If you’re interested in planting new flowers in your empty garden beds, or you’re planning a comprehensive landscaping overhaul and renovation, you may be wondering what plants you should be thinking about placing.
And the humble pansy flower is one of the best choices! Pansies are beautiful, do not require too much care, and can have one or two years of life, and even reseed themselves in some cases.
In this guide, we’ll give you all the information that you need to know about pansy flowers. Let’s get started!
Understanding The Basics About Pansy Flowers
To start our guide, let’s talk about the basics of pansy flowers. There are several types of pansy flowers, including the purple pansy flower. They were first cultivated by horticulturalists in the 18th century, in England, and quickly became a very popular garden flower.
Pansies are a smaller flower, and tend to grow to a height of about 9 inches. They do well in the sun, and require a well-drained bed of soil to ensure their proper growth.
Pansies are not perennials. They are usually annuals or biennials, depending on where they are planted. In USDA zones 4-8, they are biennials. In warmer climates, such as zones 9-11 in Georgia, they are typically grown as annuals. (Learn more about USDA zones at this link).
Annual pansies grow in the spring, and typically die in the late summer when the heat becomes very intense. In warmer climates, they may actually re-seed themselves, and return the next year. In colder climates, pansies often last through a two-year growing cycle, as they do not deal well with extended periods of heat. They can deal with frost and light snow covering without dying.
They are best suited to planting in zones with moderate temperatures, and mild levels of rainfall and sunshine.
The Aesthetics Of Pansy Flowers – How They Look
Pansies have a striking appearance, and are often multicolored. They are around 2-3 inches in diameter. There are usually two top petals which will overlap slightly. There is one bottom petal, and two side petals, for a total of five. Most pansies are bi-colored, with a darker center.
The most common colors of pansies are white or yellow, blue, or purple. However, many different colors have been developed, including yellow gold, purple, violet, red, and even extremely dark purple flowers which appear nearly black.
Where To Plant Pansy Flowers
Pansies are best planted in moist, yet well-drained soil. Plenty of compost and humus are ideal for pansies, so consider treating your soil before any new plantings.
Pansies do like the sun, but are better suited to cooler temperatures, so it’s a good idea to plant them somewhere where they won’t be exposed to the sun all day – especially in warmer USDA zones.
In a warmer region like Georgia, the hot afternoon sun can actually shut down flower production when it gets too hot, so a place that tends to get shade in the afternoon is an ideal choice.
Pre-grown pansies usually come in packs of 6 or 12 – often, you can buy them at nurseries and even grocery stores. They should be placed about 7-12 inches apart from each other, as they will spread to 9-12 inches, and be somewhere between 6-9 inches in height.
The Best Time To Plant Pansy Flowers
If you want to transplant pansies, you can start growing them inside, between 6-8 weeks before you plan on transplanting them.
If you want to grow pansies from seeds, you can plant them in the late winter. The flower will then grow throughout the early spring and summer.
You could also plant them later, such as in the summer, if you live in a warmer climate and want them to flower in the winter – though this won’t work in cooler areas of the country.
However, most folks buy pre-grown pansies, as they are inexpensive and already growing. You’ll want to plant these pansies when the soil is between 45 degrees and 65 degrees, so the early spring is typically the best time.
Caring For Pansy Flowers – Our Top Tips
Wondering how to care for your pansy flowers once they’ve been planted? Here are our top tips.
- Water once per week (deeply) – Pansies don’t need too much water, and respond poorly to being overly-damp. Water them once a week, but give them plenty to drink!
- Deadhead for better flowering – “Deadheading” refers to removing dead flowers regularly. Doing this can help your pansy flower grow taller, and strengthen the still-living petals.
- Fertilize away – Pansies love rich, loamy soil. If you’ve got a fertilizer or compost you want to use, feel free to do so. Your pansy flowers will love the extra nutrients, and reward you with bigger and more beautiful petals.
- Look out for slugs – Most pansies are pretty hardy, and are not susceptible to most plant diseases and pests. Slugs do love a pansy bed, though. So set some slug traps or sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your flower beds, should you start to see too many slugs hanging around!
Get Pansies – And Get Planting!
Pansies are hardy, robust, and particularly suited to the warmer climate of Georgia. Though they tend to die every year in this warmer climate, they often reseed themselves – so with just a single pansy planting, you may be able to keep them growing in your garden for years to come.
So don’t wait! Take a look at some pansy flower pictures, read this guide, and think about how you can use them in your garden today.