Pansies are the perfect winter flower for your ornamental garden, as they prefer a temperature of less than 18.3 degrees Celsius. Plant your pansies in fall, as planting when temperatures are too warm pansies will not thrive. In order to maximise the potential of your winter pansies, it is important to choose the correct soil for planting.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Potting Soil
Potting soil is formulated to contain many of the nutrients essential for healthy pansy growth. In addition, potting soils are available that contain slow-release fertilisers, making care of your winter pansies more convenient. Unfortunately, potting soils can have poor drainage, especially in containers. It is important to keep the soil from being over-moist, as this, combined with cooler winter temperatures encourages the growth of root fungus.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sand Soil
You will almost never have an issue with fungal infections in sandy soil. Sand soil drains extremely well. Therefore, moisture will not be an issue with winter pansies planted in sandy soil. However, sand soil is often nutrient poor, and winter pansies may have difficulty thriving in this kind of soil.
Advantages of a Sand-Potting Soil Mixtur
A mixture containing both potting soil and sand will have the advantages of both soil types. The mixture will also eliminate the disadvantages. The potting soil will provide the nutrient richness that the sand soil lacks. The sand soil will ensure the mixture drains well and root fungus will not become an issue.
The Benefits of Organic Matter
The best soil for winter pansies is clearly a sand/potting soil mixture. However, your pansy plants will also benefit from mulching with organic compost material. Alternatively, the organic material can be added to the soil mixture. Manure works well, as will commercial compost sold in garden stores.
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- Alabama Cooperative Extension System; Pansies Make a Colorful Addition to Fall Gardens; Jana Huggins
- West Virginia University Extension Service; Pansies; Clifford W. Collier, et al.
- UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Success with Pansies in the Winter Landscape- A Guide for Landscape Professionals; Gary L. Wade, et al.