October is finally here, which means your summer flowers are probably finished, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fresh color in your garden as we ease into the winter months. Of all things that prefer cool and cold weather, Pansies and Violas are the best of the bunch.
Violas and Pansies are very similar plants. Pansies have the larger flower, some with solid colors and some with the blotched center or 'face' in the bloom. Violas have much smaller blooms but also will come in solid color or with faces. Even though the blooms on a Viola are small, they are more numerous than the blooms on a Pansy.
Both flowers love the cold weather. They prefer full to part sun and soil that isn't too soggy. They preer a little fertilizer, especially while temperatures are mild in fall and early spring.
Insects don't typically bother either of these plants, but rabbits and deer do like the taste of their fresh blooms. If you run into problems with these animals, you may need to use a repellant around your plants. But if you plant them now, you'll get almost eight months of color for your garden before replacing them with your summer plants next year.
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