The best time to plant pansies would be in September while the soil is still warm and before winter sets in.
This will give the root system time to develop so they over winter well. Carefully monitor irrigation and try to keep pansies slightly on the dry side to “harden” growth prior to cold weather. If you want large flowers and an abundance of blooms in the spring it is important to give them a good start. Pansies like sun to partial shade, and cool, moist, well-drained soil,pansies do not like to have wet feet.
When purchasing plants, make certain they are healthy and free of insects and diseases. The crown of the plant should be compact and have deep green leaves. Avoid purchasing over-grown, leggy plants or plants that are root-bound in their containers. These plants are stressed.
Apply a mulch around the plants to keep down weeds and keep the soil from splashing onto the plants. You can work in a slow release fertilizer when you plant or use a water soluble fertilizer halfway through the growing season.
Pine straw, applied 2 to 4 inches thick over the top of the entire bed (plants and all) during extreme cold is one of the best ways to save a pansy planting from freeze injury. Pine straw helps trap heat in the soil, prevents it from freezing and greatly reduces exposure to cold, desiccating wind. Carefully rake the pine straw off the bed when the cold weather passes. When the air temperature drops below 25° F, pansy foliage will wilt and turn a gray-green color. This is a normal defense response to cold weather.
Insects to watch for :
- Cut worm
- Pansy worm is the immature stage of a variegated four-footed butterfly called fritillary.
- Slugs:feeding done by slugs resembles that of caterpillars
- Crown and Root Rot Diseases:\ Crown rot is the most common disease problem of pansies in the landscape, caused by a soil-borne fungus
- Botrytis Blight: Botrytis blight, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, is sometimes a problem with pansies. It is an airborne fungus that attacks flowers as well as dead, dying or damaged plant tissue. High rates of fertilization, death of lower leaves, low light intensity, frequent watering and crowded plants all favor botrytis blight development.
- Downy Mildew: Downy mildew is caused by a fungus-like organism called Peronospora. Symptoms include light-colored blotches with gray-purple spores on the underside of leaves. In the final stage leaves curl and become distorted.
- Leaf spot Diseases: Pansies are susceptible to several leaf spot diseases. Cercospora leaf spot is the most common disease of pansy in the southeastern United States. It is characterized by irregular purple lesions on the lower leaves. In the advanced stages, the leaf spots develop tan centers with purple borders.
Season of Bloom
Fall and Spring.
USDA Zones 8- 11.
lavender, white, orange, purple, pastels.
loose organic soil.
Full sun ..6-8 hours of sun a day.
start from seed indoors or purchase from your home and garden center in 6 pks..
NCSU info on Pansies
Diagnosing Pansy Disease
How Pansies handle the cold
Starting Pansies from Seed