Don’t let those cute little faces fool you — pansies are tougher than they look — and unafraid of a little cold weather. However, pansies are not tough to grow and offer a lot of cool season color while asking only a little in return.
Pansies actually do best in cooler weather, and therefore are usually planted mid-late Fall all the way through the beginning of Spring. You can start pansies from seed, but it’s much more convenient to buy bedding plants at your favorite garden center. When you do, choose plants that are compact, bushy and dark green with plenty of buds.
You don’t have to contain yourself.
You can plant pansies directly into flowerbeds in the landscape or in containers. For best results start with a high-quality potting medium, such as TN Mix or Espoma Organic Potting Mix.
Keep it light.
Choose a site with full sun. This keeps them warm when temperatures are cool and helps them produce the colorful blooms they are famous for. Planting in an area with too much shade will hurt the bloom.
Make sure they’re well-grounded.
Pansies are not fussy, but prefer a moist, slightly acidic soil with good drainage. Plant your seedlings about six to eight inches apart and mix in an organic starter plant food into the soil while you are planting. We recommend Espoma Bio-tone® Starter Plus. Later in the season, feed them once again with Espoma Flower-tone®.
A thirst for beauty.
Often times there’s not enough rain to help the plants become well established — pansies need about an inch per week. If there’s not enough rain, water the plants to make up the difference. avoid watering pansies in late afternoon or evening — this will encourage disease.
Don’t miss mulch.
Mulch around pansies to conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Use a couple of inches of organic material, pine straw or compost.
Off with their heads.
To extend the bloom, remove old flowers once they fade. This is known as “dead heading.”
All good things…
Sorry, but pansies decline with hot weather. You can cut them back and mulch them to keep your hopes alive for late Spring. Or, painful as it may be, you can just replace them with Spring/Summer flowering annuals. The good news is that you can plant more pansies as the weather cools — probably around October – November.
It’s no wonder that pansies have been a favorite for generations. They’re beautiful, versatile and easy to grow. If you follow our simple guidelines, we’re confident that pansies will reward you with the spectacular display of color all winter long!