Pansies don’t do well
in soil that stays wet – in fact they like it on the dry side. So, here’s
6 tips on how to prevent this problem so you can enjoy beautiful blooming
pansies throughout the winter months ahead.
1. Don’t over water
Sounds simple, but we all have a tendency to just water without checking. Check your pots prior to watering to make sure they are dry and need watering. If your pansies are planted in the ground, make sure they need watering. Plants in the ground and in containers don’t require frequent watering in the fall and winter like they do during the summer.
2. Reset your sprinkler System
If you haven’t reset your sprinkler system from the summer setting, now is the time to do so. As the weather cools off lawn and flower beds don’t require as much water as they do in the hotter summer months. Set your sprinklers to water less frequently during the fall and winter.
3. Get your hands dirty or use a moisture meter
We can look at the surface of a pot and tell if it looks dry, but how much moisture is down at the root zone. The only way to tell is to either stick your finger in the dirt and see how wet it is or use a moisture meter that will instantly tell you if it is wet or dry. Use one of these methods to determine if your pansies are in need of water.
4. Planting in poor draining areas
If the area does not drain well you can create a raised bed in which to plant, thus ensuring the plants are planted above the wet area. This can be achieved very easily by creating a mound or longer berm out of garden soil (not potting soil) and plant into this raised area. Cover with mulch to match the rest of your bed and your poor draining area is solved.
5. Install drainage solutions into your landscape
You may have a drainage problem that needs a drainage solution such as a French drain or piping downspouts out of your flower beds. Feel free to call our store with photos so we can try and give you the best method to resolve drainage issues.
6. Make sure your pots and planters drain well
Planting pansies in pots and planters around your home gives you winter color in a variety of areas. Make sure that they have adequate drain holes in the bottom so excess water can drain out of the pot. If the pot is sitting on a solid surface the drain holes may not be able to drain. Place the pot on pot toes or small blocks of wood that enables the pot to be slightly raised from the surface it is sitting on so water is able to escape out the drain holes. Also, use the finger test or moisture meter to test if the pot needs watering.
These are just a few
of the ways you can turn a wet, poor draining situation into one that is dry
enough for pansies and other plants to bloom beautifully.
If you have questions
about how to solve a specific problem please give us a call at (903)
753-2223. You can text a pic to (903)-339-0922 and we can help determine
a solution to a problem or answer your questions.
Epsom salt – also known as magnesium
sulfate – helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more
flowers, and deters pests, such as slugs and voles. It also provides vital
nutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer.
Plants will have visible signs that they are starved for a
particular nutrient. If a plant’s leaves turn yellow all over the plant, it can
be a sign they need more sulfate. If lower leaves turn yellow between the veins
(and the veins stay green), they may need more magnesium.
Epsom Salt is recommended by Master Gardeners and used
regularly by commercial growers around the world. Tests by the National
Gardening Association confirm that roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow
bushier and produce more flowers, and it also makes pepper plants grow larger
than those treated only with commercial fertilizer.
Here are some other tips for using Epsom
salt in the garden:
– 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.
– Frequent watering for indoor plants can cause a buildup of salts in their pot. A tablespoon of Epsom Salt sprinkled on top can aid in flushing the salt buildup out.
– Spray leaves of houseplants to increase their green color, just combine 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and a gallon of warm water in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the leaves of the plant.
– 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new canes. Soak unplanted rose bushes in 1 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time.
Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron):
– 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.
– Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.
– Apply 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet. Apply over the root zone 3 times annually.
– Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting.
NOW is the best time to plant
trees, shrubs and vines. Winter is the
second best – so get to digging!
Summer’s heat is over, the
soil is still warm – actually warmer than in the spring – and the
soaking rains of winter will soon arrive. This means deep root
growth will occur quickly on shrubs and trees planted in the cooler months of
Why is deep root growth important?
Roots gather nutrients and water for plants and trees, so the better the root system the more nutrients and water the plant receives – thus appearing lusher and healthier. Plants planted now get a head start since they are able to concentrate their energy mostly on root growth during the cooler months.
Healthier plants are the result of planting in the fall.
The same plant planted in spring gets a slower start due to spending energy on both root growth, foliage and flower growth. Also, the cool weather planted plants are better established when summer arrives and can better deal with the heat, largely due to the well-established root system.
Camellias are showy plants, offering long lasting blooms
during the late fall and winter, lasting well into the spring. Their large flowers brighten up your
landscape during those winter months when little else is blooming. The blooms are profuse and cover the entire
bush making it the superstar of any landscape.
There are numerous species of Camellias but the most popular varieties grown are Camellia Sasasanqua and Camellia Japonica. These 2 varieties have similarities in their flower color but bloom at different times of the season. Camellia Sasanqua will bloom from late Fall through early January and Camellia Japonica will bloom January through early Spring.
Camellias are known as a shade loving plants, but the
Sasanqua can handle some sun. It’s smaller
than the Japonica in overall size (6’ tall and wide to 10’ tall and 6’ wide)
and has smaller leaves and flowers.
Blooms are 3” – 4” in diameter, are sweet smelling and usually have
ruffled edges with a burst of yellow color in their center.
Japonicas prefer shade and are taller (12’+ for old mature
plants) than Sasanquas. Their flowers
boast more petals, are often 5” wide and are stunning. A single bush can have well over 100 flowers
for weeks, blooming consistently from January through early spring.
Both varieties offer striation or multicolored blooms, but
most camellias bloom in one of three colors – white, pink or red, – in many
shades from the palest shell pink to rose pink to bright red.
These slow growing evergreens are relatively care-free. They should only require pruning after they
finish blooming. Fertilize at the same
time and again in mid-summer. Camellias
are prone to Scale and treating yearly with a horticultural spray or drench
will help control these pests.
Consider adding camellias to your landscape if you haven’t
already. By planting both varieties you
can enjoy the “Queen of winter flowers” from late fall through Spring.
plant looking healthy year-round takes just a bit of “housekeeping”.
It doesn’t take long for our houseplants to become dusty. This layer of dust will block sunlight and reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and that is how the plant feeds itself. A well-fed plant will be a healthier plant which is less prone to diseases.
How often to
clean depends on how much dust you have.
Rub your fingers over the leaves – if you feel or see dust, it’s time to
– Spray – It’s the easiest but is not the best for all plants. Move the plant to the sink or shower and spray them with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot or cold water, it can injure the plant’s leaves.
– Wipe Leaves – This is the safest method except for sticky or fuzzy leafed plants. Use a damp cloth and wipe the leaves to remove the dust.
– Dust Leaves – If you clean often enough you can remove dust with a duster in between damp cloth cleanings. Dusting will cut down on how many times per year it is necessary to clean with a damp cloth.
– Brush Softly – For sticky or fuzzy leaves gently brush the dust from the leaves.
– Get rid of dead, brown or yellowing leaves.
– Some leaves will fall off when touched, others will require cutting with scissors.
– You may want to cut any brown tips, follow the natural contour of the leaves when cutting.
the Pot –
– Wipe the dust off the pot
– If you have a saucer, rinse it in the sink to remove stains
– Do you have salt or mineral buildup on the pot? If so, it may require removing the plant to thoroughly clean the pot.
Your houseplants will reward your cleaning efforts by looking and growing better.
Since the roots of houseplants are trapped and unable to go elsewhere, unlike in-ground plants that can look ‘elsewhere’ for food, they’re counting on you for feeding!
Houseplants need fertilizing with an all-purpose plant food, such as Schultz® Liquid Plant Food, Schultz® All Purpose Slow Release Granular Plant Food, or Bonide® 10-10-10 Liquid Plant Food. How much your plant will need will depend on how large the plant is, the size of its root ball, and what kind of houseplant it is.
You’ll want to fertilize during the growing season (Spring, Summer, and Early Fall). That way, the plant can use it’s energy to absorb the fertilizer properly and grow.
Research your specific plant and make sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package!