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                                                      Regional November

Keeping Your Winter Full of Color
By Amanda Whatley Owen
web posted November 13, 2017
111317EDGEFIELD   The past few weeks we have been getting everything in our yards winter-ready.  Now, it's time to have a little creative fun by spicing up our homes with a low-maintenance, winter color pop.  Let me show you how to spice up your garden, patio or porch with new colors and textures that are bound to draw comments from your holiday visitors this season. 
Traditionally, many of us only think about pansies and violas during the cold months of the year.  And while they add an array of color, there are many plants we don't even think about, that will add variety and depth to our floral palette, giving us a new, fantastic look.    
Let's consider annuals such as snapdragons, ornamental cabbage, ornamental kale, chard, and dusty miller.  All of these will add texture, color, and variety to your planter.  A few other plants I personally enjoy using during the winter months are parsley, rosemary, small camellia shrubs, fescue grasses, and any small, evergreen shrub. 
The parsley and rosemary are a fun way to add a creative touch to planters and small annual bed designs.  They can act as a filler between the color annuals like your pansies, violas, and snapdragons. I also love using camellias, considering they are a winter blooming shrub.  Camellias are a great focal point for a planter, and once summer arrives, you can repot, or integrate the camellia into your landscape.

One awesome part of winter is that there is less watering than the summer. Winter annuals do not require as much watering as summer annuals because it is not as warm and the soil does not dry out as fast. Normally, in a week with no rain, watering twice a week is all that is typically needed for these winter loving plants. Be sure to not over-water!  Over-watering your winter annuals, can quickly lead to fungus and disease if the soil stays too damp for too long. 


Fertilizing the annuals is still a necessity as they love liquid fertilizer every three to four weeks.  Miracle Grow works perfectly for this.  Keep in mind, winter annuals are not a fan of a granular, slow release fertilizers, such as Osmocote.

Later in the winter, some folks may experience their pansies or violas becoming leggy-like. This can be due to not planting in full sun, which all winter annuals love. Another cause could be, that they were planted too early.  Typically, the first two weeks of November is the best time to plant your winter annuals to prevent them from becoming stressed out from any warm days that may strike us.
You can keep your pansies and violas trimmed back to keep the full mounding look of blooms.  I would not recommend cutting back any other winter annual unless it is one of the herbs, parsley or rosemary.


As you can see, winter annuals can be a fun, low maintenance way to dress up your home and garden, and release the inner artist in you.
Swing in next week to learn how to create a Thanksgiving centerpiece with clippings from your own yard. 

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