The Best Time To Plant Pansies

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This article provides tips and advice for when to plant pansies
by Brett · All Zones · Planting · 0 Comments · October 16, 2013 · 2,593 views it's mid September here in the South and the weather is still warm...but we know that cooler weather will be here sooner than later. And this means warm season annual flowers such as marigolds, impatiens, and petunias will be dying out for the season. But the annual flowers we planted in spring and summer are still looking pretty now. So, what do do? Knowing that cold weather is around the corner, do we yank them out and plant pansies and other cool season flowers...or, do we wait?

Some folks, including the author of this article, grit our teeth and pull the warm season flowers out of beds and containers and toss them on the compost pile. Then we quickly replace them with pansies and other cool season annual flowers and foliage plants. Why do we do that in October when the warm season flowers are still looking so pretty?

There are a couple reasons, and you should consider these as well...

One thing to consider is availability. Many nursery and garden centers in the South will carry pansies all the way through the month of December. However, the pansy growers typically plant the bulk of varieties for their fall season crops in late summer, so they'll be ready to ship to nursery and garden centers in late September and through the month of October. Some growers plant a second crop for late season sales, but this second crop is usually much smaller, and doesn't contain the variety. So, during the month of October and into November you'll find more varieties of pansies and other cool season annual plants available at nursery and garden centers than later on in the season. So, for this reason, if variety is what you're after, I would recommend planting the bulk of your flowerbeds and container gardens during the month of October and the first half of November.

Weather can also be a factor. Even though pansies are cool-weather lovers, the earlier you get them in the ground the more they will grow and become larger plants before colder winter weather arrives. Pansies will grow and flower throughout the winter, especially during the warmer periods, but foliage growth slows down during the cold periods.

So, in my opinion, as much as you might hate to rip out what otherwise appears to be healthy flowers, I'd recommend removing warm season annuals from your flowerbeds and container gardens during the month of October and replace them with pansies and other cool season annuals. You'll be happy you did when you see those happy pansy faces smiling at you.

IMPORTANT TIP!: Don't forget to fertilize pansies with a plant food containing "nitrate form" Nitrogen. I use Greenview Pansy Food 10-7-7, but there are other brands on the market.

Buy Pansy Food online to fertilize your pansy plants at Gardener Direct

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