Pansies & Violas In Hanging Baskets
In hanging baskets Pansies and Violas are just superb. Great for early
Spring and late fall planting – these little beauties when planted in a
hanging basket will even tolerate frost
Pansies were developed by cross-breeding many different species of the
Pansies come in a dazzling array of colors with more showy flowers.
However they are generally less hardy or tolerant of extremes in
climactic conditions than are violas.
Pansies and violas are perennial plants but are often treated as annuals
if grown in colder climates. Plant them in late summer to fall and they
will thrive during the cool weather and then they will die back once
things start freezing. Once established and the risk of frost has passed
you can add other plants into hanging basket – one of our favorites is
lobeillia. See photo.
To keep your basket full of flowers you need to regularly dead head your
flowers. Pansies can become straggly unless diligently pinched back.
Viola flowers are smaller when compared to pansies, but they tend to
produce more flowers over a longer season than do pansies. Violas are
also better at handling the heat and the cold.
Consistently moist soil and plentiful fertilizer is essential. Plant
them in rich soil, keeping them moist but not wet; then fertilize then
every other week and deadhead as frequently as you can so that they will
not waste energy setting seed.
Once limited to yellow, mahogany red, blue, and purple, years of cross
breeding now see pansies in a wide range of colors and color mixes from
reds, pinks, lavenders, mauves, oranges, blues, yellows, whites, and
even black. There are now even ruffled pansies that almost look like
SOME SPECIAL VARIETIES OF PANSIES TO LOOK FOR
If you need more cold hardiness, look for the Majestic Giant series of
If you live where you will have more summer heat look for the The Maxima
series which will excel for zone 7 gardeners.
Majestic Giants are a series of pansies with very large blooms. They
come in blotched faces and solid colors. The Maxima pansies are the
“blotched type” and also come in a wide range of colors
Few diseases and pests really bother pansies. If you start getting
yellow leaves – this is most likely root mold which is a sign that you
are either over-watering your basket or it has been very wet and humid.
If this is the case limit your waterings or place your basket somewhere
more sheltered where it can dry out for a day or two.
The most fragrant pansies are the blues and yellows. The scent is
distinctive and very delicate like a soft perfume.
Edible Leaves & Flowers
The leaves and flowers are both edible. High in vitamins A & C the
flowers can be used as a garnish on soups and salads and can be placed
on cakes and molded cheeses.
You can also freeze pansies in ice cubes for an elegant addition to iced
water, iced tea or lemonade.