When To Plant Pansies – The Perfect Time

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Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Griselda M.

It is critical to know when to plant pansies, how long they last, how much water they will require, and everything in between.

Pansies are popular winter plants that remain bright with blooms even in cold, snowy weather. To help them thrive through the worst of the winter conditions, it is critical to stick to a specific pansy planting timetable.

Winter-flowering pansies are easy to grow and a reliable way to brighten up your garden on those dark days. Here is everything you need to know about the best time to plant pansies.

When to Plant Pansies

Planting your pansies early means you will get flowers throughout the winter into the spring. From mid-September to early October, your soil and compost are warm enough from the autumn sunshine. This is the best season to plant pansies.

If you plant your pansies in baskets, pots, or borders in September they will grow quickly, producing vigorous roots and bushy foliage. The bushy foliage produces more flowers, and because the plants are more robust, they continue to produce more flowers throughout the winter except in the harshest cold season.

Pansies planted late starting from October onwards do not produce the roots or top growth needed to produce flowers throughout winter.

Planting Pansies

November planting as the summer bedding wanes does not allow your pansies to grow more prominent, and their flowering stops’ in the coldest weather.

The planting timetable for pansies creates a dilemma for most gardeners as they do not understand the exact time to plant. Note that the cooler weather with increased rain usually leads to a resurgence of lush growth and extra flowers.

September fancy planting will ensure that you get a fresh abundance of foliage and flowers from your winter pansies.

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Starting Pansies From Seed Or Established Plants

It can be tricky to start pansies from seed. It is much easier to buy established plants from a local nursery, so they can also get blooms a lot sooner.

If you want to start from seed, you will need to start your pansy seeds indoors in late winter at least 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost for early spring and summer flowering.  Or you can start the seeds in late summer for fall and winter flowering.  If you are planting in summer or fall, you can plant your seeds in a tray, and then water it. Let it sit at ambient temperature for two days so the seeds can absorb water, and then place the seed tray in a fridge for a week. This mimics a cold snap and signals the seeds to germinate. If you leave them outdoors, depending on the soil temperature, Pansy seeds may be slow in germination, taking anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks.

Set your pansy plants in the ground when it is workable or when the soil temperatures are between 45 degrees to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Pansies can tolerate a light frost just after planting but try to hold off putting them in the ground if temperatures are still reaching below freezing. My Mom and I both use Cloches on our winter pansies crop and we have never had a problem losing plants.

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When Can You Plant Pansies In Hot September

Some Septembers are hotter than others and feel like the summers are still around. This could cause your winter pansies to set seed early and stop flowering.

Inspect your pansies every week during September and early October to check if any seed pods are forming. If they are developing, snip them off to ensure the plant forms more flowers. Once the weather cools off, and the bees hibernate, the flowers are not pollinated, and your pansies will keep producing flowers. If you are in a warmer climate, keep snipping the seed pods off to prolong your flowering cycle.

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When To Plant Pansy – Is October To November Too Late To Plant Winter Pansies?

Winter pansies will flower for most of the winter season and into the early spring, even when planted in late October to early November.

Though these flowers prefer the sun, pansies also do well in partial shade, meaning that even in those darker months, they will still possibly bloom. However, it is worth noting that pansies planted later are less likely to survive harsh winter weather because they have had less time to develop strong roots.

Keep Some Substitutes On The Side – When To Plant Pansy

If you are growing summer-blooming pansies, you can go ahead and have some substitutes for the winter season. The summer baskets and pots usually fade off during October and November. To have continuous and beautiful flowers during the winter months, prepare some fresh pansies in September. Re-pot the old pansies into 5-inch flower pots that have good multi-purpose compost.

Nurture these freshly potted pansies in a warm sunny spot in the late summer warmth. As your summer plant fades, replace them with your new bigger, and more established pansies for the winter. You will be surprised by the impact that these super pansies make and how well they flower during winter.

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Where To Plant Pansies

Pansies are best planted in moist, humus-rich well-draining soils. You can amend your soil using compost or old manure, or fertilizers.

They thrive under full or partial sun but also in cooler temperatures. The best planting site is where they will get morning sun but avoid the afternoon heat.

To give your plants enough room, space them about 7 to 12 inches apart and allow them to spread about 9 to 12 inches as they grow to be about 6 to 9 inches tall.

Potted Pansies, When To Plant

Pansies are also excellent plants for containers. You can use commercially bought potting soil or garden soil.

Plant in portable containers of at least 12 inches in diameter so that you can move them to a cooler area when the sun begins to get hot. In the early spring season or the fall, place them on a south-facing patio that could be a perfect spot.  During the summer, move the pansies to the East side of your home, so they get the morning sun and afternoon shade.

Potted Pansies, When To Plant

When to Plant Forest Pansies?

This article is about the pansy plant, a small perennial plant that grows close to the ground and produces flowers even in quite cold times. The Forest Pansy is actually a deciduous tree – Cercis canadensis. Ideally, these can be planted in spring or fall in colder climates.

When Do You Plant Pansies in Zone 9?

I would suggest planting them when the soil becomes workable in spring. As soil temperatures move above 32°F towards the end of winter, and the beginning of spring, you can start to dig your soil over a bit and as soon as soil temperatures pass about 45°F you can consider planting your seedlings. Use Cloches to protect against colder snaps that could burn the seedlings.

If you wish to have fall pansies and some color going into winter, plant them out in Sept/Oct. My climate is similar to 9b and I tend to plant them in Sept/Oct to get nice mid-winter flowers.

How Do You Plant Pansy Plugs?

A plug is really just a fancy word for a seedling rooted in a seedling tray. Depending on who you get these from they can be straight plugs in potting soil, or they may be in little plug bags or even biodegradable jiffy pots.

Planting a plug is really easy!! Just make a hole in the ground about the size of the plug, put it into the hole, close the soil around the plug, and, if you have a mulch, bring it back around the plug being careful not to cover the leaves.

I normally water my plugs in right after planting and I believe in Cloches if the weather is hot, cold, or dry. I always find if I use cloches my survival rate on any seedling plugs is just greater.

Can You Plant Pansies With Roses?

I have grown pansies under roses in the past but find in general that I try to grow things under roses that help to keep pests away from roses. Roses are magnets for all pests, and pansies have little in them that deters or chases pests away. Hence you can probably get away with it – but rather try to grow something under your roses that improve them, such as rosemary, small mint types, parsley, and so on.

What Not to Plant With Pansies?

The pansy plants are pretty gentle plants that have as their only real competitive advantage, their ability to grow in cold weather. I have found that anything that grows in warmer weather will crowd them out. I cannot think of anything specifically not to plant with pansies – they do not clash with anything – just make sure that whatever you plant them with will be pretty dormant during the time you are growing the pansies. I have even had ferns crowd pansies out!

How Many Pansies Can You Plant in a Pot?

This will depend entirely on the size of the pot. I normally plant pansy plugs about 5 inches apart and this allows them to cover a bed quite nicely. In a pot, you would have to make a grid over the pot that consists of lines 5 inches apart in one direction, and then the other direction, and where the lines cross put sticks and plant pansy plugs here.

How Do You Plant Pansies in a Hanging Basket?

Use the same method listed above, and plant the pot with pansy plugs. They are very tough and do well in hanging baskets. So you take the pot, make lines 5 inches apart over the pot, and then perpendicular to this make lines 5 inches apart. Where the lines intersect, insert a pansy plug. With a small pot just eyeball it and plant two or three plugs in a triangle.

Conclusion On When To Plant Pansy Seedlings

If properly planted and given the proper care, winter pansies can last for 3 years or more. You will still need to water them during winter as they will still dry out. For best results, ensure your pansies are regularly watered.

Check for the dryness of your soil by placing a finger in the pot and watering them as needed. With the correct timetable of when to plant pansies, you will enjoy the beautiful blooms all year round, including the dark days of winter.

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