Plant of the Month – Cool Season Annuals

If you’re looking for something to brighten your gardens, containers and hanging baskets during winter, cool season annuals are here to save the day! These plants are the perfect choice for replacing your summer annuals as they begin to die-back in fall, and they’ll last straight through winter until it starts heating up in spring!

Pansies are one of the most popular cool season annuals and it’s easy to see why with their bright, colorful smiles. While purple and yellow are longtime favorites, pansies come in almost every color of the rainbow, including white, orange, multi-color and purple so dark it looks black. Mix and match your favorites to create a stunning display of winter color.

Violas are the smaller cousins of pansies. What they lack in size they make up with large numbers and profuse blooming. These tiny flowers still create an impact and come in bright yellows, whites, oranges, purples and blues. Violas are great additions to hanging baskets and containers.

Snapdragons add height and look fantastic when planted behind the shorter growing pansies and violas. These annuals come in pink, orange, yellow, white and even burgundy. During periods of extreme cold, Snapdragons can stop blooming but they’ll resume their color show once temperatures increase.

Ornamental Cabbages and Kales are proof that plants don’t need flowers to be beautiful. The leaves of these leafy annuals come in variations of purple, white, red and even yellow. Stunning planted together or amongst other annuals like pansies. While technically still edible, they’ve been described as incredibly bitter and are best left to being pretty instead of salads.

Care

All 4 plants prefer full sun (at least 6 hours per day)

Pinch back faded viola and pansy blooms to encourage a flush of new growth.

Fertilize when planting with Dynamite slow-release fertilizer.

Deer are fans of pansies and violas, to keep them away from yours, spray with Liquid Fence or sprinkle a barrier of Deer Scram to prevent those pesky critters from munching. Luckily deer aren’t particularly fond of snapdragons, ornamental cabbage or kale and tend to leave them alone.