Pansies have been a popular bedding plant for many years. It’s common for gardeners to regard these plants as annuals even though they’re really perennials because they’re so short-lived. Many home improvement and garden supply companies, as well as local nurseries and garden centers, carry these colorful and pattern-filled signs of spring. Planting pansies from seed is a popular option for frugal gardeners. Even if you’re a novice grower, the method is rather straightforward. Learn how to care for seed-grown pansies by reading on.
Can I Grow Pansies in My Garden?
Beginner gardeners should start with pansies. Even when purchased as bedding plants, pansies are simple to maintain and require little maintenance to produce a lengthy blooming period. It is possible to start pansies from seed either indoors or directly in the garden, in a range of hues and mixtures.
History of Pansy Flowers
Viola tricolor, better known as “Johnny-jump-up,” is the ancestor of the contemporary pansy. When the milk was white and now purple with love’s wound, Shakespeare’s “small western flower” was Shakespeare’s “love-in-idleness.” An ingredient called “love-in-idleness” is employed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Oberon the Fairy King to deceive Queen Titania into falling for the donkey. Also in Hamlet, the pansies are mentioned: ‘…and there are pansies, that is for thinking.”
The V. tricolor flower has five rounded petals arranged like a butterfly, just like the modern hybrids we cultivate today, but the blooms are much smaller, rarely exceeding an inch in diameter. Either a deep purple or a purple, yellow, and white coloration is used to describe them. The tricolored varieties prompted the traditional moniker “herb of trinity.”
When dark centre blotches (rather than just lines) began appearing in pansy hybrids in 1814, the market was flooded with 400 types dubbed “lovely, flat, symmetrical, velvet-like blossoms,” each measuring over two inches in diameter and bursting with a rainbow of hues. Charles Darwin, who was fascinated by plant hybridization, penned these comments. When he was working on his theory of natural selection, he conducted his own experiments with pansies and other flowers, keeping comprehensive records of the varied features that evolved through many generations.
How Do I Cultivate Pansies?
Planting pansies in the spring or fall is the greatest time of year since they thrive in milder temperatures. They prefer soils rich in organic content and well-drained, as well as full or partial sun. If you live south of Zone 7, where the afternoon sun is very intense, shade is extremely important.)
Tips For Growing Pansies
If the spent flower heads are removed, pansies will flower even more profusely and for a longer period of time. Cut back plants and mulch during the hottest months to conserve moisture. Prefers milder weather in October, so you’ll get a second set of flowers from them.
Common Pansy Insects & Diseases
There are few diseases or insects that might harm pansies in their natural habitat. Slugs, on the other hand, can’t get beyond a bed of pansies. You can either use slug traps or diatomaceous earth to protect your plants. Take a sample leaf to a garden center for proper identification and plant treatment if mildew or any fungi are seen.
Should I Grow Pansy Seeds Or Plants?
Seed-starting pansies should be done at least ten to twelve weeks before the final frost date in order to get the best results. Darkness is necessary for the germination of pansy seeds, so press them into the soil and cover them completely. It’s a smart idea to use black plastic to cover the pots. The seedlings should be moved to a greenhouse or a light garden like Burpee’s Glow ‘n Grow once they have sprouted for around 14 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Harden off pansy seedlings in a cold frame or a sheltered area outside during the day about a week before transplanting them into the garden.
How to Plant Pansy Seeds
A temperature of less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for growing pansies, a cool season plant (18 C.). Planting in the fall and spring is a no-brainer with these beauties! When and where to plant pansy seeds depends on where the grower is located. The bigger flowers of this viola family member allow it to withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 C.). Flower beds and landscaping can benefit from a variety of germination methods. In order to achieve successful pansy seedling growth, temperature regulation is critical. Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for seed germination (18-24 C.). Warm-climate gardeners can sow seeds in the late summer for fall and winter blooming, but those in colder climates may have to wait until spring to sow seeds.
Starting Pansies Indoors
Planting pansies from seed inside is a simple process. The best place to begin your garden is with a high-quality seed starter mix. Fill the plant trays with a potting soil mixture. Afterwards, sow the pansy seeds on the tray’s surface, ensuring that the seed is in direct touch with the soil. Placing the tray in a dark plastic bag will help keep it safe from light contamination. Observe the tray for evidence of growth every couple of days. Keep the soil moist during the germination period. The seedlings should be moved to a spot with a lot of sunlight until they are ready to be planted in the garden. Remember that pansies can be transplanted as soon as the soil can be handled in the spring because of their hardiness. Pansies seeded in autumn can be transplanted as soon as the weather begins to cool down.
Starting Pansies Outdoors
Though straight seeding pansy seeds in the garden is possible, it is not encouraged. If you don’t have the space or supplies necessary to start seeds inside, you can still use the winter sowing method to grow your own food this year. Recycled milk jugs are used as “small greenhouses” in the winter sowing procedure. In containers, surface-sow pansy seeds and set the containers outside. As soon as it’s warm enough, the pansy seeds will begin to sprout. Early spring is prime time for seedlings to be put into the garden.