Northern Shade Gardening

Pansies for Fall Planters

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 Category: Annuals
Viola x wittrockiana 'Matrix Morpheus' pansy in pot

Viola x wittrockiana ‘Matrix Morpheus’ pansy in pot

The pots on my front steps were looking tired by fall, as the tender plants and annuals that I planted in spring deteriorated. Back in the middle of September, I removed most of the plants and substituted some perky pansies. The fresh colours of ‘Matrix Morpheus’ in the planters cheer me up as I enter and exit my house.

cheery matrix morpheus pansies in pot

cheery matrix morpheus pansies in pot

I picked the cheery bi-coloured yellow and blue pansies, Viola x wittrockiana ‘Matrix Morpheus’, because they have a wonderfully  soft spring look. The top petals are a deep blue, and the bottom petals are a lovely yellow, with strong blue lines radiating from the centre out through the yellow. The flowers are large, and have many blooms per plant.The blue and yellow colours partner well with the cobalt blue containers. The plants are only 20 cm (8 in) tall, but are very showy in a pot.

Matrix Morpheus pansy and lobelia in pot

Matrix Morpheus pansy and lobelia in pot

There weren’t enough of ‘Matrix Morpheus’ available, so I also added some solid purplish blue and solid yellow Matrix pansies in the fourth planter. Some of the lobelia were still looking good, so I left them in the one pot out front. The pretty blue lobelia flowers have already survived the first light frost, and they give the planter a more full look by tumbling down the sides. Since our summers don’t get too hot, this lobelia has done well right from spring to late fall.

Vola x wittrockiana 'Matrix Morpheus' pansies in planter

Vola x wittrockiana ‘Matrix Morpheus’ pansies in planter

The pansies have a lively look, and being super hardy, will tough out the fall frosts. Since they are on my porch, they are partially sheltered. I can move the containers back so they don’t get as much direct snow on them, and see how long the plants manage to survive. Pansies are frost tolerant, but not zone 3 tolerant. I might move the planters into my unheated garage when the severe cold comes, to avoid being  a pansy meanie. They won’t look so sunny in -35° C  ( -32° F).

cute little pansy matrix morpheus

cute little pansy matrix morpheus

I know that gardeners in warmer zones frequently put out pansies for their winter garden, but you rarely see pansies being offered here in fall, because we often go from a fall garden right to a blanket of white that covers everything. There are fall mums offered everywhere, but I wanted some cheery little pansy faces to greet me at the front door. They are fresh and spring-like, so I guess I am ignoring the seasons in between summer and spring.

1 Viola x wittrockiana 'Matrix Morpheus' pansy flower

1 Viola x wittrockiana ‘Matrix Morpheus’ pansy flower

What is better than one happy little pansy face? …

2 Viola x wittrockiana 'Matrix Morpheus' pansy flowers

2 Viola x wittrockiana ‘Matrix Morpheus’ pansy flowers

…Two happy little pansy faces.

14 Responses to “Pansies for Fall Planters” »

  1. Pauline :
    October 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    They are so pretty and as you say, very spring like. We don’t have winters as cold as yours so winter pansies and violas manage to keep going through to spring. What a lovely welcome each time you come home!

  2. Anna :
    October 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Simple little flowers but so cheerful and heartwarming. We can manage to keep them going overwinter,although they tend to take a bit of a rest from flowering in winter and can look a bit tatty until it warms up. I like that colour combination.

  3. M/S Design Mariana :
    October 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Lång blommande blommor!
    Dom har tyckt om den Svenska sommaren, för mina blommar fortfarande.
    Mariana

  4. Northern Shade :
    October 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Pauline, I’d love to have flowers all year. Although they won’t last all the way until spring, I’d like to see how long they can bloom in the sheltered site.

    Anna, I instantly loved the colour combination on ‘Matrix Morpheus’. One time when I didn’t clean up the sweet pea foliage in fall, they fell over on some pansies just before the snow came. They protected the pansies, one of which started blooming in spring. I didn’t get to enjoy them in winter under the snow and sweet pea vines, though.

    Mariana, I appreciate long flowering time of the pansies, too.

  5. TurboLotte :
    October 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the comment on my blog!!
    Great pics on your blog here.

  6. Helena's Hem o Trädgård :
    October 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I like pansies.Actually it was the first flower i fell in love with.In the summer when i was a little girl i lived with my grandmother in the countryside.In her garden they were everywhere .Since then they have been close to my heart:-)I just love there ‘faces’ ;-)
    /Helena

  7. Marit :
    October 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Yes, pansies are beautiful flowers. Your pansies were really cute and small. Their faces are so pretty!

  8. Northern Shade :
    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    TurboLotte, thanks, I like to keep a camera with me as I work in the garden, but sometimes I forget to take shots.

    Helena, flowers are especially endearing when they are linked to happy memories and connected to loved ones like that.

    Marit, I like the defined blue whiskers on the yellow petals.

  9. Anonymous :
    October 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I like your pansies very much, it gives a kind of spring feeling. They are also offered here in autumn in garden centres but when winter comes they look like dead.

  10. Northern Shade :
    October 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I’m enjoying the pansies very much right now, but I don’t think they’ll get very far into winter. I’ll have to put them in my garage when the temperatures drop. Sometimes we’re lucky and get a prolonged fall with below freezing temperatures, but not the deep freeze. If we do, they might last a while in the shelter next to the house.

  11. Kathleen :
    October 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Love them ~ they look good with the lobelia too. My lobelia died a long time ago ~ couldn’t take the heat we had this summer. :(

  12. Northern Shade :
    October 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Kathleen, the lobelia manage to last through the summer here, and the first few frosts, but tonight it’s going down to -8° C (15° F) so it will probably pack it in.

  13. Jason :
    October 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Amazing site!
    I found it while searching for pictures of landskaping plants for a project I am working on. I was wondering if I could get permission to use some of your photographs. I’ve included my email in the reply information.

    I initially overlooked the copyright note on the below page. I looked for a copyright note, but am used to seeing that information at the bottom of the page. Sorry.
    http://northernshade.ca/2009/07/01/intriguing-leaves-of-shade-plants/
    I copied a picture of a hosta, but I can delete it.

  14. Northern Shade :
    October 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Jason, I sent you an email.

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