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Pansy

PANSY

Legend has it that Cupid’s arrow fell on a pansy, so giving one is a sign of great love.

It is a tiny plant that, however, recalls great feelings, it is said that the knights of the round table consulted the violets to find out their fate. The pansy is also the crucial key in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

It is known by various names such as “comfort of the heart” for its therapeutic characteristics, or “mother-in-law and daughter-in-law” for the colors of the petals that contrast strongly and is also the symbol of the Trinity for the three different colors it possesses. The scientific name, however, is Viola tricolor or Viola Hibryda.

It is associated with the most important ability that man has, namely that of thinking precisely because it possesses particular aesthetic traits which consist in containing such different and contrasting colors in a single small flower. In fact, in this flower the main feature is the color as it is fragrance-free, the petals have very bright colors and the combinations are vast, very surprising and pleasing to the eye.

Viola tricolor is a perennial and short-lived hybrid because it is grown as an annual or at most biennial. It comes from Europe and Turkey, in Italy it is cultivated for ornamental purposes, in fact it is used both in gardens to create flower beds and borders or planted in pots as an ornament for terraces.

The pansy is an evergreen herbaceous and has large flowers with vast colors ranging from white to black, the petals are five, are turned upwards and the center of the flower is yellow or dark. The four upper petals are erect, the fifth is lower and is the needle with an extension full of nectar. Placed in the bottom of the glass there are the elongated fruits, when they are ripe three valves open inside them with brown seeds inside.

The leaves are dark green, pedunculated and their shape can be lanceolate or rounded. The height of this flower is between 10 and 20 cm.

EXPOSURE AND SOIL


If the viola tricolor is buried in autumn, it will always flower in autumn and the following spring, therefore it is advisable to keep it positioned in an area where there is full sun, so that on cold winter days the plant can be reached as much as possible by the rays. solar.

If, on the other hand, it is planted in spring, it is more suitable to place it in half shade, because the sun’s rays on hot summer days could easily burn the plant. It is highly not recommended to keep it completely in the shade, as without the sun’s rays the blooms will be scarce.

They do not fear neither cold nor heat, so they can be kept outdoors or in gardens for all seasons of the year, indeed the low temperatures help the abundant germination of seeds and blooms. However, being used to a temperate and Mediterranean climate, it fears winter frosts.

A soft, light, fertile and well-drained soil is necessary therefore to favor this latter aspect it is important to mix sand and peat with the earth. In general, whether it is planted in the ground or in pots, the substrate must be rich in organic material, therefore it can also be integrated with balanced universal soil.

SOWING AND MAINTENANCE


Pansy usually reproduces by seed, so to sow it you need to prepare a container with balanced soil, peat and sand mixed in and it is important to maintain humidity. Then the substrate is reduced and the seeds are scattered which are immediately covered with a layer of sand. The semensai must be kept in the dark and cool to favor their germination, from here, subsequently, the seeds will germinate and become purple seedlings.

The seedlings should be planted when they have created at least two pairs of leaves, in spring or autumn. The plant must be removed from the container and cleaned of excess soil, without damaging the roots, then dig a hole in the soil of the pot where we want to transfer it, or directly on the ground, and it must be twice the depth of the roots. The plant is placed, covered with earth and compacted with the hands after which it is watered in abundance.

The terracotta containers are the most suitable for planting the pansy because they allow the passage of air.

It can also be sown in the ground, but germination will not be guaranteed.

The pansy constantly needs water and therefore its soil should always be moist but not too soggy. In spring and summer they should be watered with water at room temperature two or three times a week, in winter you can also decrease the frequency.

The right technique is to water frequently, letting the soil substrate dry out between watering.

Finally, to have abundant flowering, it is advisable to use a good fertilizer for flowering plants or a slow-release granular fertilizer that must be mixed with the soil every twenty-five days. A liquid fertilizer to add to the watering water can also be fine.

PRUNING, FLOWERING AND DISEASES


No major pruning is necessary, just remove the dried leaves and flowers with sharp scissors so that the plant will not be damaged. The scissors must be carefully cleaned beforehand to avoid infections.

Cutting off the dry parts will be very helpful in prolonging flowering.

We repeat that the pansy blooms in early spring and continues until summer. The variety of violets is clearly visible from the variety of colors of the flowers, the most common are yellow, purple, blue or multicolored.

They can contract fungal diseases due to excessive humidity, and fungicidal products will be needed for the disease to disappear; do not exceed in watering will avoid running into this type of problem.

The viola tricolor can also be attacked by scale insects or aphids, so it will be advisable to wash the plant well and use a specific insecticide. They also fear snails, whiteflies, mites and small larvae that dig tunnels inside the leaves. However, they are quite resistant to these attacks. A possible precaution to avoid all this could be to use fertilizers poor in nitrogen so that water stagnation will be avoided.

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