Pansies are a hardy, easy flower. They grow well almost anywhere, withstand cold and hot temperatures, and come in a wide range of colours. This is what makes them a favourite for flower beds and container gardening. Pansies don't need a great deal of personal attention but should be tended to every two months or so. Pruning pansies will not only keep the plants looking bright and beautiful, it will also make them stronger. While growing and taking care of pansies is relatively simple, there are a few simple guidelines to follow when pruning pansies.
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Survey the plants in the afternoon, after the sun's warmest rays have already passed.
Notice any weakening or wilted blooms. Gently reach behind the bloom, where it attaches to the stem, and snip it off with the scissors. If scissors are not available, gently pinch with your fingernails and remove the wilted bloom.
Gently separate the blossoms and look down through the stems. If you see areas where the stem growth is thick but producing no blooms, use the scissors to cut the stems off the plant down at the base. Doing this will allow the vitamins and nutrients that were going to that stem to feed other stems and blooms, giving stronger and fuller flowers.
Put on your gloves and remove all dropped leaves, blossoms and stems that have fallen to the ground and are covering the base of the plant near the soil. This debris can trap moisture that will cause root rot and also provide a haven for bugs and insects that can damage the plant. Throw the debris into a mulch pile or the garbage.
Prune pansies at least every six weeks. This will help you discover any growth problems that may need correcting and will help you detect if the plants are in ill health.
Tips and warnings
- If you find your pansies are becoming too thick and overtaking your flower bed, dig them up in late summer and separate them at the roots. Transplant them into pots and give as gifts, or find new homes for them in other areas of your garden.
- When pruning pansies, look closely for any insect damage on the plant and treat accordingly. When shopping for a pesticide, make sure it is one that will not harm the plants that may also be growing near the pansies.
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