Pansies are outdoor garden plants with beautiful flowers. Pansies can be perennial or annual, depending upon the climate of a place. They are ideal for both indoor and outdoor plantations. And they can grow well in containers and pots.
So, in this article, we shall learn how to plant pansies in a pot.
In general, pansies can be grown in pots provided the pot has adequate drainage holes and the soil used is well-draining. To plant pansies in a pot, choose a decent size pot, use light and organic-rich soil, and plant pansy in it. Make sure to keep a gap of 6 inches or more between two plants.
In this article, you will understand the stages involved in both the methods for planting pansies in a pot and also the factors that will affect the growth of potted pansies.
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When to plant potted pansies?
You can plant your pansies from late summer to mid-autumn so that they can bloom through the winter and the following spring. You can also plant them in spring or early summer to let them bloom throughout the growing season.
If you plan to grow pansies from seeds, then sow the seeds under cover from February to April to make them bloom from late spring to autumn.
But if you want to grow pansies for autumn and winter flowering, then sow seeds between May to July.
Methods of growing potted pansies
There are two ways to grow pansies, i.e., the seeding and transplanting method.
Seeding is the process of planting seeds in the soil. In contrast, transplanting is the process of transferring the seedlings from the nursery to the potting mix.
Pansies can be easily propagated from seeds, and they require a long maturation period of 90 to 100 days. You can start growing pansy seeds in late winter to enjoy earlier flowers in the growing season.
The process of transplanting in pansies begins when the plants sprouting from the seeds start growing up to a few inches in height.
For that, you need a suitable container that comes with some drainage holes and a fairly light potting mix that serves your pansies well.
We will now discuss the different stages involved in both the growing methods.
Stages of growing pansies from seeds
If you are thinking of growing pansies from seeds, you must follow the above steps below.
- First, you have to take a pot with lots of drainage holes and then fill the pot with a soil-less starting mix. You can make your own mixture by using ingredients such as coco coir, peat moss, and fine-grade vermiculite. One suitable mix for pansy seeds is a 50:50 composition of peat moss and fine-grade vermiculite.
- Add the potting mix to the pot and water it well to moisten it Let it settle down. If required, put more potting mix into the pot. This will help to remove the air pockets from the potting mix.
- Then you have to sow pansy seeds on the surface of the seed-starting medium and lightly cover them with a 1/8 inch layer of potting mix or clean sand.
- Then gently add water to the soil mix so that you don’t disturb the tiny seeds of pansies until the excess water flows from the drainage holes.
- You should cover the pot with plastic or damp burlap to keep them in moisture. Then, remove this cover as soon as the seeds start to sprout and develop.
- Next, place the pot in a warm area with bright light. You can place them on a window sill, a table near the window, or under grow lights. Keep the growing medium moist but not soggy.
- At temperatures between 65-75°F, pansy seeds will germinate in 10 to 20 days. Mist the soil when the seeds are germinating.
- When the seedlings have four true leaves, start adding water-soluble fertilizer at ¼ strength. You can use all-purpose plant food with an N-P-K ratio of 10-15-10 by mixing ¾ tablespoon spoon of fertilizer with one gallon of water. You have to apply this fertilizer solution to the soil once a week.
- You should water regularly in the morning to maintain soil moisture but avoid waterlogging.
- Transplant your pansy seedlings after three weeks to a larger container. Place your pansy seedlings in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil at the same depth they were previously growing.
- Water the seedlings thoroughly since mature pansies require 1 inch of water per week.
Stages of growing pansies by transplanting
Let us now discuss the stages that are involved in growing potted pansies by the transplanting method.
- First, you have to choose a pot that supports proper drainage. Then start lining the bottom of the pot with a shade cloth or a porous landscape fabric. This process will prevent the potting mix from falling and making a mess.
- Now you need to fill the pot with the soil mix. Fill it to the top of the container and press it firmly so that the soil level is about an inch below the rim.
- Then dig a hole in the soil but make sure its not too deep. The crown of the pansy plants need to remain above the soil.
- Carefully remove the pansy plant from the nursery containers. Undo any clumps you notice so that the roots can have room for growth.
- Next, plant your pansies in the holes you created. Use one hand to pull some soil back from the container, and use your other hand to place the plant in that hole. You have to make sure that the root ball is 1 inch below the rim of the pot.
- You have to fertilize your plant with a slow-release pansy food or a water-soluble fertilizer containing nitrate form of nitrogen.
- Water your plant thoroughly until the water starts draining from the holes through the bottom of the container. You have to add more potting mix and adjust your pansies if settling occurs during watering.
- Apply a ½ layer of wooden chips to the soil surface to help conserve moisture.
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Factors that influence the growth of pansies in a pot
Many factors will affect the growth of your pansies in a pot. It will help if you keep these essential factors in mind while planting pansies. The factors are:
- Container or pot
- Soil composition
- Sunlight requirement
Container or pot
The pot of the pansies should facilitate air movement and drainage. The pot should have suitable drainage holes. Clay and terracotta pots are the most suitable containers during summer because these pots ensure proper airflow and drainage.
But these pots are not suitable for winters because the water can soak into a clay or concrete pot. The water that soaks into the pot wall will freeze and expand and cause the pot to crack.
You can use free-proof plastic, synthetic or glazed ceramic containers during winters. These containers will not get damaged by the winter freeze, ensuring proper airflow and drainage. The pot should be at least 200 mm wide and deep in size.
Pansies prefer loamy soil that drains well and can retain sufficient moisture so that it doesn’t dry out completely. Use a premium potting mix of peat moss, mushroom compost, and vermiculite.
The soil should be slightly acidic with a pH level of 6.0-6.2 on the pH scale.
Pansies thrive in evenly moist soil, but they never prefer soggy soil. Soggy soil can cause root rot in pansies. So you should always avoid overwatering your plant.
Never keep your pansies potted in the same soil mix for three straight years in a row. This will build up fungal disease In the soil that could feed on your plants.
Pansies prefer lots of sunlight. They need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight.
Place your pansy pots in areas with full sun or partial sun. Never provide them with too much shade, as it will lower your plant’s blooming rate.
Keep your pansies under shade during harsh sunny weather.
Pansies growing in pots will need proper watering. Pansies growing in pots have more chances of being overwatered, so you must be careful with the watering.
If the pot’s soil is drying out faster than your garden pansies, you will need to water more frequently.
Pansies never like to sit in wet soil, so always check the soil to determine whether it’s dry and water it accordingly. They need water regularly during their initial growth stages.
You should fertilize your pansy plant about once a month to ensure maximum plant health and proper flowering. You can use a water-soluble nitrogen fertilizer. You should mix it with water and apply it monthly.
Never over-fertilize your pansies. This will make your plants leggy. You can nourish your pansies by adding premium potting mix for your plants. Always follow the label’s direction before using fertilizers.
Pruning of your potted pansies is essential. You should remove the dead flowers, injured leaves, and seed pots to ensure repeat flowering.
If your pansies become leggy, i.e., they grow long and straggly, you can cut them right back and let them regrow to a more compact shape.
This will ensure more flowering and stable growth of your plant. Pruning your pansies helps them to maintain their overall health.
How to deal with the problems of potted pansies?
You can face some problems while growing pansies in pots. We will now discuss these problems and also the solutions to prevent them.
Pansies growth is often affected by improper soil. If you ensure proper maintenance and still the pansies are not flourishing, there might be some problem with the potting soil you are using.
Pansies prefer loamy soil with slightly acidic. If the soil does not support proper drainage, this will cause root rot in pansies. Pansies can’t stand soggy soil. The oxygen level in soil decreases, and the roots suffocate.
Check your soil’s pH level and also its composition. You can do that by sending a sample of your soil to the soil testing clinic.
Pansies are heavy feeders, and you can amend your soil with mushroom compost to give them a good start. Add sulfur if the soil is too alkaline. Always allow the soil to get dry between the waterings.
Pests and diseases
Young pansy plants are vulnerable to pests and diseases. Pests like aphids, snails, and caterpillars can chew their leaves and may ruin their flower buds. You may find signs of mildew disease or fungi that may severely infect your plant.
You can use neem oil, other horticultural oils, or insecticidal soap to prevent aphids and caterpillars. These pests are hard to identify, but if you observe any sign, you must take a sample leaf to the garden center to correctly identify the disease and plant treatment.
Poor sanitation and wrong watering practice
Poor sanitation and wrong watering practice lead to poor health of your pansies. Overwatering will invite fungal diseases, and underwatering may cause the plants to droop and wilt. Pot debris will cause soil erosion and attracts pathogens.
You should follow a proper watering schedule for your pansies. Morning watering is best for pansies. Always check the soil before watering.
To maintain proper sanitation, remove damaged leaves and flowers, pot debris, and keep the place neat and hygienic.
Pansies can be grown in pots, and the requirements will be similar to the pansies grown in gardens, but you need to tweak your care routine after observing your pansies.
The care routine will depend not only on the potted pansies but also on where you decide to place the pot. Some common points to keep in mind are:
- Water the pansies after checking the soil and confirming that the soil is not wet.
- Use a well-draining loamy soil as that is what pansies prefer.
- Protect the pansies from the heat of the afternoon sun rays, especially during the summer months.
- Do not plant many pansy plants in one small pot, which can suffocate the plants and make them vulnerable to pests and diseases.