Hanging baskets require more intensive care then other container plants. Air circulates around the entire planter and causes drying faster than garden or floor container gardens. Pansies provide a beautiful plant for use in hanging containers. This annual plant likes temperatures around 60 degrees F and prefers a full sun location. Hanging pansy care requires proper planting and maintenance tasks to keep the planter looking healthy and beautiful.
Hanging plants require new potting soil at initial planting to promote plant health. Fresh potting soil also contains a small amount of fertilizers and nutrients for healthy growth. Reusing potting soil places a plant at risk of exposure to soil borne disease and pests. For plants that overwinter in containers, remove the plant from the old soil. Shake the roots clean and dump the container. Rinse thoroughly, pour fresh potting soil into the container, and replace the pansy in the hanging basket.
Pansies prefer full sun locations provided outdoor temperatures don't reach scorching mid-summer temperatures. Move the hanging pansy to a partial sun location as temperature increase to limit burning of the plant. Any wilting indicates lack of water and the need for a relocation of the hanging basket.
Air exposes all sides of a container bound plant to drying. Hanging pansies need regular watering and in some cases, watering multiple times each day. Test the soil daily by pressing the dirt with your finger. Dry, powdery soil or a gray color indicates the need for watering. If soil feels moist, check again later in the day. Pay close attention to the soil moisture levels during the sunniest, hottest days since container grown plants dry very quickly.
The confines of a container garden require the gardener to supply additional nutrients for plant health. Select a basic fertilizer in granular or water-soluble form with ratio of 1:2:1 to promote both flowers and foliage. Follow package instructions for appropriate mixing rates. Plan to fertilize at least every other week during the active growing season. Bright green foliage and abundant flowers indicate the pansy is receiving plenty of nutrients.
Like most annual plants, hanging pansies require pruning to maintain the appearance of the plant. Deadheading removes spent flower blooms to prevent seed formation. Clip back dying pansy blooms where the flower stem meets the denser clump of foliage. Pruning promotes branching and fullness of foliage as well as directing the plant's energy toward flower production.