We can't remember pansies being healthier and blooming better in Mid-February than this year. Although we are very proud of our proprietary pansy maintenance program, some credit for this year's super healthy pansies goes to the mild weather all winter.
Pansies are very cold hardy but suffer in the Northwest due to the constant wet conditions during winter which makes them susceptible to disease. The disease is most prominent in poorly drained soil and shady beds where pansies have been planted for years. Despite this problem, pansies are the only flowering annual that survives the winter and are the only real choice for winter seasonal color in our area.
We have developed a planting and maintenance program that reduces the impact of the disease. These diseases are difficult to control, but our program has been effective in most situations. Our program includes supplementing each planting with fresh, sterile potting soil as well as disease preventing organics each fall at planting. We follow that with monthly fungicide treatments throughout the winter. This increases the cost of our pansy program but has become a standard practice as without these steps, the pansies will most likely fail like they do with most other contractors.
Even with our comprehensive program, after years of pansies the soil becomes too disease ridden that supplemental potting soil is not enough. Due to this, we are finding that eventually we need to replace the potting soil and will likely do this every 5 years.