How to Grow Pansies in Virginia


Pansies are a cold-hardy annual that can be found in nurseries in the early spring and the fall. With bright bloom "faces" in hues of yellow, blue, white and mixtures of those colors, pansies instantly add color to any garden or container. Pansies are one of the simplest flowers to grow, as they need only a regular watering and an occasional feeding. In Virginia's USDA growing zone 7, pansies may continue to flourish into the coldest months while the northernmost section in zone 6 will probably see pansies die off in early winter. Pansies are a self-seeding annual, so grow them only in areas where you are comfortable with them popping back up year after year.

Step 1

Loosen the dirt in your garden bed with a spade, turning the dirt until it is a loose, powdery consistency. Now would be a good time to collect a sample to take for testing at your local cooperative extension office, or, if you've already gotten your results, now would be the time to add any amendments suggested such as compost or manure.

Step 2

Dig individual holes to plant your pansy seedlings, spacing them six to ten inches apart or as suggested on your particular cultivar's packaging. Be sure that pansies have at least six hours of sun a day for best results.

Step 3

Drop a granular slow-release fertilizer, if desired, into the planting holes. Pansies are voracious feeders, and the more nutrients they receive the bigger and brighter they grow.

Step 4

Water well after planting. Like most annuals, pansies have shallow root bases and will need regular watering. Water daily in warmer times of the year.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pansies are relatively disease and pest free. Slugs, aphids and spider mites all may chomp on them though. Treat the garden bed immediately with an organic or chemical pesticide if any signs of these pests are prevalent.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade or hand trowel
  • Compost
  • Pansy seedlings
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • West Virginia Extension: Container Gardening
  • Aggie Horticulture: Pansy
  • West Virginia Extension: Pansies

Who Can Help

  • University of Virginia Extension: Annuals: Culture and Maintenance
  • USDA Hardiness Zone Finder
  • USDA Cooperative Extension Offices
Keywords: annual garden, cold-hardy annual, zone 7 gardening

About this Author

Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University, studying education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills, re-using, recycling, and re-inventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.