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Growing Pansies

Category Annuals
These brightly colored, cheerful cool weather flowers are generally grown as annual bedding plants. This is a guide about growing pansies.


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By 0 found this helpful
February 7, 2006

Botanical Name:

Viola x wittrockiana

Life Cycle:

annuals, biennials, perennials

Planting Time:

spring or fall


6" to 9"


full sun to partial afternoon shade (especially in warmer zones)


rich, moist, well-drained soil



Bloom Time:

year-round depending on climate


various happy colors; multi-colored or solid; lightly scented





Suggested Use:

borders, beds, containers, edgings, and companion plantings

Growing Hints:

Start indoors from seed 10 to 12 weeks before last spring frost. Cold treat planted pots for two weeks before moving to a warming temperature to sprout. Seedlings are also widely available from nurseries and should be transplanted 6 inches apart. Deadheading spent flowers will extend blooming period.

Interesting Facts:

The dark velvety centers of some pansies are said to look like little faces. Pansy petals are edible and make attractive additions to salads and desserts. Wash off potential chemical residues before using the petals-especially if you purchased the seedlings from a nursery.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 11, 2010

First, I don't know if I'm in zone 7a, Tulsa is NE of OK City, which is zone 7a. Anyway, as you can probably already tell by now, I don't know the 1st thing about planting or taking care of flowers.


However, my son is selling pansies for his band fundraiser and I'm sucker enough to buy some because he says he's the only one who hasn't sold anything. But I don't know what to do with them.

It says they are 4 inch pots, with 18 per flat to be delivered the end of Oct. I haven't ordered yet, but figured I'd order 2 flats, 1 dark blue and 1 either yellow or citrus mix.

I have a spot under a tree that faces north in my front yard where they would be nice, but I don't know if that is an appropriate place. I don't know what I'm supposed to do to prepare the ground, how to plant them, how to maintain them over winter and what to do with them when it warms up.

Basically, I don't know anything about pansies, except that I always thought they were pretty and they are edible. I am hoping all you wonderful experts can give me some advice so I don't break my son's heart when I kill his flowers out of ignorance!


Thanks in advance.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Judy from Tulsa, OK


October 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have never done anything to prepare the ground for planting flowers other than digging it up. That goes for whatever type of flower that I planted. The main thing is that you have to plant any plant in the amount of sunlight that is required. I would think they would come with directions. If I remember right, pansies require a fair amount of sunlight. I guess I wouldn't worry about it until they arrive and then read the directions. You could also call a nursery and ask them the questions that you have.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

Pansies are the first hint of spring besides the bulb flowers that arise. As soon as the snow is gone and the sunshine hits, they peek out. So, depending on the amount of snow you get, sunshine, just prepare a spot like you would summer flowers, dig up the soil, plot out where you want them, they will come back, they will spread out (not grossly).


The amount you plan to order would do a larger sized garden for sure. Plan for about 10 square inches spacing for every 3 plants. They get full and bushy, but not tall (maybe 6-10 inches). Don't make their bed all in one place, they are a happy plant which smile in many places. Make sure they get at least partial sun.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the advice!

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Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
June 8, 2010

My potted pansies have been doing very well for almost 2 months. Recently they apparently are being eaten by something that I cannot identify. The flowers are disappearing from around the edges until they are almost entirely gone. Is there a natural cure I can use to get rid of this pest? Thank you for your time.


Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Jancie from Archbald, PA


June 12, 20100 found this helpful

If you can't find the pests, try going out just as the sun starts to set. There are many caterpillars (tomato caterpillars for one) that will hide in a niche in the ground until the sun goes down and it's more cool. Then they come out and munch on your plants. I kept a whole veggie garden rid of caterpillars one year without any chemicals by going on a "hunt" just at that time of the night. VERY effective for me, and I hope you are able to catch your culprit without resorting to chems. It does sound like that type of caterpillar/worm to me.

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

May 11, 20108 found this helpful

These pansies re-seed year after year in an old wooden planter just over the rail of my patio in the apartment building courtyard.

By Deeli

purple and yellow pansies

Comment Like this photo? 8

April 13, 2017

Photo Description
Earlier, I posted a picture of some sunken beds I was preparing for pansies. I got them planted and now they are beginning to make a nice display. Shown is one of the five beds.

For many years, I had no trouble with slugs eating my pansy blooms. I didn't even know they would. Things have changed, now. Looking closely at the picture, you can see a lot of damage.

I'll pick the ragged blooms and apply Bug Getta. In less than two weeks, the bed should be full of unscathed blossoms.

As long as there are gardeners, there'll be something to torment the daylights out of them. It's OK. I'm still on the winning side.

Comment Like this photo? 4

May 10, 2017

Photo Description
I could weep. I just made this bed. It's not complete. I'm going to have to make it a bit larger so the blocks will fit properly.

And too, I plan to cover the blocks with small white quartz stones. If the project turns out well, I will enter it as a craft.

So, why am I almost in tears? This bed was beautiful a week ago. Now it's not. The bed is in an open field. That's what saved these few pansies. My many, many others are gone.

I've never had this happen before, but heavy rains literally rotted all my pansies, except this one bed.

Maybe I should raise ducks instead of flowers.

Comment Like this photo? 3

April 11, 2016

Photo Description
I've posted pictures of this tree trunk several times. One good thing about small beds devoted to annuals; you can have different flowers and different color schemes every year, or every season, if you like.

Comment Like this photo? 1

By 2 found this helpful
April 13, 2017

Photo Description
This lemon colored pansy was a breath of spring during the winter months when it was cold and snowy. Now that spring has revealed itself with other spring flowers blossoming in my yard, it reminds me of the seasons that change. Even though the pansy is for the winter season, it always blossoms a beautiful stunning color to complement the other flowers that are beginning to bud forth with greenery and beautiful buds that open into spring blossoms with new beginnings in the creative coloration of the greenery and blossoms that we enjoy in the spring and summer. The lemon colored pansy is a reminder of the beauty that lies ahead.

Photo Location
My front yard

Comment Like this photo? 2

June 3, 2016

I'm reminded of a joke Redd Foxx told. He said two maids were discussing their employers' garbage. One said, 'You wouldn't believe the good stuff they throw away'. The other said, 'Yes, I would. I bring home all my boss's grape skins. I don't put 'em in their garbage'.

CommentPin It! Like this photo? 1

July 11, 2017

These flowers are in a bed in front of my doctors' offices. There are several varieties and colors of pansies, along with a few begonias. In spite of the heat, these were so pretty that I just had to take a photo!

CommentPin It! Like this photo? 1
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