By Norman Winter
When October rolls around, so does one of our best times to plant flowers for the long, cool season ahead. The first that comes to mind is pansies or violas. Make no mistake about it – if you have ever felt like a viola couldn’t dazzle like a pansy, then you haven’t tried ColorMax.
ColorMax is a relatively new series of viola coming to us from Sakata Seed that has completely shocked me with its flower power. It really is color to the max with these violas. Those in the North Texas Farm and Ranch area will love the terrific performance.
I am the ultimate pansy and viola lover, almost to the point of saying, “I have never seen one I didn’t like.” I love clear ones, those with blotches, those with whiskers as well as their fragrance. To me there is nothing not to love about pansies and violas.
ColorMax comes in 10 colors and a mix, and it’s hard to pick out a favorite. The clear yellow is so prolific I would hardly be exaggerating when I say it can be seen from a mile away. Just think, I am saying that about violas and not giant or mammoth-sized pansies. Speaking of giant, Sakata is the same company that brings us the Majestic Giant.
Icy Blue, Popcorn and Lemon Splash are also must-have plants in your cool-season landscape. While these flowers are larger than many other viola selections, the quantity of blossoms is amazing. As you might expect, the plants reach six to eight inches tall with a spread of about 10 inches.
ColorMax violas are very cold tolerant and transplant to the garden with ease.
Select a site in full sun or partial shade with organically rich soil. If organic rich and fertile doesn’t sound like your soil, don’t fret. Over the past 20 years, most gardeners I have talked to are plagued with a tight clay or heavy soil. Clay particles are the smallest of all soils. Because of their small size, they are easier to compact, keeping out not only water but also air.
To read more pick up a copy of the October 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.