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Pansies and Violas       Bookmark and Share

Pansies and violas are not only beautiful; they are also signals that spring has arrived. The pansies and violas we grow today have greatly improved over the past decade. Now there are dozens of colors, color combinations, bloom sizes and even some distinctive plant habits.

Pansy & Viola Basics
Colors
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Traditionally, pansy and viola blooms had either bold, solid colors or multi-colored "faces" (a splotch of contrasting color).
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Pansy color choices have now expanded beyond yellow, orange, red, blue and white into some gorgeous delicate shades of pink, maroon, gold, primrose yellow and lavender.
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Viola colors include purple, blue, white and yellow.
Height and width
6-7" H x 9-12" W
Bloom time
Spring (April - May) and fall

Tips for Growing Healthy Pansies
Seeding
events & seminars Pansies and violas are fairly easy to grow from seed but they don't grow quickly.
events & seminars Seeds need to be started 10 to 12 weeks ahead of time and the plants will need to be acclimated.
Frost Tolerance
events & seminars Pansies and violas are very cold-tolerant plants.
events & seminars Grown outdoors and acclimated, they will easily handle temperatures down to the mid 20s and will continue blooming.
events & seminars If the temperature drops any lower, the existing flower buds are usually damaged, but the plants live on.
Light
events & seminars Ideally, pansies and violas like lots of sun in the spring and early summer, but they tend to struggle with too much summer heat.
events & seminars A great setting would be one that gets full sun before the trees are fully leafed out and dappled shade during the summer.
Locations
events & seminars Pansies and violas are perfect for containers. Great by themselves, they also combine well with other early spring blooms such as sweet alyssum and snapdragons. Tuck a few into a summer mixed planter for some early color while the summer plants fill out.
events & seminars Pansies and violas also thrive when planted in:
 
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Beds and borders
 
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Gardens interspersed with spring flowering bulbs
 
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Window boxes
Soil
Pansies and violas do their best in rich, organic, well-drained soil.
Containers:
events & seminars Any peat-like mix such as Bachman’s Mighty Earth Potting Soil. For best results, replace soil in containers annually.
Ground Beds:
events & seminars Amend soil with compost or peat moss once the frost is out of the ground.
Transplanting
events & seminars Pansies and violas have a very fine, fibrous root system, so ease them out of their pots. The outside of the root ball may be a mat of white roots.
events & seminars Make several shallow cuts through these roots to encourage outward growth.
events & seminars Plant them at the same depth they were growing. Pansies don't do well when planted deeper.
Spacing
events & seminars Space plants 4 to 6 inches apart when planting.
Water
events & seminars After transplanting, water immediately.
events & seminars Do not let dry out or they will quit flowering and set seed.
Fertilizer
events & seminars Pansies profit from regular feeding with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Grooming
events & seminars Pansies are cool season annuals. As the summer gets warm, their blooming slows down.
events & seminars Deadheading (removing the spent blooms) will encourage them to bloom longer.
events & seminars Try cutting them back to a few inches above ground when it gets too hot. They may fill back out and begin blooming again in fall.

Troubleshooting Problems with Pansies and Violas
Problem Cause(s) Solution(s)
Leaves and flowers are spotted
events & seminars Leaf spots, a fungi
events & seminars Leaf spot organisms like it when it when the weather is cool and moist.
events & seminars Do not water from above
events & seminars Try to keep the foliage dry.
Poor flowering, lacks growth
events & seminars Not enough sun
events & seminars Past their prime
events & seminars Move to a sunnier location
events & seminars Deadhead spent flowers
Leaves turn yellow, wilt and die
events & seminars Root and stem rot
events & seminars Allow soil to dry between watering
events & seminars Improve soil drainage

Recommended Products
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Quality containers and pots
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Bachman’s Mighty Earth Potting Soil
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Water-soluble fertilizer
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Bachman’s quality grown pansies

Related Bachman's Information
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Cold Tolerant Annuals
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Hardening off Greenhouse Plants

Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden Centers
Your local garden expert since 1885.
bachmans.com | ©Bachman's 2012

Select source information provided by the University of Minnesota Extension, www.extension.umn.edu.

Last Updated: April 2012

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