1. Save and plant seed from this year's pansies. The types I grew are all F1 hybrids, however, so offspring may or may not come back true. It might be fun to experiment and see just how many flowers come true and how many revert to characteristics of the parent plants. Not sure I want to spend 12 weeks on an experiment, though!
2. Buy extra commercial seeds, then seal and store in the freezer, so they will already be pre-chilled for next year. Sow heavier to make up for the older seed, and hope they germinate!
3. Try an open pollinated type called Historic Florist Mix from Select Seeds, my favorite heirloom flower seed catalog. The description reads,
"These sprightly smaller pansies with expressive whiskery faces and a light sweet fragrance are just what you are looking for if the six pack specials of huge floppy sort just don't tickle your fancy. Called tufted pansies way back in the 1800's."These do have the cutest whiskered faces! But the flowers are smaller as they are actually Violas. I could save seeds from these from year to year without having them revert to something different. But,.....violas take even longer to bloom, from 14-16 weeks! These may self-sow as most violas do, but may not bloom as early as I would like them to.
4. Winter Sow the seeds. (See previous post on Winter Sowing. ) Not sure that this method would yield the early blooms I am wanting, either. I did winter sow some Violas this year and they bloomed a couple weeks after my pansies.
So we shall see....maybe I will try all of the above and see what works best to give me a longer bloom time for this favorite flower!
This pansy is called 'Denim Blue'. It is a color selection from the Baby Bingo series.
'Maxim Marina' Pansy growing in a favorite old yellow enamelware pot. I have affectionately nicknamed it Old Yeller. My dear daughter has been known to covet this beloved old pot, and even asked me once if she could have it. Of course, I said "Yes,........ I will leave it to you in my will!"
Cute whiskered face of 'Ultima Morpho' Pansy, a Mid-blue and soft yellow bi-color. (The first photo in this post is this type, as well.) They vary a bit from plant to plant in the color of the flowers, some having more white than yellow. These subtle differences make them even more interesting and appealing!