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Pansies and violas; top tips.

Byline: SNOWDONIA NURSERIES

AS autumn approaches and the summer bedding plants get straggly and bedraggled we need to look for something much tougher to occupy patio pots over the long winter period. There is a fair selection of hardy plants that can offer attractive foliage/berries/flowers for some of this time but if you''re looking for a plant that is going to flower right through winter then pansies and violas are in a league of their own.

Pansies are close relatives of violas with larger sized flowers. However big flowers are not always an advantage in winter as they are more susceptible to damage from wind and rain. For this reason the best strains of pansies for winter use have had medium sized flowers - Universal, which was the original winter flowering pansy, and more recently Panola, which is now the leading multiflora strain of pansy for winter use. It is available in a wide range of separate colours and several designer mixes.

Violas have smaller flowers but lots of them. Sorbet and Penny are the most widely grown series with lots of new fancy colour combinations coming through. Why not try some unusual colour combinations this autumn? Viola Halloween is a ghostly mix of black and orange, and Harvest is a vibrant combination of yellow, orange and purple.

Pansy Plentifall is an exciting new development, being the first pansy with a genuine spreading habit. One fault of pansies is a tendency to legginess especially in warm weather. Plentifall has a non-stretching habit and is ideal for hanging baskets, window boxes and patio tubs, growing sideways and then down. Currently the colour range is limited to just four colours but no doubt more will be added in the near future.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2011
Words:290
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