Pansy plants (Viola × wittrockiana) are cheerful, blooming flowers, among the first of the season to offer winter color in many areas. Growing pansies are commonly seen in late fall and early spring in more northern areas of the United States, while in subtropical areas, pansies bloom throughout the winter.
About Pansy Plants
Learning how to grow pansies can guarantee color in the flower bed where none may have existed. Pansy plants are members of the Viola family, originating from the small and delicate variety known as Johnny-Jump Up. Include a few of the original violas in the landscape with pansies for a fine and frilly texture in your beds.
Today’s hybrid versions of pansy plants are more adaptable to heat then those of the past with larger blooms displayed with more vigor. Most prefer daytime temps of the 60 F. (16 C.) range and nighttime temps around 40 F. (4 C.).
Breeders have created cultivars with the “face” to go with the drooping head of the pansy plant. Newer varieties of pansy plants prefer a full or part sun location and are happy in hanging baskets, combination containers and flower bed borders.
How to Grow Pansy Flowers
Pansies may be started from seed or purchased as seedlings from the local garden center. The pansy plant may grow with spring and winter blooming bulbs such as crocus, tulips and daffodils. Plants grown from seed may not flower until the second year, as pansy plants are biennials.
Proper preparation of the soil goes a long way in getting the most from pansy plants. Work in organic material such as compost or well rotted leaves to a 4-inch depth before planting pansies. This accommodates the growing pansy’s need for well-draining soil and provides nutrients as the organic material decomposes.
When growing pansies in well-prepared soil, the need for fertilization will be minimal. Pansies also prefer acidic soil, so do not add limestone unless indicated by a soil test.
Other pansy care is simple; water and deadhead pansies for a longer period of blooms.
Experiment with growing pansies in containers and the garden. Many colors and sizes of pansies provide numerous opportunities to include them in the landscape. Pansies’ care is nearly effortless. Plant some of these beauties in your garden this year.