Pansy – Slow to Bloom

Q: I put out four flats of pansies in October at our subdivision entrance. They were young plants, not at all root bound. The blooms that were on them when purchased opened and looked pretty, but then cold weather came and they have not bloomed since. The plants appear healthy but are still small. Why aren’t these blooming like all the other pansies I see out?

A: The plight of your poorly pansies at this time of year is directly connected to the size of their root systems. If they were planted after the middle of October or if they were not fertilized every two weeks during the fall and winter the plants just aren’t big enough to make many blooms yet. Cold, cloudy and wet weather, which we’ve had in abundance, inhibits root growth.
Fertilize now with liquid houseplant food and repeat every two to three weeks. The pansies will slowly get bigger and will be blooming by March.

To assure winter blooms at the subdivision entrance next year plant only pansies growing in three inch pots. Install them in early October in a bed composed of thoroughly tilled, rich soil. Space the plants eight to ten inches apart. Remember to fertilize every two weeks and you’ll get the beautiful blooms you want when you want them.

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