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Care of Pansies

Pansies are a low-growing annual that come in many beautiful colors. The flowers may be delicate looking, but the plant is a hardy one and very cold tolerant. These plants make for a wonderful border around your flower garden and work well in containers too. Depending on location, pansies will bloom in almost any season, creating vibrant colors and a soft look in any garden. If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for plant, with bold flowers and continuous blooms, pansies will not disappoint you.

Choose an area for the flowerbed that receives at least six hours of sun per day. Dig the area to about 6 inches deep and remove all weeds. Add compost to the soil and mix it in well. This will help the soil drain better and provide nutrients to the plants.

Plant in spring when the daytime temperatures average about 60 degrees in the cooler gardening zones. In warmer gardening zones, 6 through 9, you can plant in very early spring or early fall.

Dig out the hole for the plant so it will be at the same level it is in the container, and place holes 6 to 12 inches apart. Add slow-release fertilizer to the soil before backfilling around the plant. The roots should be moist when planting and the soil should be watered in around the plant. By placing in a little soil at a time and then watering, you will reduce the chance of air pockets around the roots, which can cause problems for your plant later.

Water the plants after planting. Water the ground and not the flowers or leaves. Pansies require about an inch of water per week. It is better to water for long periods of time once a week than for shorter periods of time more often. However, never let the plants sit in a puddle of water.

Add about 2 inches of pine straw or bark chip mulch around the plants. This will help retain the moisture and ward off any stray weeds.

Fertilize each month or so according to the package's directions. Some slow-release fertilizers will last up to three months depending on rainfall and size of the flower garden.

Pinch off dead flower heads. This will encourage more blooms on the plant and prevent self-seeding in your garden.

Pinch off some of the growing tips with your fingers if you want your plant to be thicker and bushier. This will encourage the ends to split into more than one stem and fill out the plant.

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