Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How far apart should I plant Pansies?

Pansy Freefall Golden Yellow
Last year we tried Pansy Tumbles.  Great name, limited colour range.  This year we are trying Pansy Freefall.  Name is nearly as good, colour range different but no broader. Growth habit? Hard to tell yet, the first 2 batches have grown through the worst weather imaginable for Pansies and performed admirably I might add.

These are Spreading Pansy offerings from two different breeders. I think it's fair to say that Spreading Pansies have been developed on the back of the success of Spreading Petunias and more recently the Spreading Vinca (Catharanthus).  Regular Pansies are clumping plants and we recommend spacing 15-20cm apart to achieve good coverage.  Spreading Violas and Pansies can spread 30-50cm which means fewer plants are needed to cover the same area and... they trail over the sides of baskets, containers, dry stone walls, etc.  In short they look stunning.

Of course breeding for a particular feature often means another feature is sacrificed.  In this case the flower size and colour range are limited. The early plants we have grown through the heat this summer and early autumn have produced masses of flowers barely bigger than violas.  They might get a little bigger now the temperatures have fallen but I expect not much.  It's still early days for this line of breeding so improvements to flower size and colour range will follow pretty quickly. Interestingly we can get a really good Yellow in the Freefall range we are growing this year but no White. The Tumbles range offers a White (with hints of blue/mauve) but they have not been able to offer Yellow as a single colour.  Next year we will probably pick the eyes out of both ranges, the growth habits appear to be close enough.

Our Spreading Pansies and Violas are offered in 140mm pots and 270mm baskets. Fresh batches are coming through soon.
Pansy Freefall Purple & White

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