Pansies are the go-to flower for the cool season ahead, and no wonder why- they are picture perfect!
Name the color and you can find it in a pansy- even all black! Pansies can be one solid color, or two-toned! They come in warm colors, like maroons; bright colors like purples; and cool tones like white and blues. They are ideal in either a flower bed as a low border or in a container as the solo performer or mixed with other plants to highlight them. It doesn’t matter if pansies are planted in one color or a rainbow of mixed colors-the effect is the same. They give flowerbeds/containers a jolt of color and energy in the cool into winter season.
And the best part? They can take the cold! They thrive in cool weather, and can last through light frosts without the need to be covered. They are capable of surviving temps down to the single digits, BUT when the air temperature drops below 25-degrees, their foliage will wilt and turn a gray-green color. Don’t fret though because this is their normal defense response to cold weather, and they usually bounce back. Would you ever need to cover them with a freeze cloth? Generally only if the air temperature is expected to drop below 20-degrees F for several hours, and a dehydrating wind accompanies those temps.
While pansies can tolerate the cold, they absolutely cannot tolerate excessive heat and humidity. In other words, they are great for our mild winters but will not stick around for our summers! Heat causes them to become leggy and stop blooming. You will notice these symptoms when the temperatures begin to climb and Spring is upon us.
Now that our nighttime temperatures are in the low 60s, it’s the perfect time to plant pansies.
They like the full-partial sun in a well-drained soil/planting mix. Ideally, they would enjoy the morning sun and avoid the later afternoon heat some of our “winter” days can have. Plant them about 7-12 inches apart since they will spread about 9-12 inches and grow to be about 6-9 inches tall.
Remember to water them regularly. One of the most common reason they fail is because they are not watered enough.
The best fertilizer for them is Blood Meal. It’s a fast-acting source of nitrogen, and it will help your pansies continue to bloom all through winter! As a side note, it’s also great to use on your caladiums during the summer months. If you’re wondering why not fertilize with the all-purpose Osmocote, it’s because it’s a slow-release fertilizer that depends on our higher temperatures to break down for your plants. When our temperatures are a delightful 70-degrees and below, Blood Meal is a better choice.
And, who doesn’t want non-stop blooms all winter?
We invite you to shop all the beautiful blooming pansies here at our garden center, and enjoy all the picture perfect color they will bring to your cool season!