(Viola X Wittrockiana)
Pansies are hardy annuals that are easy to grow, need very little care and work well in borders, pots or containers. They have large hardy blooms and come in a range of bright colours.
Pansies are ideal for creating temporary spring displays in beds or containers. They are pretty much always disease and pest free and will give a long display of brilliant colours.
Pansies and violas are the same family and the names are often used interchangeably. Violas are very similar plants just with smaller flowers and are even hardier in winter. They work great together in pots.
Growing pansies from seed
- Pansies are not difficult to grow from seeds
- For autumn planting to flower in the Spring, seed can be sown any time from May to July. Seedlings should be ready for planting in September
- Pansy seeds can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before transplanting them
- Plant seeds in winter for early spring and summer flowering. Plant as early as possible in winter to help establish and grow the root system that’s so critical to winter hardiness
- Plant seeds in the summer for winter flowering
Growing pansies from seedlings
You can also buy seedlings in bedding packs from your local garden centre anytime from autumn to spring. There are both winter and spring varieties of pansies.
When buying pansies as bedding packs or seedlings, choose plants that are compact with dark green leaves. Avoid the temptation to buy the plants that are already flowering. You’ll have better luck if you choose the smaller plants that are just starting to have buds or blooms and you’ll get more flowers from them in the long run.
Where should it be grown?
- Pansies are not fussy plants and will grow best in rich soil with steady moisture, partial sun and appreciate some fertiliser.
- Pansies flower best in full sun but don’t tolerate heat which is why they thrive in spring and autumn. Varieties with medium-size flowers fair better over winter than large-flowered types.
- Plant pansies 6-8 inches apart.
Any other additional tips.
- Pansies do not like heat and watering them regularly will help them last longer and they may begin blooming again into the autumn. Ensure good drainage.
- Encourage new growth and blooms by deadheading faded blooms and any fruit.
- Pansies will give their best with regular deadheading. It’s not essential but it will encourage new blooms. So, as soon as the flowers fade simply pinch them off between your thumb and forefinger.
- Watch out for the soil around winter pansies getting too wet as you may end up with root rot.