Pansies are so much more than a pretty face.

Hello, again!

When growing spunky, cold-hardy pansies and violas it’s always a balancing act trying to regulate the temperatures in the greenhouse to the right growing range. Fortunately, we can also fill the pansy growing greenhouses with other cold tolerant crops like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Since our initial pansy and viola planting late last fall, we’ve kept the daytime greenhouse temperatures in the 60’s and nighttime temps mid-30’s, until now. We’re also feeding with a specific pansy food at each watering. It’s a water soluble plant food similar to ferti-lome All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food which is formulated for vigorous blooms and deep green foliage on blooming and foliage plants. It’s also ideal for use on geraniums, hanging baskets, patio plants, and other ornamentals where a general purpose, constant feeding program is needed.

With the pansy greenhouse showing lots of blooming color and dark green foliage, and the daytime outdoor temperatures trending upwards, we predicted that the timing was pretty good to start sending the plants to the stores. Because spring temperatures in Kansas tend to fluctuate from the teens to the 40s, our pansies are grown to tolerate cold, which make them perfect for early spring planting in your landscape beds and containers!  As with last fall, we’re still carrying what we believe are the best pansy and viola series for Kansas:

Colossus Pansies are the favorite for areas where heat can be a factor going into late spring, as we can have happen in Kansas. The Colossus bloom is bigger, measuring about three to four inches across the face. You can see where the size comes from—the petals are larger than a standard pansy, plus the stems hold the flowers nicely above the plant. Colossus is available in many colors, with both clear and blotch blooms.

Frizzle Sizzle Pansies cover themselves in showy 3 inch ruffled flowers in shades of blue, burgundy, orange, and yellow on compact, 6-9 inch plants. Flowers show the strongest ruffling in cool weather. Frizzle Sizzle pansies bloom early and are outstanding choices for containers or beds.

Don’t overlook Sorbet Violas for the landscape and containers. Gardeners love Sorbet as they excel at every turn: plants cover the soil at flowering, have more blooms on every plant, and they stretch less, staying compact in both heat and cold. They are also come in a wide range of colors.

For containers and baskets, Cool Wave Pansies have a trailing or spreading growth habit, as opposed to the traditional upright growth habit of most pansies, violas and panolas. The bloom size is a bit smaller than the larger blooming pansies, however, the trailing/spreading growth habit of these plants makes them perfect for pots.

Whatever your choice for early spring color for your garden is, be sure to add one of the cold tolerant varieties of pansies and violas that we’ve grown for you right here in our greenhouses.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Centers