Friday, February 17, 2012

Growing Pansies in Containers

A joyous burst of color- that’s what Pansies bring to the scene! That’s also one of the major reasons behind the immense popularity of these winsome plants. Pansies offer an incredible range of flower color that’s invaluable in container gardening. Growing pansies in containers doesn’t take much effort or expertise. It does, however, call for the right knowledge and some planning. Take a look.

 If you’re looking to start pansy seeds indoors, it’s important to sow the seeds at the right time. You can either start in late winter, 7-10 weeks from planting in spring, or start seeds in late summer and plant them in the beginning of fall. The instructions on the seed packet are normally a reliable source of information regarding the right planting depth, spacing and temperature conditions. I sow the seeds shallow, with only a thin layer of soil to cover them. Water thoroughly and cover the container with a plastic lid. Place the container in a cool, dark place. Pansy seeds normally take 2-3 weeks for germination. Check the container at regular intervals and make sure the soil doesn’t dry up at any point. Once the seedlings develop 3-4 leaves, you can transplant them to individual containers.

It’s very important to get the new container all ready for the young plant. Mix equal quantities of organic compost and potting soil. Provide a couple of inches thick layer of loose gravel at the base of the container. The layer of gravel helps in drainage and thus, prevents water logging. Wet the mixture of compost and potting soil. I’d recommend you use distilled water for the task as it’s free from fluoride and other chemicals present in water from regular sources. Next, fill in the container with this mix, up to a couple of inches from the top.

Water the seedling before transplanting. This will loosen the soil and make it easier to remove them. Plant the seedling into the new container and pack the soil firmly around it’s base. A layer of organic mulch bodes well for the young plants and is therefore recommended. Place the container in a spot that offers full sun for at least 5-6 hours every day.

If you aren’t growing pansies, you’re missing out on a gardening experience that’s as exciting as any other. Short on space? Ha, grow pansies in containers!

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