Pansies, like many perennials, don’t like wet feet. Unlike most summer perennials, they thrive in the fall and winter – a somewhat rainy season for much of the U.S. For gardeners in soggier growing zones, pansies’ preference for well-drained soil begs the question: can pansies grow in pots?
Container Grown Pansies
They certainly can! Plus, growing pansies in a pot allows for their delicate faces to shine: alone in a statement planter, or as bright patches of color or low-growing trailing plants among taller perennials. Growing pansies in a pot is an easy way to control moisture and soil type, and container grown pansies can flourish when given the right doses of those two must-haves. So here are a few tips that will keep your potted pansy plants happy:
Starting Potted Pansy Plants
Pansies can be grown from seed 14 to 16 weeks before planting, usually in late January. If you’re starting pansies from seeds, use grow lights or a sunny windowsill to nourish your container grown pansies, and keep the soil moist. You can also give them a diluted fertilizer after the seed starts have begun to leaf.
Transplanting Potted Pansy Starts
Once the starts are a few inches tall, choose a container and a good potting mix for your pansies. Make sure the potting mix is fairly light, and select a container with drainage holes, as potted pansy plants prefer well-drained soil.
You may add some slow-release fertilizer to the potting mix, according to the package instructions, before popping your pansies into their new pots. Leave a few inches between each plant.
Ongoing Pansy Care in Containers
To keep up with caring for your container grown pansies, water the flowers regularly so that the soil is always moist but not soggy. Indirect sunlight is best for these containers. Add a small amount of blood meal or a store-bought fertilizer mix to your potted pansy plants every few weeks, and pinch off any overly leggy growth to keep the plants well-shaped.
Pansies grown in pots can be left outdoors through the winter – just give them a deep watering before a hard freeze, and consider covering them during any extremely frigid weather.
With a little planning ahead, growing pansies in a pot is an easy way to keep your walkway, front steps or container garden bright through early fall and into winter.