Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pansy Problems?

What a mild winter we've been having!

You fellow Richmonders probably noticed that your pansies were looking great up until we had that cold snap last week.

You also might be wondering 'Hey! I thought pansies were cold-weather annuals? Why do they look weary after the cold snap?'

As our friend Richard Nunnally so succinctly explained in his Gardening Q & A column on Saturday, the unseasonably warm (60 degree!) weeks leading up to the cold snap allowed your pansy plantings to grow some tender new foliage. Unfortunately this new foliage was still a bit too tender to be unharmed by the sub-freezing night time temperatures last week.

What can you do about this?

Right now, let them be. It would be unwise to try to fertilize now since there is likely still some cold winter weather in store for us and fertilizing now would promote more foliage growth resulting in the same frost damage. Once we've gotten through February, you could fertilize your pansies (in early March) for a beautiful show through March and April.

While we're on the topic of beautiful pansy plantings, what is your favorite color combination? Do you like to plant yellows and bronzes to coordinate with autumn plantings? Do you prefer red and white to coordinate with Christmas? Or maybe you like pastels so that when your spring bulbs are blooming, your pansies coordinate? We'd love to hear your opinion-- Everyone's taste is different!

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