ICICLE PANSIES – The weather is changing and so are the flowerbeds. Many of our plants are starting to die back as they prepare for winter. We too, are busy pruning, trimming, transplanting and mulching as we work to clean-up our flowerbeds and stay ahead of the debris that is falling from our trees. Yes, the color is fading.
But wait…what are these? Flowers that bloom right up until the snow flies and sure to be one of your first spring colors. Yep, that’s right. These are the new Icicle Pansies, a hardy biennial plant that will shower your garden with colorful blooms twice in one year! Canadian-bred, this plant is guaranteed to survive the winter when properly cared for. Guaranteed. So what does it take to have these beauties in your garden?
First of all, you need a sunny location, between 6 and 12 hours of sunlight, that is also sheltered from the harsh winter winds. Then you will need to have your plants in the ground by late summer to early fall, spacing them 6-8 inches apart and watering well until winter sets in. You want to have good soil, so mix in some compost and add an all-purpose fertilizer at planting time, and then again in the springtime. A thick layer of mulch must be put down once winter begins.
Interested? Icicle pansies, also known as Glacier Pansies can be bought at most nurseries and on-line. Sold as an annual, they will bloom right up to the first weeks of winter, when they go dormant. Then they awaken with the first signs of spring and will bloom right up to the next winter season. If your summer gets very hot, they may fade from the heat and there is also a chance they will die back since they are made for cooler temps. As with other pansies, dead-heading will encourage more blooms and there is always the possibility they may re-seed themselves.
They come in a variety and blend of colors that will work in every garden. If you live in the cold North where winters are long and can be harsh these beauties are guaranteed to keep your garden full of color until the snow comes, and to shake the winter blues by reminding you that spring is just around the corner.