patsgardenJune 8, 2006

I planted pansies in my window boxes and a few in my gardens. I'll be replanting the pansies into the garden and would like to know what to do to make them look good through the summer. Thanks

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kimka(Zone 6B)

Depending on where you live, there is little you can do to keep pansies going through the whole summer. A hair cut when leggyness occurs and deadheading seed heads throughout the spring will extend their flowering. Afternoon shade can also help extend their season. But once it gets hot--above 85 degrees on a regular basis where they are planted, pansies pretty much peter out.

I plant pansies in the fall after it cools off, mulch and feed them through the winter and hair cut them in the early spring and get a nice long flush of blooms till it starts to get hot. In May, I hair cut and then dead head until it stays hot usually the end of June where I am in Maryland. Then I pull the pansy remains out and plant impatiens that last until first frost when I put the pansies in again. I have one bed, two window boxes and four pots on the front steps that I do pansies/impatiens in every year.

The pansies you put in in the fall come back much fuller than pansies planted only in the spring. In a mild winter, the pansies will even bloom through the winter.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 9:52AM
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I agree. I'm up in Minnesota and my pansies are already biting the dust.

Some years, if I'm especially happy with a color combination in a container of pansies, I'll cut them back severely and hide the container in the coolest, shadiest spot I have. I've had them bounce back in the fall. But (and this is a big but) I don't *count* on them bouncing back, and the container must be well hidden because cut-back summer pansy foliage looks atrocious!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 9:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

patsgarden, I'm sorry that you purchased a bunch of pansies at this late date! ;-( Sometimes the big box stores do irresponsible things like that, but I would HOPE that a good, locally owned garden center wouldn't.

Pansies are most definitely cold season plants, thriving through freezing temperatures and hard frosts with all of their blossoms in tact! But they cannot tolerate the warm temperatures of late spring and summer.

Keeping them cut back as the other two helpful folks have suggested is your only option. I would add that you should avoid over watering and over fertilization (or ANY fertilization) at all costs. If they survive, boost the fertilizer up in the early fall.

Most people treat pansies as cold season annuals and as inexpensive as they are, are quite happy with one full season of color. But many folks can coax a good fall AND a great spring season! When I lived in SC (8b), we planted pansies in the fall and enjoyed them all through the winter and into early spring. They would be yanked out and replaced with the summer annuals at that time.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 10:45AM
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I belong to the Nisswa Garden Club in Nisswa, MN & about to write an article for the newsletter. The Pansy is also our Club Flower and will be presented at our annual Flower show in July. I would like some good tips & information to pass along to my club members. Thanks, Geri Seaberg

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 7:41AM
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