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Ask Burton: Q: I’ve heard that pansies are the best flowers I can grow in my sunny flower beds for fall and winter color. When should I tear the summer flowers out and plant pansies?

Posted on October, 02

A: Pansies are a great “cool-season” flower for North Texas, and though they don’t like hot weather, they do grow much faster in warm weather. Basically, pansies planted in early October will be fuller and larger in four to six weeks than pansies planted in late November will often get all winter. Just follow these easy steps for more colorful flower beds this winter:

1. Start replacing summer color now, instead of when your summer flowers play out. It’s OK to leave a few pockets of particularly impressive summer flowers if you want to, but do start your color change out soon. Even if your summer color doesn’t look bad, you’ll get far better show all winter by replacing it a little earlier than in previous years.
2. Fertilize properly. Pansies like a high-nitrogen fertilizer – either use the traditional blood meal or our own Covington’s Flower & Garden granules to keep your plants well fed into the cooler weather.
3. Don’t overwater. Young pansies will need frequent watering as long as temperatures spike into the eighties or if they briefly hit the nineties, but as things cool down, make sure to slow down your watering as well. Pansies that stay too wet have to deal with fungal disease and slowed growth. Check the soil for moisture with a finger if there’s any question whether your plants are dry.