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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 1 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 = Oklahoma 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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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 Ann

purple and yellow pansies

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March 14, 2018

Photo Description
What's a pansy worth? Well, I suppose that depends on who you ask. If you ask me, I'd say a lot. I put a lot into pansies this and last year, my first time to grow them from seed.


I learned a lot from this little endeavor. I think the two most important things I learned was that pansies thrive on being transplanted. Two or three times is even better.

The second thing I learned was, the sooner the seed are planted the better. I lost a lot of my pansies. I started planting seed in mid August. I did three more plantings at 3-4 week intervals. I lost none of the first planting, a few of the second planting, more of the third and a lot of the fourth.

I'm thinking the plants need a lot of time to develop a strong root system to carry them through the winter. And while the hot summer months will kill a mature pansy plant, it seems to have no effect on seedlings as long as they are protected from direct sunlight. This summer, I will start all my pansy seed no later than the third week of July. Hopefully, my losses will be at a minimum.

What's a pansy worth? The above picture will become a keepsake. I hope to photograph a mate for this one, have them both enlarged and frame them. To me, priceless!

Photo Location
My garden.

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April 23, 2018

Photo Description
I had a lot of disappointments in last year's gardening. I lost so many plants over winter. It's time for a few things to go my way!

I planted thousands of pansy seed last year. Many did not make it through to this spring. But the ones that did...Oh boy! The survivors are larger and healthier than any I have ever purchased.

My property ends at a main thoroughfare with one part being a little hill. I made a small bed on the hill and try to keep it filled with something in bloom for the passersby.

I do hope they enjoy this hodgepodge mixture of pansies as much as I do. My other beds have more color coordinated mixes. Oh yes, seed are already in the ground for replacements. By the time the heat takes these pansies, the replacements should be ready to go into the bed.

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April 13, 2017

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.

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May 10, 2017

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.

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April 11, 2016

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
April 13, 2017

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.

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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'.

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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!

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