Fall/Winter Flowers

blazepepper(7b)September 30, 2008

I read somewhere the Mums and Pansies will bloom from October all the way through to April in the Atlanta area.

Is this true? and if so, do they have any special needs?

And how is it that they survive the month of freezing weather we usually have?



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Not true for Mums that I know of. They get nipped by frost and then they are dormant until next year.

Pansies are amazing. They get nipped but they bounce right back. In some years when we've had a warm January, they are just blooming away.

Pansies do best with a special source of nitrogen. "Use a fertilizer which contains 50% of the nitrogen in nitrate form when soils are cold, rather than ammonia or urea types." Frankly, I just buy the prepackaged stuff at Home Depot; it is slow release and has the right stuff. Does a good job too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article from UGA

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 8:04PM
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bloominganne(Atlanta 8)

Thanks for the UGA article on pansies - I have wondered when was the best time to plant them and it looks like it is soon.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 8:22PM
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Ok, so this weekend I plan to plant some pansies. I've noticed that they come in small cell packs, or in larger containers. My question is, if I plant the smaller (and cheaper) cell packs, will they grow and become thicker/bushier like an impatien would do in the spring and summer, or do you have to plant a lot of them close together? maybe a silly question, but I've never dealt with them, thanks/bobby

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Often times the "bigger" ones are just really a larger container with 2 or more little ones inside so it makes a bigger mass.

Small ones are fine if their roots have time to grow before cold weather (true for now). If you were planting them in mid-late November, you might want to get the ones with the more developed root systems.

And then there's the fact that some people want bigger ones faster for impact.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Any other special needs for Pansies? Do they need much fertilizer? Much watering? thanks

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 1:52PM
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The probably have some fertilizer in the pack; but you could give them some generic liquid stuff at planting time. I would keep them adequately watered through October.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 4:00PM
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nikkineel(GA 8/7b)

I'm just a little south of Atlanta. I planted a few flats of the tiny pansies in November last year and they bloomed up until May. They filled in rather quickly. I used osmocote fertilizer when I planted them and that's about it. I rarely watered them. I also planted rosemary and dianthus. The dianthus died back in the dead of winter but came back in the spring. I've included a few pics of them still going gangbusters in these April pics... (mums, dianthus, pansies, and rosemary). Everything was planted in November.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 10:05PM
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I heard Walter Reeves this weekend talking about Pansy food. Is this really pansy specific, or is this simply the same type of gen fert being sold under a diff label?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I read somewhere recently about pansies having specific fertilizing needs and that's all I recall! I do recall my reaction thinking that's why I do indeed need to buy that bag of pansy food.
I have been buying it off and on over the years ans some years my pansies have been great and others not so great. Now I wonder if there's a correlation.
Pansies are heavy feeders though and mine all respond to regular miracle grow throughout the season.
I'll put mine in sometime in the next week or two.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 10:26AM
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I'm planting some pansies for the first time this week hoping for winter-long blooms. How big should I expect them to get? My little cell pack pansies are all ready blooming. Should I pinch blooms now to promote more growth now and better blooms during winter? Do I need to dead head the blooms ever?

Are there any other affordable annuals I should look for to plant for winter color?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 11:22PM
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good questions, I have them too, lets see if we can get an answer by moving it back up on the list

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 4:50PM
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The best pansies I ever had were the ones that the deer munched to the ground! I was so horrified. They came back strong and lush. So, yes, some amount of pinching does help.

By the way, now I put Milorganite in and around my pansies (to deter the deer) and also put a spritz of Liquid Fence on them if I am spraying other things.

A single pansy from a 6 pack will get about 3 times the size of when you got it. It probably depends on how much fertilizer you give it.

The special fertilizer they sell gives the plant what it needs in COLD weather. At HD, I think it is called Pansy Booster, it is a timed release kind. You could give them regular liquid fertilizer when you plant them (for quick access) and add the booster for the months ahead.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 5:03PM
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thanks for the follow up, what are some good pansie food brands that could be found at the big box stores/ home depot,lowes?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:29AM
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I've got my eyes on a yuletide camelia, I really like the photos I've seen of these. Anyone had any experience with these around atlanta? any luck?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:37AM
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good pansie food brands

They usually have it right next to the register or next to the pansies. Like I said, the one at HD actually has the word PANSY in the name.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 1:37PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

Blazepepper, my daughter, who lives next door to me, has a huge Yuletide camellia that was already there when they bought the house. Believe me, she knows nothing about gardening (she even "pruned" it during the worst heat of the summer?!?) and it has been mostly ignored for the past several years. BUT it is just magnificent when it blooms and NOTHING seems to bother it. I just recently got one for myself and it is doing nicely so far.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 3:53PM
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Basically, 95% of fertilizers on the market contain only Urea and Ammonia forms of Nitrogen (there are 4 types). These forms are not readily available to the plants and depend on hungry bacteria in the ground to break down the fertilizer into a usable form (Nitrate). The bacteria are asleep in the colder months so the fertilizer is not available to the plants and can actually burn the plant up because they are acidic forms of fertilizer. Professional growers use fertilizers that have higher amounts of Nitrate nitrogen, in general, so we can get the food to them right away, but this costs more. So, if you truly want to have a great garden I always try to tell customers to use a fertilizer with a higher Nitrate form of nitrogen. A lot of the slow release fertilizers have Nitrate and some of the orchid foods (since some orchids grow in bark there is place for the bacteria to live that would break down the fertilizer either.) This is a simplistic explanation, but maybe it will help you understand. By the way I grow 2 million pansy plugs a year so I have been doing a while. More info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:49PM
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Finished planting the last of my Pansies over the weekend.
Have a few Mums remaining to plant and that will be it, except for bulbs later this month.
Have a few shrubs to plant, but waiting on a good soaking rainfall. Garden is getting dry again. They will be located near the rear of my property and I hate dragging water hoses back there,
Only a few perennials blooming now. Ligularias, some late blooming Toad Lily's, scattered blooms on KO Roses and a local native Aster. Always like to see it bloom, since that is usually the only chance I have to see any European Honey Bees. They are there again this year, but not as many as last. Why they prefer that particular plant, over all others, is a mystery only they can answer.
Hope everyone is enjoying the brilliant fall colors.
Maple, Hickory, Dogwood, Sourwood and others are very showy now. Oaks and Poplars are beginning. Sweet Gums are duds. Usually yellow, they are brown this year.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 12:31AM
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The dogwoods are really showy this year, I agree. Their burgundy foliage is showing up all along roadsides and in yards.

Orange sassafras and sugar maples are flaming out as well.

Red maple cultivars, especially when planted en masse like at the grocery store or mall, are putting on a real show right now.

The oaks are just now starting - some turning from green to warm brown, others transitioning to pure scarlet. I have got to stop and check for acorns underneath one of my favorites near where the mule lives. I think it is a scarlet oak.

Green ash are turning a soft yellow. Hickories are a deep, dark yellow as if they have a dash of maple syrup.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 4:48PM
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Nell Jean

Violas -- the smaller flowers (they're all violas) are generally tougher than the big flowered pansies.

During a freeze, you may not see new blossoms, but a few warm days will bring them out again. Be sure to deadhead the spent blossoms so they keep flowering rather than setting seed.

For caeebe:
Other good winter bedding plants are snapdragons, annual dianthus and Iceland poppies.

Try scattering some corn poppies/Shirley poppy and breadseed poppy seed, larkspur seeds, California poppy seed and some bachelor buttons (centaurea) among your pansy/viola beds. They'll bloom in late spring as your pansies are on the way out.


Here is a link that might be useful: Scattering Seeds

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 4:25PM
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