Pansies in containers over winter

dsegel(6)October 23, 2011

I have some pansies in a container and am wondering if I can over-winter them here in SW PA. If so, should I keep them in an area that gets sun but next to the house? Or in a sheltered area next to the house? Or in the basement? Or inside like a house plant? Or should I just forget it and buy new in Spring? If in Spring, what month?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the pot should never get warm in the sun ....

what kind of pot??? .. some pots will not withstand winter ...

they are not house plants ... they do not come in the house ...

i would put anything i want to TRY TO KEEP ... against the north side of the house.. and once they are fully dormant.. i would bury them in snow... or tip the pot on its side...

some pansies make it.. others dont.. but may as well try .... the key is usually: GET THEM DORMANT .... KEEP THEM DORMANT .... mid winter thawing of a pot is usually not good ....


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:50AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm hoping that someone who has tried to overwinter pansies in a climate similar to yours will chime in.

I'll suggest that your success at over wintering in your zone might depend on whether you take special care to protect the root system or not. It's a little late to plant the pansies out in a bed, but you might consider sinking the pot as Ken suggests. The soil provides excellent insulation.

There are Viola hybrids that are extremely cold hardy, something you may want to look into for next year, but you would still need to protect the root system from freezing. Even those new-ish hybrids are not recommended for container planting in very cold climates.

In my zone 7 climate, pansies are planted as a fall/winter/spring annual. If protected from the coldest of temperatures, they'll provide color all during the cold months and will only die back once it gets too hot.

Where ever you live, pansies do not like the hottest months of the year. I expect that you can begin to see pansies in your garden centers in February or so...they don't mind frosts or even freezing temperatures. I wouldn't stick them out in advance of a severe cold snap, though.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:49PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Like rhizo, I hope someone will speak from experience of keeping summer pansies going, but I just wanted to reiterate the remark about cold hardy varieties. I don't know about the States but over here pansies and violas are sold separately as either summer or winter varieties. I only grow the winter ones and usually pick the smaller flowered violas which I find prettier and less prone to weather damage than the larger flowered pansies.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 4:17AM
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If you want to plant them in the garden, you still could if you mulch them. They need a few weeks to establish, but in zone 6, you should have that in November. If you keep them in a pot, you should mulch the pot and try to keep them dormant as suggested above.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Plants in pots if removed with care without disturbing the roots should do as well any in the ground as long as they have been outside all this time. I know they do just fine in Colorado area over the winters.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 9:16AM
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I actually got on the site to find out how to do wintering panseys "the right way." lol I live in Central ohio and am in zone 5. My husband bought some potted pansies last fall to decorate the front porch. I wondered if I could keep them for the spring, but had no idea how. So as usual for me, I put them in the garage and forgot about them. Sure enough, of the 3 pots, 2 of them are now blooming and ready to put back on the porch. I think the one that didn't make it was the one that hadn't been watered as much as the other ones before they found their way to the garage. Now I'm wondering if I can find a way to keep them for the fall!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 5:37PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

I overwinter panses all of the time and they bloom right through an average Washington DC winter and look great in the next spring. You need to make sure it is a pot that will not crack if it freezes and you need to keep the soil hydrated. Remember not all varieties are as cold tolerant as others.

This is a pot I planted in October and the photo was taken in February with my aby cat Gungha Din.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:14AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That cat has the scariest damned eyes! Great looking pansies.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 2:50PM
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