Winter Pansy Care
Pansies are by far the most popular winter landscape annual.
If properly planted and maintained, they will have minimum problems while
performing all winter long. Just to remember to deadhead the old flowers once in
a while. This saves energy for the plant by stopping seed production. Also,
think about adding a little fertilizer around the 1st part of February to help
stimulate growth and flower production by March. Once active growth begins plan
on fertilizing about once a month.
Waiting For Summer
Many of us are
itching to haul our houseplants outdoors, where they can really thrive. This is
great for your plants since they will get better air circulation, light exposure,
and humidity than they did during those dull winter months. A word of precaution:
Wait until the weather is consistently warm (days and nights) before bringing
out your houseplants. Many of these are tropical plants that can be damaged at
temperatures under 40-45 degrees. Don't immediately move plants into full
sunlight. Initially, find a shady place for the first day or two, gradually
easing them into filtered sunlight. If the plant likes high light intensities,
the move to full sunlight should take from 10 days to two weeks. If you find
that plant foliage is bleaching, fading, or burning, move the plant back into
filtered sunlight, and allow another week for it to adjust.
This is an
excellent time of year to re-pot plants that are potbound and have outgrown
their current container. Don't skimp on potting soil quality. It's all these
plants have to live and thrive in. To ensure that the product you purchase is
good stuff, buy from nurseries and garden centers. Take time to actually look
inside bags, feeling the texture of the potting mix. A good all-purpose mix
should be light, well-draining, and moisture retentive. It should have a nice
earthy smell, and no strong odors. There are special mixes for cacti and
succulents, orchids, etc. that you can purchase for plants with specific soil
requirements. If your plants have been happy, use whatever is working for you.
Fertilize Those Houseplants
houseplants will be going into their active growing stage in the spring, water
and fertilizer are important. Water plants when the top few inches of soil are
dry. Make sure water is draining through the drainage hole in the bottom of the
pot. If you use pot saucers, make sure plants don't stand in water for more than
15-20 minutes. For most plants, water soluble fertilizers should be used every
two-three weeks per label recommendations.