Gardening – Spring Container Ideas

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If You Want Long Lasting Color, Go For Pansies And Violas

By Ryan Vollmer, Journalist and Professional Gardener

For the past couple of years I’ve been planting a lot more pansies and violas in my spring pots than any other flower.  I love all the bulbs but they only bloom for about two, maybe three weeks. Pansies and violas, on the other hand, bloom and grow until it gets really hot, like 80 degrees!  They come in amazing colors.

By relying more on pansies and violas I can postpone putting summer flowers in my pots until mid-June  By then the summer flowers are much bigger than they would be if you bought them in May so you don’t have to buy as many.  Pansies and violas won’t die when it gets hot, but they won’t bloom either.  They’re strictly a spring/fall plant.  If you’re really ambitious, replant them in plastic pots, place them in a semi-shady spot in the yard, make sure they get watered, cut them back if they get leggy, fertilize them at the end of August and replant them in the fall.

I like to mix pansies and violas not only with a few bulbs but with branches of forsythia, ranunculus and osteospurmums, another wonderful flower that that isn’t that easy to find.  It looks like a daisy and comes in great spring colors.  It won’t bloom very much when it gets really hot, but the leaves stay presentable.  Sometimes I leave it in a pot all summer and just plant other flowers around it.  By the time fall comes, it starts blooming again.  Here are photos of some spring flower combinations I’ve had great success with.  If you use any flowering bulbs or ranunculus, once the flower dies, remove the entire plant and let the pansies/violas fill in.  Make sure to plant a lot of pansies and violas in and around the bulbs.



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  1. Thanks Ryan. After reading and seeing these wesome planters I had to go out and buy my pansies…it’s time. So what if they say we are going to get snow. My pansies are hearty.


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