Our cool beginning of spring has pansies behind schedule, but the drier weather we had the past week has pushed most pansies into full bloom. It is hard to wait most winters for the pansies to come out of hibernation and this year was delayed longer than normal but the bloom now is developing well.
Pansies are very cold hardy, thus the cold February did not damage any just delayed their spring bloom. Although cold hardy, the constant wet conditions during normal winters result in diseases. The disease is most prominent in poorly draining and shady beds and where pansies have been planted for years. Despite this problem, pansies are the only flowering annual that survives the winter they 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 these diseases. 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 and disease preventing organics each fall at planting and following that with monthly fungicide treatments through the winter. This increases the cost of our pansy program but has become a standard practice. Without these steps, the pansies will 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 and fungicide treatment is not enough. Due to this, we are finding that eventually we need to replace the potting soil and will likely need to do this every 5 years.
Brand 'X' Diseased Pansies