Pansies will bloom into spring through early summer, with repeat blooming in the fall. In USDA hardness zones 7 – 9 can grow pansies throughout the winter and there are newer varieties, like the ice pansy, are bred to withstand light snows.
Pansies are popular and a recognizable cool weather annuals. Breeding has produced pansies that are better able to stand up to the cold, but there hasn’t been much luck producing more heat tolerant varieties. Many pansies are bi-colored, making them striking plants for their small size. Although delicate, they are surprisingly hardy.
Compact, low growers, pansies are ideal for edging and for squeezing between rock walls and paths, as long as they can be removed in summer. They’re a great choice for early and late season containers and complement spring flowering bulbs, flowering as the bulb foliage begins to fade. If you like the variety of colors but still want a sense of cohesion, select plants from the same series. They’ll be similar in size and markings, regardless of the color.
Pansies are not fussy plants, they will grow best in a loose, rich soil with a slightly acid soil. They flower best in full sun and will get spindly in deep shade. Pansies do not like heat at all and will begin to decline as the days warm up. When buying plants, choose pansies that are stocky, bushy and have plenty of buds. Avoid buying plants with full open blooms. **Note: Pansies can be difficult to start from seed.
You can allow your pansy plants to remain in your garden and rest during the hottest months, they will probably begin blooming again in the fall. Shearing the plants back when they start to set seed, will encourage new growth. Dead heading will encourage more blooms. Occasionally aphids will attack pansies. Insecticidal soap should remove them. A mixture of ‘Blue Dawn’ dish soap is a cheap and very effective in killing aphids.
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