Pansies – A Favorite Spring Bloom
I know spring has arrived when the first crop of pansies comes thru the door here at Dees’. Pansies have become one of the most popular early spring season flowers and for good reason. They have been breed to be able to better withstand the crazy temperature swings of March and April. The name pansy comes from the French word pensie, meaning deep thought or remembrance.
Pansies are compact and low growing which makes them ideal for almost any application such as along walkways, rock gardens, flower beds and borders. They also work very well in planters and are a great compliment to ranunculus. Their mature height is between 6-9 inches and they come in solid colors to striking mixes that will catch your eye in an instant.
Pansy Growing Tips
- Soil: Pansies are not very picky when it comes to soil conditions, but they would like loose, nutrient rich soil.
- Light: Pansies would prefer full sun to partial shade.
- Bloom Time: Pansies will be in full bloom from early spring thru early summer. They usually will not flower in the hot summer months, but as it cools in the fall expect them to pick up where they left off in the spring.
- Maintenance: You should dead head your pansies as much as possible to promote stronger and longer bloom time. They also have a tendency to sometimes get leggy. If this happens do not be afraid to give them a haircut, sometimes as drastic as cutting them in half. They will look ugly for a short period of time but they will quickly become stocky plants again that produce blooms.
- Fertilizer: Pansies like to be fed but do not overfeed. A good granular fertilizer like Espoma PlantTone at planting will help them off to a good start. Follow thru with a nice liquid feed like Miracle- Gro once a month.
- Water: As with most flowers, pansies do not like to dry out so make sure you keep the soil moist but not sopping wet.
- Pests: Luckily, pansies have few insect or disease problems. Occasionally they can be attacked by slugs. If this happens use Bonide Bug & Slug Bait. They can sometimes be attacked by aphids and in this case you would use Bonide Insecticidal Soap. They can get root rot disease if over watered.
When most people hear the word pansy they think of somebody weak or cowardly. Pansies are the farthest thing from that. They are quite hardy and can handle short periods of snow on top of them and very cool temperatures. Pansies are some of the toughest plants you will come across so don’t be a pansy and get out in your yard and jump start the spring season and plant pansies!