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Less than perfect pansies

I HAVE been trying to grow violas and pansies in pots outside my front door. It's shady but they get morning sun. I don't know what I'm doing wrong - they're tall and straggly and the bottom leaves have gone yellow. How much water do they need?


WHILE violas and pansies generally grow well in sun or light shade, too much shade and dampness can cause the symptoms you describe. Yellow lower leaves could indicate a lack of nutrients, mildew disease or perhaps even an infestation of aphids. Check to see if aphids are feeding under the leaves - if necessary you could spray with Mavrik or Rogor 100 to control them.

You could also try moving the pots into more light. In warm weather you'll need to water regularly, perhaps every day. Remove spent flowers regularly too.

Alternatively, try planting more shade-tolerant flowers such as mimulus (for spring-summer blooms), or polyanthus or forget-me-nots (late winter to spring).

Weekend Gardener, Issue 132, 2003, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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