Winter Color Guide

PANSIES

Pansies are one of the most popular and recognizable cool weather annuals across the country. Pansies offer charming round flowers that create a pop of color from fall till spring. Pansies and violas have edible flowers frequently used to add unique color to salads or cakes. There are an abundance of varieties all with an array of colors and mixes. Pansies flowers can come with what we gardeners like to call a “face” or blotch. This is a usually a dark colored pattern in the middle of the bloom that gives each flower even more character. Here at the Tallahassee Nurseries we routinely carry 4-7 different varieties in as many different colors as possible, giving you the best selection for your garden.

Temperature: It is important to wait to plant pansies and violas until evening temperatures produce a nip in the air and summer’s heat dissipates. Planting while it’s warm forces plants into stress creating lanky, weak plants susceptible to insect and disease damage.

Sun Needs: Plant your pansies in afternoon sun with well-drained soil for best results. With less sunlight in the winter due to shorter days it’s best to give most of your winter annuals a good dose of sunlight preferably during the middle of the day.

Fertilization: Fertilize every 3-4 weeks with Flower Tone and remember to keep your new planted pansies well watered for the first several weeks to get your plants off to a strong and healthy start. Deadheading or pruning off spent flowers will keep your plants looking better and blooming more.

Lastly, you don’t need to worry about frosts or freezes with pansies. Grown as far north as Minnesota and southern Canada, these plants don’t mind our cold and will not need winter protection.

AVAILABLE PANSY SERIES:

  • Crystal Bowl Series
    • Characteristics: Smaller sized blooms that all clear-faced. Comes in a wide color pallet. Compact plants.
    • Colors: True Blue, Yellow, White, Purple, Mix
  • Crown Series
    • Characteristics: Bright colors. All colors are clear-faced.
    • Colors: Azure, Blue, Golden, Orange, Purple, White, Mix, Blue
  • Majestic Giant Series
    • Characteristics: Larger blooms reaching 4” in width. Traditionally, each color features a blotch in the center, but newer versions also come in solid colors.
    • Colors: Blue, Purple, Rose, Scarlet, White, Yellow, Marina Shades, Mix

       

  • Colossus Series
    • Characteristics: Like Majestic Giants, these pansies have extra large blooms reaching 4” inches across. This series is bread to have less stretching during hotter temperatures.
    • Colors: Lemon shades, Ocean, White, Blotch Mix, Rose Medley, Pink Berry
  • Delta Series
    • Characteristics: This series has one the largest and some of the most unique variations in colors of any pansy series. They have short stems, which keep the flowers held up right. Medium bloom size.
    • Colors: Pure Colors Mix, Pure Light Blue, True Blue, Beaconsfield, Citrus Mix, Pure Lemon, Orange, Red, Rose
  • Matrix Series
    • Characteristics: Large blooms. Brilliant colors. This series produces more blooms than most other varieties. More heat tolerant.
    • Colors: Sangria, Jewels Mix, Halloween Mix, Clear Lemon, Daffodil Mix


VIOLAS

Appearing much like pansies, violas or sometimes known as Johnny Jump Ups have smaller blooms than their larger flowered cousins but make up for it by producing more blooms per plant. These little flowers come in even more colors and mixes than pansies with new varieties coming out each year. This gives you the opportunity to find the perfect color for your garden. Violas flowers are edible and can be used as a delightful garnish for any number of dishes most commonly on baked goods.

Temperature: Like pansies, wait until appropriately cool weather approaches to plant your violas. Planting during warm, summer-like weather creates weak stretched plants that are not as healthy in the long run. Once established, violas handle warmer temperatures pansies and their bounce back faster from rain.

Sun Needs: Plant your violas in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Violas look great in containers, hanging baskets or in the landscape. Fertilize every 3-4 weeks with Flower Tone. Violas are one of the easiest cool season annuals to grow but give you some of the biggest color. As with pansies no need to worry about violas during icy nights. Frost and ice may knock back the blooms but established plants should have no problem.

AVAILABLE VIOLA SERIES:

  • Penny Series
    • Characteristics: Blooms tend to be larger than most varieties. An extremely large array of colors and mixes. Cold and heat tolerant.
    • Colors: Blue, Citrus Mix, Deep Blue, Denim, Jump Up Mix, Marina, Mickey, Orange, Primrose Bicolor, Violet, White, Winter Mix, Yellow, Yellow Jump Up, and more
  • Sorbet Series
    • Characteristics: Heavy bloomers. An abundant mix of colors! Compact and mound-shaped plants. Nickle-sized blooms.  
    • Colors: Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink, White


SNAPDRAGONS

Snapdragons offer bright colors on tall stalks with a light fragrance. There are several different series that offer varying heights ranging from 6” to 36” giving you options to find the snapdragon best suited for your garden. Snapdragons are also gorgeous additions to fresh cut arrangements and bouquets.

Sun Needs & Care: They should be planted in afternoon sun during the fall or early spring and with the right conditions, they can last right up ‘til summer. Cutting back spent bloom stalks is recommended to encourage better branching on the plant giving you sturdier plant with more color. Taller varieties look great at the back of bed and might require staking especially after rain. Lower growing varieties are a good choice  for hanging baskets or at the front of a boarder or container.

Fertilization: Fertilize in the spring and fall once every 3-4 weeks with Flower Tone to keep your snaps looking beautiful. Hard freezes and frosts can brown open blooms and newly set buds. Light cloth can be used to insulate and protect your snaps. Snapdragons are listed as deer resistant.

AVAILABLE SNAPDRAGON SERIES:

  • Sonnet Series
    • Characteristics: The most popular snapdragon sold here at the nursery. They grow 16-24” tall. Perfect as a tall accent in a mixed container or the backdrop in a flower bed. Sonnet stalks can also be used as a centerpiece in a fresh cut arrangement or bouquet.
    • Colors: Bronze, Crimson, Pink, Rose, White, Yellow, Mix, Orange
  • Rocket Series
    • Characteristics: The tallest snapdragon offered at the nursery reaching between 2’ and 3’ tall. These flowers also emit a rich spicy aroma that you’ll love in the garden or in a cut arrangement. Comes in a full array of colors.
    • Colors: Mix, Red, Crimson, Yellow, Orange, Pink, White
  • Montego/Snapshot Series
    • Characteristics: These two varieties offer the same snapdragon bloom but on a much smaller scale. They reach up to 10” at their tallest and with about a 10” spread. They are bushy compact plants that also offer exciting and unique bicolored flowers.
    • Colors: Orange Bicolor, Pink, Red, Sunset, Mix

  

PETUNIAS

One of the most popular annuals grown around the country. Petunias come in a very large range of colors and styles. What makes them so popular is the fact that they can be grown so easily and produce seemingly endless amounts of color. They are most commonly used in hanging baskets or in containers as an element to spill over the edge of the pot. Some varieties stay mounded and compact while others are intended to trail and ramble. Recommended planting distance is one plant every one square foot.

Temperature: Petunias here in Tallahassee grow best fall through spring. Our relentless summer humidity and heat tend to be too much for most petunia varieties.

Sun Needs: They’re best planted in afternoon sunlight but can handle some shade.

Maintenance & Care: Newer varieties of petunias, including the ones we carry are labeled as self-deadheading. This means each blooms falls off the stem on its own and requires less work from you. However, it is recommend that you do trim back plants throughout the season to encourage branching and to keep your plant looking healthy. Fertilize every 3-4 weeks with Flower-tone. If you’re growing petunias in a hanging basket we’d recommend fertilizing with Osmocote which can last several months with just one application. New colors and patterns of petunias come out each year so it always a good idea to check back into the nursery and to see what’s come in! Petunias can handle light frosts but for harder freezing conditions its best to protect your plants.

AVAILABLE PETUNIA SERIES:

  • Wave Series
    • Characteristics: These are a great trailing variety that come in several bright colors. They impress in hanging baskets or on the edge of a container to spill over the side. If used in the landscape, they stay low and spread up to several feet around. 
    • Colors: Red, White, Pink, Purple
  • Dream/Bravo Series
    • Characteristics: These are a compact and mounded plant which tend to grow 12”-24” wide and about 12-16” tall. They come in may different colors include bright reds and white along with softer shades of pink and purple. The Dream/Bravo series are versatile plants that can be used all across the garden.
    • Colors: Red, Red Picotee, White, Sugar, Rose, Purple
  • Supertunias
    • Characteristics: Probably the most popular choice among petunias the past several years here at the nursery has been the Supertunias. They are bred to handle our heat and humidity better than any variety. The original color and still our favorite is Bubblegum pink. This plant is a profuse grower that will simply astound you with the amount of color and growth it will give you.
    • Colors: Bubble gum, Bordeaux, Black Cherry, Royal Velvet, DayBreak Charm, Silverberry, White

ALYSSUM

These beautiful small white flowers make a delightful addition to mixed beds, hanging baskets and containers or make a graceful impact by themselves. Alyssum has a sweet delicate fragrance and is very attractive to many types of pollinators. It comes in a small but charming color range of white, purple, and pink. They give you an eye-catching professional look without the effort. New varieties appear almost yearly. Make sure to check in each season to see what’s come in! Try them with trailing petunias and snapdragons for an easy and great looking display.

Sun Needs & Care: Alyssum in our climate grows best in the spring and fall. During periods of ice and frost it is best to move alyssum into a protected area if in a pot or cover with a breathable cloth if planted in the ground. Plant them in full sun particularly in fall while day length is shorter. Towards the onset of summer you can try giving alyssum a bit more shade to extend its season into our warmer months.

Fertilization: Fertilize in the spring and fall once every 3-4 weeks with Flower Tone to keep them looking beautiful. Hard freezes and frosts can brown open blooms and newly set buds. Light cloth can be used to insulate and protect your cool weather annuals.

AVAILABLE ALYSSUM VARIETIES:

  • Snow Princess: This plant is, by our standard, the best performing and hardiest alyssum on the market. It grows large quickly with an abundance of white flowers. A favorite among our container designers and local landscapers. It responds very well to fertilization which is recommend every 3-4 weeks with Flowertone. Or, if grown in a container, we’d highly recommend using osmocote for truly outstanding color all season long. Because Snow Princess grows so well we’d recommend give each plant about 16-24” spacing. Definitely give this plant a try!
  • Blushing Princess: Developed after the success of Snow Princess this variety offers the improved performance but in a soft hue of purple. Each flower has a dark center and light lavender petals. Looks amazing when paired with the purple Bordeaux Supertunia!
  • White Knight & Dark Knight: Cousins of Snow princess, the Knight series offers superior performance but in a slightly smaller size. The flowers are ever so smaller than most other varieties and stays more compact as the plant matures. It’s eventual smaller size can make it easier to use in mixed containers. Unlike Blushing princess, Dark Knight offers a much truer purple flower color. Space is plant 12-18” apart. Try either color with purple leafed ornamental cabbage for a delightful fall and spring look.
  • Snow Crystal: These plants have the largest flowers among our selection and offer the strongest fragrance. Snow Crystal is the most compact alyssum here at the nursery only reaching 10-12” across. It can be the perfect choice for small containers or tucked into a larger mixed container. Pair them with violas for a simple clean look that won’t disappoint.

DIANTHUS

If you’ve been gardening for a while you might know these as Sweet Williams or Pinks. But whatever you may call them, dianthus is a low maintenance and versatile performer in the garden. During the fall and spring dianthus is a great butterfly attractor. We consider dianthus to be an annual in our climate but with the right conditions and care it can perennialize. Dianthus come in the an incredibly varied color selection, many types even have a multicolored pattern. Some varieties have only one bloom per stalk while others can have a cluster of flowers. It is best to deadhead spent bloom stalks to keep your plant looking clean and to promote more color in the future. Like snapdragons, dianthus comes in varying heights depending on the selection. They can range in height from around 4” up to a couple feet tall. Lastly, be sure to check out our seed selection for even more unique and harder to find selections. New selections and improvements come out every year so be sure to come by and check out what’s come in. Dianthus blooms are also edible. Try them as an exciting and colorful garnish to your baked delicacies.

Sun Needs & Care: Here in Tallahassee, dianthus thrives in our cool seasons but tends to suffer through our humid summers. Dianthus can take cold weather but we still recommend protecting your dianthus before a hard freeze. Tolerant of full sun to partial shade they can be planted in a container or your landscape beds. They prefer soil that is well drained and respond quickly to fertilizing.

Fertilization: Fertilize in the spring and fall once every 3-4 weeks with Flower Tone to keep them looking beautiful. Hard freezes and frosts can brown open blooms and newly set buds. Light cloth can be used to insulate and protect your cool weather annuals.

AVAILABLE DIANTHUS VARIETIES:

  • Jolt Series: This an All-American Award winning selection that’s a relatively new selection to the nursery. Its cold hardy up to zone 7 (North Georgia) and has superior heat tolerance. They have vibrantly colored blooms in shades of pink. It’s a very durable dianthus with thick stems that will extend your fall and spring gardens. Space every 10-14”.
  • Telstar Mix: This selection has been around a while and for good reason. Telstar dianthus has exception outdoor performance. Its blooms have a carnation-like appearance and comes in many colors. This is a lower growing variety only reaching 8-10” tall making it a great choice as a boarding planting or around the edge of a planter. Space them every 8-10”.
  • First Love: Here is a selection that’s a favorite among many gardeners. Flowers on this plant emerge white, then mature to a bright pink, and finish as a soft lavender giving you three different colors at the same time. These flowers have longer stalks which make them a beautiful choice in a cut flower arrangement. First Love grows taller reaching 16- 20” tall. Give each plant about 20-24” spacing.
  • Supra: Blooms on this dianthus are much larger than other varieties reaching 1.5” in width. Each bloom is highly fringed giving it a very lacy appearance. The colors in this series are very bold and include red, white, purple, and pink. Supra is another low growing variety toping out around 10-12”tall. It’s a great choice for a container or even a rock garden. Space them every 10-12”.

All the varieties listed are what we generally have on site, not an exhaustive list. Come visit us Tallahassee Nurseries to see our current, wide selection of all cool weather annuals!