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Frosty Color

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January 10, 2021
When the fall weather is pleasant it’s tempting to keep growing those summer annuals. But when cold temperatures strike, these plants, like this butterflyweed, need to be replaced. Let’s see how my top four cool season annuals handle the cold temperatures. I think Matrix pansies are some of the toughest annuals for the cool season. There is a huge range of colors and styles. Flowers have attractive dark blotches of a more traditional pansy, but there are selections that are called clear with without the blotch. Sonnet snapdragons are one of my personal favorites. They have a wide variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow and white. The plants produce multiple tall flower spikes which make them a perfect choice for enjoying as cut flowers. I make a point to plant Sorbet violas series every year. When massed, they seem to cover the landscape with a floral blanket. The best aspect of this flower is that the color selection seems absolutely endless. These colorful flowers are displayed above the foliage to really showoff. Telstar dianthus is another cool season favorite. Flower colors include carmine rose, pink, white and bicolor picotees. The flowers have a fringed margin and dainty floral fragrance. Low temperatures will nip the flowers of these plants, but once it gets a little warmer the flowering will get revved up again. Now the best time to plant your cool season color is in October, so mark that date on next year’s garden calendar. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.


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