The pansy is sometimes referred to as the viola and is a member of the Violaceae family. Pansies are regarded as annuals, but in milder climates they are sometimes grown as perennials. They are compact, low-growing plants that can grow to heights of 8 to 10 inches and have flowers that range in colors from purple, yellow, blue to various shades of pastels.
Planting Pansy Seeds
Buy some pansy seeds. Planting pansies from seed requires diligence, since it can take some time before plants mature. You don't want to plant your pansy seedlings outside until there are no more cold temperatures to contend with. Start them indoors four to six weeks before you want to plant them outside.
Place soiless seed starting mix into each of the planting cells and water until the soil is saturated. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Plant Answers suggests using a soiless growing medium to start pansy seeds.
Press a few seeds into the soil and cover with about 1/16 of the soiless mix. Place plastic wrap over the planting cells and place them in an area that is warm, (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) but out of direct sunlight, since pansies require darkness to germinate.
Check on your pansy seeds each day, keep the seeds moist and spritz them with water when needed. Germination typically takes 10 to 20 days for pansies. Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic and place the seedlings in a room with a bright light. Keep your pansy seedlings moist and water when needed.
Pot your seedlings into larger containers indoors once they have grown to about 3 inches in height and have several sets of leaves. If there are no more frigidly cold temperatures (pansies can survive winters in zones 6 through 9, down to -10 degrees, if mulched) in your growing region, transfer them into an area in your flower garden, barrels, pots or hanging baskets.
Plant your pansies in a spot in your garden that is not in full sun but provides filtered light for at least eight hours a day. Pansies can tolerate full sun, but they thrive in cool temperatures. They cannot tolerate excessive heat. Plants for a Future recommends planting pansies in a soil that is rich in humus.
Turn over the soil in the area where you're going to plant your pansies and work in a balanced fertilizer (such as 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 10 percent potassium). Water the area, saturating the soil. If you're planting your pansies in containers, use a good quality potting mix that has fertilizer included as your growing medium.
Dig holes for your pansies that are spaced 6 to 10 inches apart. Remove a pansy from the planting cell, pushing up from the bottom of the cell. Extract the pansy seedling carefully and place the pansy in a hole. Use your trowel to force dirt in to fill up the hole. Firm the soil with your hand or the base of the trowel.
Water each pansy seedling. Don't soak the seedlings; use a gentle flow of water and let it soak in.
Water your pansies frequently, several times a week or when the soil appears dry. Use slug and snail bait around your pansies if your garden has a snail or slug problem.