How to Grow a Pansy from a Seed

Updated February 21, 2017

Pansies are among the easiest plants to grow from seed, but they do require specific light and temperature requirements. Begin with a quality pansy seed, and your pansy plants will reward you throughout the season. Pansies prefer full morning or afternoon sun, but hot midday sun can be too strong. Depending on your climate, you may enjoy the wide variety of pansy colours in early spring, in late fall or throughout the winter. Pansies prefer cooler weather and will grow equally well in containers or as bedding plants.

Clean and sterilise the seed flat with a solution of 10 parts water and 1 part household bleach. It's important to start your pansy seeds in a clean container. Make sure to rinse the seed flat well and dry it before planting.

Make a 50-50 blend of perlite and peat moss to use as the germinating mixture for your pansy seeds. Soilless potting mixtures work best for germination as they contain no fungi that may be present in soil. Leave the germinating mixture in an area where it will reach 15.6 to 18.3 degrees Celsius, the optimum temperature for starting pansy seeds.

Fill each of the sections of the seed flat to just beneath the rim with the germinating mixture. Leave about 1/4 inch of room at the top for watering. Press the germinating mixture into each section to avoid settling.

Press one pansy seed 1/8 inch deep into each section of the seed tray. Cover the seeds lightly with the germinating mixture. Water thoroughly but gently.

Wrap the seed flat with cling film. Place a damp, folded newspaper on top of the seed flat.

Place the germination mixture indoors in a dark room with an air temperature of between 21.1 and 23.9 degrees Celsius. Pansies need darkness in order to germinate.

Check the pansy tray daily to make sure the germinating mixture is moist. Do not let the germinating mixture dry out. Water gently as needed. Germination should take between 10 and 20 days. Remove the newspaper and cling film cover as soon as the first shoots appear. Move the seed flats to a cool room with bright lights.

Pull the seedlings apart when they have two leaves. Place each plant in a 2-inch container filled with potting soil or your preferred soilless medium. Leave the pansies in a sunny location with a temperature between 10 and 15.6 degrees Celsius.

Feed the pansies with a diluted water-soluble fertiliser. Move to larger containers or into your garden soil when the plants begin to crowd the smaller 2-inch pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed flat
  • Bleach
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Pansy seeds
  • Cling film
  • Newspapers
  • 2-inch pots
  • Potting soil
  • Water soluble fertiliser
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.