Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are common to gardens because of their vibrant colours, fragrance and minimal care requirements. There are around 500 species of the following low-maintenance, cool weather annuals. The flower on a pansy is usually no longer than 1-inch in diameter. The most common flower structure has three petals that appear at the base of the flower with 2 petals that stretch above. The length of time a pansy will bloom depends mainly on temperature, but there are steps you can take through maintenance to extend the blooming period.
Pansies must be planted outdoors in spring or fall since they perform best in cooler weather. If planting from seed, you are able to start pansies indoors approximately ten weeks prior to your last frost date to provide them time to mature. Pansies must be transplanted to well-drained dirt and watered frequently until they are established. Most do well in part-shade to full sun. However, with a lot of shade or high temperatures in direct sun, blooming will be reduced.
Caring for Pansies
Pansies are a great choice for beginning gardeners especially because of the low maintenance requirements. Slugs and snails are just two common pests of pansies. Keep watch for a silver trail close to your pansies and remove any slugs and snails you find. Monitor the place for weeds, since they will pull water and nutrients in the soil and make it inaccessible to the pansies.
With appropriate care, pansies will bloom during fall and spring when the temperatures are cool. Pansies grow best when temperatures are between 45 degrees F at night and 60 degrees F during the daytime. During the winter, the leaves of the majority of pansy varieties will remain green but booming ceases. Miniature pansy varieties can continue to bloom during winter as well.
Extending the Blooming Season
To lengthen the booming period of your pansies, remove the flowers which have finished blooming from your plant. By removing the spent blooms in the plant, nutrients aren’t wasted on a bloom that is done performing. Fertilize your pansies with compost or a 5-10-5 fertilizer after planting, through late fall and once more in spring.