How to Care for a Pansy Flower

Overview

Prolific pansies bring bright color to fall, winter and spring gardens. A member of the viola family, pansies come in a range of colors. Most varieties sport two to three colors with lighter petals in the center and larger, darker colored petals on the outside. They prefer cool nighttime temperatures and daytime temperatures around 60 degrees, making them well suited to cool-weather gardening when few other flowers are blooming. Caring for your pansies properly will keep them blooming attractively.

Step 1

Plant pansies in well-draining garden beds in full to partial sun or in containers with good quality potting soil. Apply a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed before planting and till it into the soil to improve drainage and soil nutrition.

Step 2

Water enough to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Applying 1 inch of water in a once weekly deep watering is sufficient unless it is particularly dry outside.

Step 3

Place a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, over the bed and around the base of each pansy. Mulching prevents weeds while maintaining soil temperature and moisture.

Step 4

Fertilize every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Follow label instructions for application amount as this differs by manufacturer and always water the bed well after fertilizing.

Step 5

Remove spent flowers before they go to seed to encourage further blooming, a process called deadheading. Pinch off wilted blooms ¼ inch beneath the flower head and discard. Remove any dead or damaged leaves at this time.

Step 6

Trim off stems that become too long or leggy with sharp shears. Remove them to the level of the rest of the plants growth to encourage more compact, fuller plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting fertilizer directly on leaves or stems, as this will damage the plant. Aphids and leafspot occasionally damage pansies. Use a chemical or organic control if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Shears

References

  • West Virginia University Extension: Pansies
  • University of Nebraska Extension: Pansies and Violas Offer Great Color for Spring or Fall
Keywords: pansy maintenance, caring for pansies, spring flower care

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.