Pansies are a bright, cool weather flower great for adding colour to your garden when it's too cold for other flowers. Pansies are usually found in shades of yellow, orange, purple, burgundy and white. The three colour patterns are solid coloured, one solid colour with lines coming out from the centre and blooms with a dark centre, sometimes called a face. Follow a few simple tips and you can have these cheery flowers blooming all winter long.
Pansies are cool weather plants, so you want to plant them when soil temperatures are between 7.22 and 18.3 degrees C. You can grow pansies from seeds, but it's easiest to purchase small plants and transplant them into your garden. Choose transplants that are compact with dark green leaves. Although it may be tempting to buy the plants that are already blooming, you'll have better luck if you choose smaller ones that are just starting to have buds or blooms. They will give you more flowers in the long run.
Plant pansies in a well-drained soil that has some compost mixed into it. The bed should be located in area that receives full to partial sunlight. They need about six hours of sunlight a day for optimal blooming. You should plant your pansies six to ten inches apart. Your bed will look fuller if you plant them closer to six inches apart, but the plants will be healthier with a little more space. After planting, water your new pansies thoroughly.
Caring for Your Pansies
Pansies are easy plants to take care of. Water your pansies regularly during dry weather, but don't let the soil stay wet and soggy, especially during the winter. This can cause root rot. You can apply a 2-nch layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture, reduce weeds and protect the roots from the cold.
Pansies like to be fertilised, so apply a fertiliser containing nitrogen about once a month. To keep your flowers blooming longer, pinch off the spent blooms frequently. Pansies tend to be disease- and pest-free, but if you have a problem be sure to treat it quickly so that they will continue to thrive.