Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are annual flowers available in over 250 cultivars. Colors include red, orange, violet, rose, maroon, white and gold. Pansies also come in tri-color (Viola tricolor). Pansies thrive best in U.S. Department of Agriculture Zones 4a to 9a. Pansies are planted in the fall, producing single and double blooms through late spring. Proper care and protection help pansies thrive through the winter.
Confirm pansies are planted in a spot with well-drained soil. Well-drained soil helps excess water drain away from the pansies' roots.
Water the pansies with 2 inches of water a week during winter.
Cover plants prior to frost. Newspapers, plastic liners and sheets are great resources for covering pansies during winter. If pansies have suffered frost damage, allow them to warm up naturally in the sun.
Prune pansies by removing any dead or diseased leaves or blooms during the winter. Signs of diseased leaves include wilted leaves or leaves speckled with brown spots. Note that pansies' blooms may appear wilted after a frost, but they often recover on their own.
Add 2 inches of mulch around pansy roots to help prevent weed growth during the winter. Mulch also keeps pansies warm during cold days and nights.
Fertilize pansies with a fertilizer containing 50 percent nitrogen, after the temperature drops below 50 degrees F. Nitrogen helps pansies with rapid growth and improves foliage quality throughout the winter.