Time To Start Pansy Seeds?

Ellijay, GA(Zone 7a)

It's been a depressing month. So many things around here are croaking, including some of those neat little Salvia's I got from Danita. My area has probably seen less than a half inch of rain in the last month, but I've been watering. Yet something isn't working. It's a combination of powdery mildew and something that shrivels up leaves? I'm looking to fall and winter color with Violas. I see some references to start seeds in July and August then I read wait until cooler weather or October 1st. Considering I've had mostly poor results from seeds, maybe I should just buy the plants from a store?

Any thoughts? Or anything else I can consider that can provide color for late fall and winter?

Digger, even those small rooted plants didn't make it while kept in mostly shade away from the heat. Is there a warranty?

EDIT: The title should say VIOLAS

This message was edited Aug 21, 2010 6:25 AM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Hi Ken,
About the pansies and violas...you can seed viola seed in cooler weather for Spring flowers. If it's in a spot they enjoy, they will reseed for years to come. The Fall plants you see in stores are hot house grown. A neighbor across the mountain used to be a pansy grower. It's too much trouble, IMO to try to grow them from seed. You can't just throw some seed down and have pansies.

It sounds like you are having problems with mildew and wilts. Have you tried Daconil? It's a fungicide.

You might try Chrysanthemums for Fall color. They are perennial and come in a variety of sizes, forms and colors. You don't need to start with big specimen sized plants. The small ones are very inexpensive and grow quickly. Pretty easy care too. They do require more sun than violas. Another suggestion is Fall blooming sedums like 'Autumn Joy'. They should be available in garden dept's. soon. You can take a one gal. pot, split it up into a bunch of plants and they'll be fine or you can cut and easily root stems anywhere on the plant.

Ellijay, GA(Zone 7a)

Thanks Laurel:

I can probably do some more Mums. I did buy some Autumn Joy at Home Depot in late July. They're handled the dry and hot weather quite well and now beginning to turn color. Never knew you could root them.

Have you tried Daconil? No maim. Something to look into but that stuff seems to be affecting everything. It doesn't have any set pattern. It will hit and miss all over the property including a healthy perennial Hibiscus that seemed to happen overnight. Grrrr. Sounds like it would be an expensive form of control?

This message was edited Aug 29, 2010 6:30 AM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Ken, I recall it's less than fifteen dollars for a 16 oz. bottle of Daconil concentrate. One bottle lasts here one or more seasons. Neem also has some fungicidal benefit though it's not as specific or swift, IMO. Neem is available at Lowe's and I recall they had Daconil already mixed in small bottles that are much more expensive and only practical for single plants. Daconil concentrate is available at some seed and feeds though. Meanwhile, check your soil conditions. Is your soil draining quickly or does it stay soggy? Heavy mulching, while keeping plant roots wet longer, promotes plant disease. I see extreme mulching with beginner gardens often. Plants placed too close together are also more prone to these problems. High heat and humidity is a recipe for brewing plant pathogens. Learning what works and what doesn't in your particular garden is a process. Keep on.

Ellijay, GA(Zone 7a)

Thanks Laurel. High heat and humidity explains a lot of it. I don't get many breezes around here either, or at least not at ground level.

"Heavy mulching, while keeping plant roots wet longer, promotes plant disease"

Yes, I'm guilty in some areas.

Yea, keep on...can't wait for April.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)


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