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Which is the most advantageous month to plant autumn, winter, and spring flowering violas and pansies?

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Violas and pansies are in the garden centres right now, freshly arrived in. I found that when I planted them last autumn, the ones which I planted in late October didn't flower much at all through the winter, but flowered prolifically when the spring arrived. But the ones I planted in early October had a few extra weeks to make growth and establish themselves while the temperatures were still relatively mild. And those plants did a more significant amount of flowering through the coldest winter months, seeing as they were bigger and more able plants with regard to flowering. I learned from this, as I do so love a bit of colour for winter cheer, and this year am aiming to get baskets planted with them quite early. I have today planted my first basket (illustrated), but then had a thought - is this TOO early to be putting them in!? I am worried these early Sept planted ones might flower throught the autumn only, and then be spent and finished by the time the winter comes, and thus be incapable of performing a display in the winter/spring. Advice on this would be very appreciated. I'd like to know what the best timing of all is for planting. I suspect that many others may be wondering this very same thing.




That basket looks beautiful Jonathan, I think about now is a good time so they will get a good start before the cold weather. brrrr

6 Sep, 2009


The thing you can't anticipate is the autumn weather. If we have a long, mild autumn, aanything planted now will keep growing and be qutie leggy by the time the colder weather arrives. Perhaps the best thing is to stagger the planting over a few weeks so at least something looks good by the time winter arrives

6 Sep, 2009


This all sounds kind of gambly, the being at the mercy of weather. I plant them really quite close together in the baskets, almost touching each other. That way I find their growth remains compact and they don't devlop the sprawling legginess which violas and pansies are inclined to. I caught onto this when I bought a couple of ready-planted baskets from a garden centre, and this is how they were done. The result does seem to be better as they then produce a nice dense, flowering dome shaped display.

6 Sep, 2009


Thankyou for that Jonathan I didn't know that it just shows you learn something new everyday.

6 Sep, 2009


The plugs are 5cm x 5cm. I'm putting them in with a 2cm gap between each.

6 Sep, 2009


Only piece of advice I'd add is to watch the flowers as they finish - if they form seed pods, nip them off. They do sometimes do this, and it helps to remove those to promote flowering next spring and reduce legginess. I never plant mine till towards the end of September, but that's only because the summer stuff still looks good.

7 Sep, 2009


Yes, I always search all over diligently for the pods and pinch them off. And I take off the stalk of it too. Quite a fiddly and time consuming job, doing every one, but that's how much I love them.

7 Sep, 2009


I have a pansy growing through the stems of a large potted fuchsia,all through the summer. Self seeded, as I didn't plant it. It has 4 flowers on it. I have shortened the fuchsia by a half. It is not hardy, and will later be shrouded in a huddle with other large pots of tender plants, under a verandah. It will be interesting to see if the pansy goes through the winter still blooming. If it does bloom on, it could be rated as a very versatile flowering plant.

17 Nov, 2010

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