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How to Propagate Pansies

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017
Pansies are propagated from seed.
purple pansies image by Adam Fuller from Fotolia.com

Bright pansies bring color to flower beds, border and planters throughout the landscape. Pansies are a hardy annual and continue to bloom in the cool temperatures of early spring and late fall when other annual flowers are no longer growing. While many garden centers have a large variety of pansy transplants available, propagating your own pansies saves you money and gives you access to even more varieties. Pansies are usually propagated from seed started indoors about six weeks before you plan to move them outside.

Mix one part compost, one part potting soil or peat moss and one part sand together. Fill a seedling tray or individual pots with this planting mix.

Water the soil in the flat or pots thoroughly then let them sit for 30 minutes to one hour so the excess moisture drains out. Sow two to three seeds per pot or sow seeds 2 inches apart in flats, placing them on the soil surface. Cover with 1/8 inch of soil then mist with water to moisten the surface.

Cover the seed flats or pots with plastic wrap and place in a warm room to germinate, which takes approximately five to eight days. Remove plastic once sprouts appear and move the seedlings to a warm, sunny window.

Water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Pluck out any weaker seedlings so that there is only one seedling per pot or only one seedling per 2-inch square in flats.

Prepare a garden bed in full sun for the pansy seedlings once the seedlings have between two and four leaves each. Lay a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed and till it in to an 8- to 10-inch depth to improve drainage and nutrition in the bed.

Plant the pansy seedlings in the bed at the same depth they are at in their nursery pots. Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart in all directions. Water thoroughly after planting so the bed is evenly moist.

Fertilize pansies one week after planting out to the bed. Apply 1 tbsp. of 10-10-10 analysis fertilizer per every square foot of garden bed. Repeat this application in mid-winter and again in early spring.


Things You Will Need

  • Seed pots
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Sand
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pansy seeds
  • Fertilizer


  • Pansies grow best in the cooler spring and fall months, so start them indoors in late winter for spring planting or late summer for fall gardens. In areas with mild winters they may bloom from fall until late spring.
  • Apply mulch around the pansy plants to help protect them from winter cold and to preserve soil moisture. Use a 2-inch layer of organic mulch such as wood chips.

About the 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.