Pansies from seed

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7November 15, 2009

Nexy year, I would like to try growing my own pansies as I spent way to much on them this year and need to cut back.

I need some clear instructions and I have room to grow them inside during the summer or under our bright carport.

What I've found on the web is for people who plant them in the spring but I want to plant them in October.

Can anyone help? Thank you !!!

Should I save seed pods from this year? Do they come true to seed?

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transplanted2scin07(7b upstate SC)

Yes, save seed pods but don't count on them all coming true. Some will, some won't.
Just sprinkle the seeds outside now (or in January)and press them to the surface without covering them. Keep them moistened until you see the seedlings in 2-3 weeks.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 8:46PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thanks transplanted, but what I want to know is how to have
pansies that look like I bought them (big, lush, blooming) for next fall.

Obviously I'm asking a good 9 months or so ahead of time but I'm just wondering and deeply interested if I should be seed saving.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 9:33PM
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butterfly4u

Pansies reseed themselves.
I had baby pansies growing up in my lawn outside of the beds this summer.
Just plant the seeds, take care of them, and they will grow all year for you, constantly reseeding themselves.
Pansies are a beautiful thing. So is mulch.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 12:51AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thanks butterfly. I do get some reseeding but not much because I heavily mulch.
I plant about 10-15 flats of pansies or more each year so I do need quite a bit.

I was wondering if anyone knew how long it takes from seed to get a bedding plant size, and if it is too hot to grow them outside (it would be summer), what kind of seeds I should buy, etc.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 9:45AM
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trianglejohn

I've done it before, but it was years ago. I found the Viola's easier and better blooming in my yard. There are some with flowers similar to and of the same size as pansies. For fall bloom it took many many months and mine didn't start blooming until mid winter (months after they showed up in the stores). In the end mine looked just like the store bought ones but they took about 6 months of work - though not hard work.

I think the seeds sprout when temps are warm (I'm guessing it is the universal 70 degrees that most seeds require) but the plants stay small while the summer is hot. They don't size up until things cool down. I did not move mine inside for cooler weather. Other heat sensitive plants that I have succeeded with required me to move the flats under the house into the crawl space for cool nights and then back outside each morning for sunshine (and heat). It seems that a lot of plants have a threshold of hours of high heat that affects them. It is not just the daytime high temps but the number of hours spent above a certain temperature. If you can cool them down at night you can grow a lot of heat sensitive plants. Under my house stayed moist and around 70 degrees. It is why I can raise Delphiniums, Rhubarb, Artichokes and Wasabi. It can be a lot of work, so I tend to cycle my crops rather than try to grow everything each year.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:16AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thank you and very interesting. I will try to to find more specific info. I am thinking I can grow them in flats in a shady but bright area outside from April until October.
Perhaps start them inside in early March and move outside when it warms up.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 1:08PM
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butterfly4u

Bumblebeez,
If you insist on growing them inside first, start them now.
Then put them out next March when it starts to warm up more during the day.
Pansies are cold weather plants, they will not die or stop growing because it is cold.
Come May, pansies slow down big time, seed themselves, and some die over the next 3 really hot months.
THen in September, they start to come to life again. The seedlings start to grow right in the beds they sprout from.
DOn't mulch as thick if you aren't getting babies in your beds.
I love pansies too. I have them out front all winter.
It's so nice to see their cute little faces blooming when it's the middle of winter.
Good Luck to you and let us know how it worked for you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 11:51PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thank you so much for your help, Butterfly!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

trianglejohn, regarding the delphiniums; did you ever plant them in the ground or were they in pots? I would like to grow some but haven't attempted.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:06AM
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trianglejohn

bumblebeez - I start them in flats and then move them outside when they get at least their first set of true leaves. The hardest part is that they are notorious for having low germination. They say that you need fresh seed but I've had worse success growing from seeds I collected from my plants. There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to which seed is going to sprout. Sometimes I have great success from cheap last years seed I buy at Walmart and other times I have great success from high end garden center seed packets. You just have to sow a lot of seeds and if worse comes to worse - buy seedlings.

For the tallest flower spikes you really need to sow the seeds in late July or early August, transplant outside in very rich soil in October, grow them all winter long - they'll bloom with 5-6 foot spikes by June or July. Seedlings from spring sowing will only be 2 to 3 feet tall.

The plants are tough and can take anything winter does. I often protect them with row cover but it is more for wind protection then cold. The leaves will sometimes dry out on windy winter storms.

The rule is to have the biggest plants you can grow by late spring when they start shooting up their bloom spikes.

The best seedlings I have ever bought were at a garden center in Charleston SC.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 10:29AM
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josephine_sc(7/8 Clemson, SC)

Pansies need darkness to germinate. When I grew them I would start them inside in July in flats sealed in brown paper. After about a week I'd remove the paper and the majority of my seeds had germinated. Then I'd grow them on to transplanting size and plant them around October. They would bloom most of the winter and into the following spring.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 4:25PM
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