The photo at right is Pansy 'Nature Plum Purple'. This variety was introduced in 2007. It was bred to be both heat and cold tolerant. Look for seed and give it a try.
- Bingo Series - Large-flowered in 14 colors from pale blue to burgundy. Bingo blooms earlier than the popular Majestic Giants series. Winter/spring.
- Joker Series - Very pronounced faces. They are bicolored in complementary colors. 'Jolly Joker', an orange and deep purple flower, was a 1990 AAS winner. Spring/summer.
- Princess Series A compact growth habit and dainty flowers. Most are clear monochromatic tones from cream to deep purple, with yellow centers. Spring/summer.
Starting Pansy Seed: Pansies can be difficult to start from seed. They require cool temperatures (60 - 65 degrees F.) and darkness, to germinate. Covering the soil with black plastic will help germination, but the soil should be checked daily to make sure it doesn’t dry out under the plastic. Once the shoots are visible, the plastic should be removed. Seeds generally germinate in 1-2 weeks, but allow 15 weeks from seeding to bloom.
Choosing Pansy Plants: When buying plants, choose pansies that are stocky, bushy and have plenty of buds. Avoid plants full of open blooms, because they will be stressed to near exhaustion from working so hard in a tiny pot.
Soil: Although pansies are not fussy plants, they will grow best in a loose, rich soil with a slightly acid pH (6.0 - 6.2).
Growing Conditions: They flower best in full sun and will get spindly in deep shade. Pansies do not like heat at all and will begin to decline as the days warm up. Regular watering will help them hang on a bit longer, but don’t expect your pansies to last all season.
Maintenance: If you can allow your pansy plants to remain in your garden and rest during the hottest months, they will probably begin blooming again in the fall. Shearing the plants back when they start to set seed, will encourage new growth. Deadheading will encourage more blooms.
Feeding: As with any long blooming annual, pansies appreciate some fertilizer. However too much food will just make them leggy. They respond well to monthly foliar feeding.