Hello flower lovers,
Hasn't it been cold! Personally, I much prefer the cooler seasons and so I'm definitely in my happy place. I do feel for those who are affected by the cold though. I know Brenny's Oma would get more aches and pains when it was cold and it wasn't as pleasant a time for her. In any case, I hope you're keeping warm and having plenty of soup to keep sickness at bay.
Some weeks ago I was commissioned to create a couple of pressed flower pieces for Mother’s Day that required lots of Pansies and Violas. Instead of buying them just for their flowers and leaving it at that I decided to grow them and keep them forever. I’ve wanted to grow them for a long time and I finally got around to it, thanks to a little kick up the toosh! I thought it might be a nice idea to track my progress with them and share it with you. It may inspire you to grow them too, maybe with your little ones or create one and gift it to someone special :).
I want to make it clear that Florists mainly deal in cut flowers and not so much plants (although there may be some who specialise in both), which are two different areas of expertise. I’m no expert, although I do know my fair share of things about certain plants etc purely out of my love for them! I really love Leaf Supply Co books for foliage plant info and I’m yet to find one just as good for other potted flowers … recommendations are welcome! They also have a fantastic quick guide on plant info and care here. I’m growing mine in pots (yes it started with one, but I found this cute, long planter and added some there too!) as I live in an apartment block with a shared yard.
Pansies are derived from Violas, but not all Violas are Pansies. They have a similar look but the differences are: Pansies are bigger and often only have a few flowers bloom at the same time whereas Violas have smaller flower heads but many blooms at one time; Pansies can also grow a bit taller, whereas Violas are closer to the earth; Pansies have a wider range of colours vs. Viola colours of violet, blue, yellow, and white. Violas seem to be a bit more resilient to wintertime, but being in winter now, time will tell! I’ve put a mix of pansies and Violas together and I haven’t yet decided if that was the right decision. I plan to give more updates and to keep learning about these little beauties showing the good and the bad bits I’ve struggled with. So warning, this may not end with a beautiful pot of Pansies and Violas haha.
So, here we go!
What I used:
1 Round terracotta pot
Bondall Pot and Ornament Sealer
Richgro All Purpose Potting Mix (It’s what I had on hand)
A mix of pansy + viola plants (I think I used about 10 in the video but added a few more to bulk it up)
Watering can with water
What I did:
I grabbed my chosen terracotta pot and sprayed it with Pot and Ornament Sealer so that it becomes waterproof and the terracotta doesn’t absorb the water leaving the soil dry—among other things. This stuff is great! Leave it to dry. I had one pre-prepared ready to go. I then grabbed my bag of soil and filled my pot half way. I grabbed a plant to measure where I wanted it to sit—I like my plants to be a bit higher up the pot—then grabbed my mix of pansies and violas and started putting them in. Finally, I packed the pot with more soil making sure to not leave any gaps and gave them a good watering. I've read that they like full sun and part shade but I'm currently playing around with them being out in the sun as it is much colder now and they're starting to suffer.
Video: 2 mins
This is all about getting it started, which seems to be the easier part haha. The harder part is maintaining it, particularly now as it’s getting colder. Some things for me to note as I progress is whether I should grow Pansies and Violas separately; what I need to do during winter; insect/pest/disease control; and fertiliser use. As I research and experiment, I'll make some notes and report :).
Have a great week and I'll share some more info soon!