The Q&A Archives: Pansies for Fall Planting

Question: On page 51 of the new fall planting catalogue there are pansies for fall planting. Are they perennials or annuals ?
Will they come next spring in my area? How would I take care of them if they are more like an annual than a perennial ? I guess that I would like more information to decide ifI would like to plant them.

Answer: Pansies offer a splash of late fall color. Especially in areas with mild winters, pansies are used as fall bedding plants because they will bloom heavily over a long period of time on into the fall and again beginning in very early spring. Depending on the local climate they may even bloom all winter, or at least sporadically during mild spells. In some parts of Texas for instance, they are a mass of bloom all winter long! In areas with heavy snow cover, however, they rest hidden under the snow and begin to grow again when the snow melts, so many gardeners simply plant them in very early spring.

Pansies resent hot weather and will show it by looking shabby in a hurry (or drying up and shriveling away), so most gardeners rip them out in late spring and replace them with fresh summer annuals. Basic care is the same as for most annuals: rich, moist but well drained soil, regular attention to watering, nutrients and deadheading. Be sure to plant them in full sun in a protected spot to maximize their blooming season when planted in the fall.

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