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Six Solutions for Cool Weather Plantings

Tired of planting plain ole pansies for all of your early season projects? Proven Winners has six creative alternatives available in every color of the rainbow--perfect for the landscape or a bright patio container combination. Prepare to be inspired! Click on the plant names to learn more about each individual variety.

Bright Lights Yellow

Solution #1: Osteospermum

Bright Lights, Soprano® and Symphony Osteospermum
It’s a sure sign of spring when retailers line their benches with colorful pots of Osteospermum daisies. These cheerful bloomers can't help but bring smiles to gardeners' faces and a bright splash of color to their newly planted containers.

All of the Ostospermum varieties from Proven Winners are early to bloom in spring yet they can also have improved heat tolerance, blooming toe to toe with other annuals throughout the summer months and into fall. Use them as winter flowering annuals in the sunbelt states and as early season color from north to south.

SUNSATIA®  Blood Orange


Solution #2: Nemesia

SUNSATIA® Nemesia 
With masses of blooms in deliciously warm shades of Cranberry, Blood Orange, 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. Blue 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 

Landscapers 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 in the maintenance category as its burgeoning blooms are produced profusely from spring through fall without any deadheading. Available in these colors: FLIRTATION® Orange, FLIRTATION® Pink and FLIRTATION® Glacier White.



Lucia® Dark Blue

Solution #4: Lobelia 


LAGUNA and LUCIA® Lobelia
For the perfect medley of texture and cool spring color, blend Laguna and Lucia® Lobelias with Osteospermums 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 colors:  LAGUNA White, LAGUNA Compact Blue with Eye, LAGUNA Sky Blue, LUCIA® Ultraviolet and LUCIA® Dark Blue. 


Snow Princess®

Dark Knight

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
Dark Knight Lobularia is an exceptionally dark purple selection 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 alike 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.


Supertunia® Black Cherry

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, there’s a Supertunia to match every spring color palette.

Want to know more? Here's a link to further reading about early spring planting and cold tolerant plants.

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