Winter Pansy Care

Written by k.c. morgan
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Winter Pansy Care
Pansies grow up to 9 inches tall. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pansy flowers, botanical name Violax wittrockiana, grow in a wide array of solid and variegated colours, and they will bloom year-round in garden environments unless they are damaged by frost. In California and other warm regions, pansies need no winter protection or special care; they will continue to bloom in the favourable weather conditions. Elsewhere, pansies are grown as annual and perennial flowers. Proper winter pansy care will keep the flower bed healthy through the cold season.

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Container Pansies

Grow pansies in containers so they may be moved indoors when winter weather strikes. Usually, pansy seeds are sewn in containers so they may germinate indoors before they are moved to the outdoor garden. Keep new pansy plants at temperatures of 21.1 to 23.8 degrees C. Give pansies bright sunlight and warmth, and they will blossoms into attractive, colourful flowers. Container pansies may be taken out to the garden in spring, after the last frost date, and moved inside in fall before frost arrives.

Schedule

Begin winterising the garden before snow and frost arrive, in September through November, depending on climate. Frost may damage pansies that aren't cold-hardy. Do not focus on winterising the pansy flowers themselves; the entire flower bed must be winterised. Winterising the pansy flower bed will keep conditions healthy for the plants, so they will grow well the next spring and summer.

Winterising

Remove all dead, dying and damaged foliage and flowers from the pansy bed. The entire area should be cleared of all debris and dead plant parts. Clear away any mulch in the bed and discard. Any pansies that have not died to the ground should be pruned back 3 to 5 inches, but do not cut away the leaves growing near the base of the plant. Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of fertiliser around the pansy bed, and cover it over with a 2- to 3-inch layer of woody mulch.

Winter-Hardy Pansies

Some pansy cultivars are winter-hardy up to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 4, and need no special winter care to survive. Violax wittrockiana "Snow Angel" produce white, blue or yellow flowers and will survive temperatures as low as negative -1.11 degrees C. Snow Angel pansies will become dormant in winter and re-bloom in spring. Even hardy pansies that go dormant in winter benefit from winter care and general garden winterisation.

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