporary plastic coated, there is a wire basket to fit anyone’s style.
Line wire baskets to hold the potting media. Long fiber sphagnum moss looks great in wire baskets, creating a coarse texture on the bottom of the basket. Make the liner by firmly packing the sphagnum fibers in a thick layer on the inside of the wire basket.
Coir or coco fiber mats are much easier to work with. Just line the wire basket with these mats and trim for a perfect fit.
Watering and fertilizing are crucial for success, even in the winter. Water your container until the potting media is saturated and water flows out the bottom. Use a good slow-release fertilizer at the initial planting or water-soluble fertilizer once a week to keep the plants looking good.
With the right flowers in mind, the only other thing you need to do is line a basket, pack in the potting mix and plant to enjoy homemade hanging baskets. This advice will work for any season.