annual pansy now perennial?

rouge21_gw(5)April 23, 2013

A garden friend of mine mentioned picking up a flat of "Cool Wave" pansies from HDepot. She said this variety is advertised as being hardy to zone 5!

I am not sure how long this variety has been about...was it available for sale last season? if so do have some experience with it survival in a colder zone like z5?

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool Wave Pansy

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Have never heard about annual pansies. They have always been biannual here.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:24AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey... how you been??.. getting geared up for a new season???

i have always considered pansy.... at a minimum.. a biennial ...

for decades mom bought them in fall.. at mum time.. to enjoy them then.. and again in spring ... in her zone 5 ...

cant say they lived thru a second winter .... and i wonder if this is some kind of marketing hocus pocus ....

but we wont know that .... until you prove it right or wrong ...

and i would not be surprised that warmer zone peeps.. have a different result ....

i dont know how you could breed a genetic biennial into a perennial ....[i will have to think about that comment .. beyond the obvious zone issue .. as in .. a lot of things we grown as tender annuals are perennial further south .. etc ... or in their native range ]


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:27AM
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The Cool Waves (marketed as a spreading pansy) have been crossed with Viola cornuta lines to get the spreading habit (and smaller flowers). These are very likely hardy to zone 5, as are MANY pansy genetics. It isn't generally the cold that kills them, but the summer heat.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It's the heat that kills Pansies, not the cold. As long as so much snow doesn't cover them completely, they can live through cold. How cold, I don't know, but definitely in Z5, and in a pot through 9 degrees here. Had them live through winter many times in central OH when fall-planted, but not so much through the following summer. Spring planted violas/pansies in more shade may still be alive by fall, but those in tons of sun likely will not, IME in OH and AL. Individual plants don't seem to live more than a couple years, tops. Where they are covered by snow, I would suspect rotting over temperature to be the primary COD, to a point, but I'm certainly not a scientist, just a yard observer.

Not really sure how one mulches a pansy, or any plant that short... I wouldn't try though, as I would expect to see blooms intermittently throughout winter in any case where snow cover is intermittent.

I don't think anyone has spliced or modified genes here, but that they've just selectively kept and bred those that survived over winter to make the most of that trait. It's possible that financial motivations could justify the cost of the former, IDK, doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me although pansies are one of my fav/always-have plants.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Purple and golbugal are correct :-) Typically the only thing that keeps pansies from being fully perennial is heat. Even snow cover doesn't seem to deter them, at least in my area - they come right back from that. And since it doesn't get really warm where I live, I've had them hang around for several seasons, especially when planted in a shady location. In fact, I've had to rip them out when their life expectancy exceeded their attractiveness :-)

There are some fully perennial "pansies" - actually a viola hybrid similar to seasonal pansies - 'Etaine', 'Columbine', 'Rebecca' are some of the choices. These retain a compact habit and seem to exhibit a lot more heat tolerance. I've had 'Etaine' in my garden for years. Supposedly hardy to zone 4.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:14PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Hi Rouge! So funny you started this thread. I was out and about today and noticed some pansies growing that I did not plant and were not there last year. Maybe these have turned perennial? I've never purchased a pansy in my life so either they blew in or went to seed two years ago (before we lived here).

They have just appeared throughout my garden this week. I'll get some pictures for you tomorrow. They're very cute.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:05PM
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wieslaw59 good to 'hear' from you. It seems to me that you have been a bit quiet on the GW Perennial forum this past that because it was...winter?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:08AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Gardengal, I was so excited when those appeared locally. I love 'Etaine' but I have not had success with them being perennial for me. :( I can't get rid of several violas that I foolishly planted but not 'Etaine'

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Campanula UK Z8

the little 'black' pansy, Molly Sanderson, has been reliably perennial for me (and looks well with a white nemesia which has also been obligingly perennial).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:07PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Well I have never much gotten into Pansies, but I was out yesterday and passed a public planting with the prettiest pastel pansies - pale yellow, pink, and lavender. I am used to the much stronger colors in Pansies? But I'm a sucker for pastels - and decided on the spot that I MUST check the local nursery for some of these pastel pansies.

Do Pansies reseed? I know that Johnny Jump ups will spread around.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:51PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I also love 'Etain' and while it is sold as a perennial here that has not been my experience. But hope has me trying again this spring.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 1:49PM
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