Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) produce an abundance of blossoms from spring throughout summer. The plants thrive in cool, moist weather conditions where other plants often perish. The pansy grows in a wide range of locations with ease. They make excellent container plants for placement on porches or patios. They are often utilized as accent plants with others in hanging baskets. Their small size makes them ideal for a rock garden or small location.
Pansies grow easily from seeds. Starting them indoors gives them a head start when the weather is still cold outside. Pansies easily grow from seed indoors. Start seeds at least 10 weeks prior to the last heavy frost of the season. Plant 1/4-inch deep in starting soil when starting plants. Place the seeds in a sunny window for best growth.
The pansy prefers to grow in moist soil with a high organic content. The soil should be well draining with no standing watering. The plants grow well in partial shade if the region suffers from hot summers. Pansies easily die in exceedingly hot weather. Adding abundant aged manure to the planting location helps the pansy to grow well. Organic matter helps protect the root system in hot weather.
Pansies grow best when the outside temperature hovers above 40 degrees F at night. They prefer a cool daytime temperature of around 60 degrees F.
Pansies are easily transplanted outside to their new growth location when the springtime weather is still cold. The newly transplanted seedlings can withstand light frosts with ease. Space each pansy plant at least 6 inches apart to provide the ideal growing conditions. Plant spacing provides air circulation and helps cut down on possible fungal diseases.
Plant pansies in a location where the soil stays moderately moist but not water-logged. The pansy will not tolerate wet roots for an extended time period and will easily die. Keep the soil moist during the hot summer days. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plants to keep weed growth controlled and help shelter the root system of the pansy for ample growth during periods of high heat.
Pansies easily self-seed when grown in an ideal setting. The seedlings spread throughout the garden, setting quickly, claiming what they consider to be the best growth locations. They are easily lifted and transplanted to new locations or containers. Cut the entire pansy plant to the ground in the late fall to harvest the tiny seeds for the following spring. Lay the plant out flat to dry and collect the seeds as they appear.