Thought I mastered pansies, but didn't

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    The Pansies at Lowes and other stores of this nature are grown completely indoors. Go to a local nursery. I bet there Pansies are outside when you pick them out. They have already been hardened off.
    Try using a 20-20-20 water soluable fert to spray on them every two weeks. And maybe a little more water wouldnt hurt.
     
  2. LP 1

    LP 1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Annuals should be bought from a local wholesale provider. These providers have what is grown particular to the location and time of year. They are usually very helpful in pointing you to the annuals that are hearty and simple tips that will make your flowers just beautiful!!!!!!!!!!
    Miligorinite is very good to mix with the soil before installation. Pre emergent after the annuals are installed is super to keep the weeds from between your plants...
     
  3. Hodge

    Hodge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    DFW is the lesco the one by HD down near mower medic on GB Freeway?? If so then yes I have experienced the same thing... but if not then I guess that attitude is the same at all TX stores.

    As for panies I purchase some from HD landscape supply and some from a nursery in celina. The Nursery pansies did MUCH better!!!! Quality product and better prices than HD LS.
     
  4. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    theres a home depot off of 121 north of the airport!
     
  5. OP
    OP
    DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,119

    Hodge,

    DFW is the lesco the one by HD down near mower medic on GB Freeway?? If so then yes I have experienced the same thing... but if not then I guess that attitude is the same at all TX stores.

    Nope. I've only been to the Southlake store.

    As for panies I purchase some from HD landscape supply and some from a nursery in celina. The Nursery pansies did MUCH better!!!! Quality product and better prices than HD LS.

    The list on the 4" pansies at HDLS is $.79 each. I think I end up paying around $.45 each after the landscaper discount. You have to get a key tag at the contractor desk or you won't get a discount.

    How much do you pay for pansies at the nursery in Celina?

    From what I understand, the nursery men have a way of forcing the pansies to bloom when they wouldn't naturally, just so they can sell them. When they do this, from what I understand, it weakens the plants and right after they're transplanted, the stress starts to show in the plant. Not sure if this is going on, but if it is, maybe those pansies are being sold to the HDLS.

    Thanks,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. heritage

    heritage Inactive
    Messages: 1,358

    DFW area landscaper,
    Here's the deal with the pansies........If soil P.H. is above 6.2 Iron is unavailable to the plants. (pansies are in the petunia group and need lot's of iron) The pansies in the shade look greener because they are using iron at a slower rate (less sun = less photosynthsis) The best thing for you to do is buy a box of miracle gro 15-30-15 and a watering can and foliar feed them now and in two weeks and once a month thereafter until it gets to hot for them. You will see an improvement within 48 hours after the 1st treatment.


    Better Pansies Soon!

    Pete D.
     
  7. BGL-florida

    BGL-florida LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    It's simple. Remove the mulch around the pansies. Check in your area to see if pansies that are doing best are set in beds without mulch. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case. Also, Lighten the clay soil with amendments, add peat or perlite. The perlite will lasts almost forever and the peat eventually decomposes. Take your pick.

    Pansies do not do well when drainage is poor. As far as the quality of pansies grown from home depot, I think the quality is good and they may be grown indoors however those greenhouses are sophisticated and have excellent climate control and harden off the pansies well.

    Just make sure they're well watered before transplanting. Also, when you've watered them thoroughly before transplanting, feed them with a water soluble starter fertilizer and you should be in good shape.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,119

    ++++Remove the mulch around the pansies. Check in your area to see if pansies that are doing best are set in beds without mulch. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case.++++

    The U of G recommends mulch. Why do you recommend no mulch with pansies?

    Thanks,
    DFW Area Landsdcaper
     
  9. BGL-florida

    BGL-florida LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Many annuals here are set in without mulch--oftentimes you'll find that the mulch can cause problems on annuals such as slugs, and numerous diseases at the point where the soft stem meets the soil.
    Remember a recommendation is just that, a recommendation, not a mandate. With most plant problems the answer is simple. Example: prinklers never go on so the annuals dry up, or the soil is so compacted and dense that the plants cannot absorb water because the soils fine texture causes a wicking effect and sucks the water out of the pansy's root plug. This is why I suggested the perlite and or peat for amending the clay soil where you put in the pansies. In that way the texture of the dense clay you described will approach the texture and pore space of the pansy plug. Those are my two primary suggestions. One of them should work. Give it a shot and let me know.

    Also, remember I suggested you check out pansies that are doing well in YOUR area. If the ones that are doing well have the same depth of mulch and the same type of mulch then I'm off on that one.

    I hope this helps.
     
  10. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Several years ago a customer paid me to plant 120 flats of pansies. He had previously had me put down about 100 bags of cedar mulch on a big area in the middle of a circular driveway. The soil was all hard red clay. I convinced him to let me remove the mulch, till in several truckloads of compost, plant the pansies, and reapply the mulch. Huge project. At the time I knew nothing about pansies. I was even surprised to learn that they bloom in the winter. These pansies did not wind up looking too good in the spring. They were planted in December. I never worked for this guy again. Some ideas on what went wrong:
    The compost was unfinished and depleted nitrogen from the soil.
    (I now know a bit more about how the local compost facility works and when to get the good stuff, which is released just a few times a year and goes fast)
    The compost was tilled in to insufficient depth (2-6") using a Mantiss tiller. This has the effect of creating a giant "bowl" - water sits in the looser soil on top of the hard clay bottom. Pansies do not like "wet feet". Probably this guy was watering a lot. There was a sprinkler system.

    Since that time I have planted lots of pansies every winter and almost always have great success. The only problem I have seen is that every now and then at some particular location, they seem to get eaten, usually from the top. I have also seen them dragged underground.

    I always ammend the soil before planting annuals. Usually I use compost. Also I use various bagged products like Back to Nature Composted Cotton Burr Hulls. Anything that adds organic matter to the soil. Sometimes I use some organic fert such as Milorganite. I use that because its cheap. A good rich soil can retain some moisture so you don't have to water so much. I usually mulch, preferably with compost, grass clipppings, shredded leaves, but sometimes use wood mulches. I never use chemicals and have not noticed any pest problems. I prefer to use 4" pots, but sometimes use the 6-packs. I once had a couple of small beds that were planted with cheap 6-pack pansies in November. Those things were 14" tall and very thick in the spring. The customer would not let me take them out in May since they looked so good. In that case I had ammended the soil pretty well. Probably I used some organic fert I was mixing up at the time - blood meal, bone meal, greensand, molasses, compost, corn meal.

    I would tend to think that it is usually especially important to ammend clay soil. But you have to watch out for carving out little bowls in the clay which will keep the plant roots wet. I think most plants like lots of water but also like to dry out in between. With a more natural organic approach (good rich soil, good mulch) it may be possible for pansies to do pretty well with minimal watering as long as there is some rainfall. Probably best to counsel people with sprinkler systems - don't water every day.
    Even just once a week may be OK with good soil.

    Just some ideas.....
     

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