The next few months we have to have colour as our choice for plants of the month. It’s no secret we love Pansies as they are the easiest way to make your outdoor spaces pop with colour. Planted correctly and with a little maintenance each pansy has over 800 flowers which is quite remarkable. But there is more colour to choose from when colouring in outside this time of the year.
Get them set
With all colourful annuals the secret is in the soil preparation before you plant. In the garden turning the soil with liberal amounts of compost added is important for success. Through the months ahead the soil would have compacted and by turning it this will assist with drainage and also move the compost to improve the soil condition through the top layer. A handful of BioRock or BioOcean per square meter will add the organic fertiliser to get them established.
In containers it is always a good idea to change out the potting soil every two or three years. On the in between years add compost and BioOcean and mix the old soil toughly before you plant.
Once planted, bedding plant colour grow best with regular feeding. We always recommend Multifeed Flowergro to produce more flowers and healthy plants compared to if you just let them do their thing.
Winter and Springs Best Choice
Pansies are a must in the winter and spring garden flowering for months on end. Planted anytime from autumn through to spring they will be in flower well into October and even early November making them incredible value for money. Pansies through winter want full sun to most of the day sun to perform at their best. If you give then to much shade they will produce fewer flowers through the coldest months and only provide a mass show at the end of spring.
TIP: Keep your winter pansies slightly on the dry side and keep dead-heading them to produce more flowers.
Violas look just like pansies but have a smaller flower. Violas are for semi-shade and have the added fun element that their flowers are often fragrant and make a pretty addition to salads and on top of cupcakes for lazy winter afternoon high teas.
Fairy Primulas are our recommendation for large shady garden beds or mass plantings. Most commonly just called Primulas they are available in white and shades of purple and last for months in well prepared soil. It is especially important to prepare the soil well for Primulas if you are planting them under trees. Through the summer would have had the trees take all the extra nutrients out the soil. Plant them with plenty of compost, BioGanic and Bone Meal and then keep them well watered for the first few weeks.
Although Primulas are mostly shades of Purple there are some new colours being added to the mix. Growing a bit shorter that normal there is a pink as well as red that tickle our fancy when we see them for sure.
Primroses also called English Primroses look like large buttons and grow flat. Plant them in light shade where you can look at them from close up, perfect for a shady patio container or along a pathway you use every day. They come in a range of colour including red and blue and can even be two toned with the darker yellow ones having a soft fragrance. They benefit from regularly deadheading which brings on new buds continuously.
Primroses can even grow indoors for a few weeks but grow best flowering right through to the end of September in a shady spot outside.
Giant Primulas are all the rage over the past few years. Once you’ve planted them we are sure you’ll look for the every year. The flowers on stems cluster like pompoms and in their vibrant colours stand out in the garden. Also shade lovers Giant Primulas do exceptionally well in containers lasting well into the start of summer. The plants also have a larger leaf which adds to the appeal with their lush texture.
Dianthus has long been popular because they grow throughout the year and last about 4 to 6 months at a time depending on how well you look after them. Dianthus does not like a lot of water making them a great choice in a winter garden where we don’t get much rain. They really do like the sun and the more the better. A regular deadheading will encourage new flowers continually.
Alyssum One of the easiest winter flowering annuals to grow from seed or from young seedlings in a sunny spot. They also grow in summer but look neat and compact with more of a show in the drier winter months. Full sun is a must for these cascading annuals.
Lobelia are grown is a sunny spot for winter. Available in lilac’s white and mixed colours too but the Blue Lobelia is a real standout this time of the year. Cascading over the edge of hanging baskets to as a combo with a pot planted up with pansies they are well worth planting.