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Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Tired of planting plain ole pansies every spring? Proven Winners has six creative alternatives available in every color of the rainbow. Prepare to be inspired!

Solution #1: Pansiolas
ANYTIME™ Pansiolas (Viola x wittrockiana)
It’s a sure sign of spring when retailers line their benches with colorful six packs of pansies and gardeners eagerly plant them out in newly mulched garden beds. While they certainly have an undeniable charm, traditional seed-type pansies can also have their drawbacks. The biggest trouble is that since they are cool season plants, they bloom like crazy in spring but shut down completely when summer arrives with its hot afternoon sun and long days.

Anytime™ Pansiolas are a new revolution! Combining the best traits of pansies and violas, new pansiolas are early to bloom in spring yet they can also take the heat, blooming toe to toe with other annuals throughout the summer months and into fall. Anytime™ Pansiolas make it possible to have pansies in bloom all season long in shades of purple, lavender, white, and sunshine yellow.

Solution #2: Nemesia
With masses of blooms in deliciously warm shades of Cranberry, Raspberry, Mango, Lemon and Coconut, Sunsatia® Nemesias are the perfect plants to bring the spring garden back to life again. Their attractive trailing habit makes them useful as spillers in combination containers and hanging baskets where they will thrive from spring through fall with no deadheading needed.




INNOCENCE® Nemesia fruticans
For pastel-themed gardens, cloak the earth with the softly fragrant blossoms of Innocence® Nemesia. Pink, white, and opalescent amethyst pink flowers cover every inch of these well-branched, upright plants. Though they are frost-tolerant and can handle the cool weather conditions with ease, they are also heat tolerant enough to bloom all summer and into the fall.





Solution #3: Diascia
Gardeners are very familiar with planting common snapdragons (Antirrhinum) in early spring, but may not know their semi-trailing cousin Diascia or Twinspur. Like snapdragons, Diascia can withstand multiple light frosts in early spring and fall without skipping a beat. But Diascia wins the low maintenance award as its burgeoning blooms are produced profusely from spring through fall without any deadheading. Available in three colors: FLYING COLORS® Red Diascia, FLIRTATION® Orange Diascia, and FLIRTATION® Pink Diascia.


Solution #4: Lobelia
LAGUNA™ and LUCIA® Lobelia
For the perfect medley of texture and cool spring color, blend Laguna™ and Lucia® Lobelias with Anytime™ Pansiolas in borders, pots, and baskets.  The tiny, clear blue blossoms of the lobelias will knit the combination together into a fabulous show of color to usher in spring. As an added bonus, these particular varieties of lobelia are more heat tolerant than average, extending their show longer into the season depending on the climate. Available in: Heavenly Lilac, White, Compact Blue with Eye, Sky Blue, and Dark Blue.


Solution #5: Lobularia
Princess Lobularia
Snow Princess® Lobularia took the gardening world by storm when she was first introduced in 2010. Gardeners had never seen a sweet alyssum more vigorous, floriferous, or heat tolerant. Blushing Princess® Lobularia came next, duplicating the garden performance of Snow Princess but with a twist—her flowers open white and then turn silvery lavender. The stronger the sunlight, the more intense lavender she becomes.

These big, showy bloomers make enormous hanging baskets and work well as a ground cover too. Though they perform admirably as cool season annuals, they continue to be a blooming powerhouse through the summer heat and well into fall.

Knight Lobularia
Brand new for 2015! Dark Knight™ Lobularia is an exceptionally dark purple alyssum that provides early color for the landscape, containers, and hanging baskets. He won’t waste time sowing his wild oats around town—this sweet guy’s only intention is to bloom like crazy for you from spring through fall. He is extremely cold tolerant but can take the heat too.

If purple’s not your color, try the more restrained Snow Princess look-a-like called White Knight® Lobularia. He has a more densely compact habit, forming a perfect sphere in hanging baskets. For a unique look, try Frosty Knight Lobularia with variegated lemon lime foliage. Grown in full sun, he is so floriferous that you may not even notice his cool foliage. But grown in part shade where his flower clusters will be a bit less dense, you’ll get to appreciate his striped sense of style.

Solution #6: Supertunia® Petunias
While Petunias may not be the first annual you think of planting in early spring, there are certainly some varieties that can tolerate colder temperatures than others. Trials have shown that the following selections are excellent for spring planting. Encompassing shades of red, pink, purple, yellow and white, now there’s a Supertunia to match every spring color palette.

To learn more about all of the plants mentioned here, go to

About Susan Martin: She is a lifelong gardener and perennial specialist with 17 years of experience in the Horticulture Industry including new plant development, garden design, communications, sales and marketing. She is a native of Michigan where she has been gardening since the age of four in both sandy and clay soils in zones 4-6. 

Patent Info: ANYTIME™ Pansiola Viola x wittrockiana. SUNSATIA® Nemesia. Innocence® Nemesia fruticans. FLYING COLORS® Red Diascia CPBR2773. FLIRTATION® Orange Diascia PP20905. FLIRTATION® Pink Diascia PP20886 CPBR3863. LAGUNA™ Heavenly Lilac Lobelia erinus PP21127. LAGUNA™ White Lobelia erinus PP18216 CPBR3030. LAGUNA™ Compact Blue with Eye Lobelia erinus PP16112 CPBR1975. LAGUNA™ Sky Blue Lobelia erinus PP15526 CPBR2304. LUCIA® Dark Blue Lobelia erinus PP21791 CPBR4076. Snow Princess® Lobularia PP21594 CPBR4189. Blushing Princess® Lobularia PPAF CPBRAF. Dark Knight™ Lobularia PPAF CPBRAF. White Knight® Lobularia PPAF CPBR4780. Frosty Knight® Lobularia PPAF CPBRAF. SUPERTUNIA® Indigo Charm Petunia PPAF CPBRAF. SUPERTUNIA® Flamingo Petunia PPAF CPBRAF. SUPERTUNIA® Vista Bubblegum® Petunia PP17730 CPBR2871. SUPERTUNIA® Vista Fuchsia Petunia PP17895 CPBR2875. SUPERTUNIA® Vista Silverberry Petunia PP20903 CPBR3866. SUPERTUNIA® Black Cherry Petunia PPAF CPBRAF US Utility 7,642,436 B2. SUPERTUNIA® Limoncello Petunia PP23282 CPBRAF.

Posted March 13, 2015


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