Why Are My Pansies Leggy? (+How To Fix A Leggy Plant)

Pansies have become famous flowering plants that one can find in all gardens. Pansies can grow about six to nine inches tall and spread about seven to twelve inches. But, sometimes, due to some unfavorable conditions, pansies can grow weak and leggy.

So, in this article, we shall discuss why are your pansies turning leggy and how you can fix the same.

Leggy growth in pansies is primarily due to inadequate lighting conditions. When a plant receives excessive heat or low light, it will result in leggy growth in pansies. Other reasons may include inappropriate fertilization, warm temperatures at night, and not pruning your pansies.

Another reason for leggy pansies can be a high amount of nitrogen. Nitrogen boosts the plant’s immune system and increases the plant’s growth rate, resulting in tall and leggy pansies. Well, even if your plants grow tall, they won’t be growing any flowers.

But, you can fix the problem of leggy pansies. In today’s article, we will discuss all the possible causes of leggy pansies and how to fix the problem.

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Why are my pansies leggy?

When your pansies suddenly start growing taller and longer, the plants seem weak and tired, and there is no blooming in them, it means that your pansies are getting leggy.

There are several reasons why pansies are facing the problem of leggy growth. Let us read about some of those reasons in detail:

Excess heat

Pansies can tolerate cold weather. But they do not like excessive heat and humid conditions. Excessive heat will make your pansy plants leggy, and they will start to droop.

If your pansies receive too much heat, then they will fail to produce any flowers.

Low light

Another problem that makes your plant leggy is receiving low light. Pansies need six hours of sunlight regularly.

When pansies do not receive enough light, they try to stretch themselves towards the sun to get sunlight for growing, making your pansies tall and leggy, and they will even start to fall upon you. Leggy plants will always end up breaking between the stems.

This problem is caused when your garden is shaded with long trees and pansies are not getting enough sunlight due to that shade from those long trees.

Improper fertilization

When you give nitrogen-based fertilizer to your plant, it boosts its growth rate.

But, overdosing them with fertilizers containing a high nitrogen source, will encourage quick and unwanted growth and thus result in a leggy pansy plant.

Due to nitrogen’s role in increasing metabolism, the pansies get tall and leggy and might fall on their sides.

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Not pruning the pansies

During the early summer, the pansies start growing long, and the density of flowering in the pansies is relatively low. In such conditions, pruning is essential. If you do not prune your pansies, this will make them leggy.

Lack of pruning will not encourage the further growth of flowers. If you do not prune your pansies, the growth hormone in the plant will not get stimulated.

As a result, your plant will remain leggy, devoid of any further growth of leaves and or blooming of flowers.

Warm nights

During summer, the nights are much warmer. This causes the pansies to stretch, making the pansies tall and leggy.

Try to move them indoors or keep them under shade or protection as the temperature level rises in your area.

How to fix leggy pansies?

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Now, you have known about the possible reasons why your pansies are leggy. Now, you will need to fix them and try to avoid these reasons in your pansies.

Fixing the problem of leggy pansies is not so hard, but if you do not give attention to them, that might harm them. First, you have to identify the problem and take ideal steps to treat them and prevent further suffering.

A leggy pansy means tall, weak, and tired pansy plant, and it is never a good thing for your pansies.

Instead of causing any casualties to your plant, there are many ways of fixing the leggy pansies and making your pansies ready for further blooming again.

Anyhow, by keeping the soil bed moist according to the need of pansies, deadheading the old and dead flowers and flower buds, and trimming the long and leggy pansies, you will help them to promote the pansies from growing constantly and flowering until the winter season arrives.

The ways by which we can treat the pansies from turning leggy are:

  • Fixing light issues
  • Deadheading
  • Removing spent flowers
  • Choosing the best time to prune
  • Rejuvenating your plant
  • Sanitize before and after pruning
  • Using fertilizers containing low nitrogen source

Now, let us discuss these above points in detail one by one.

Fixing light issues

Pansies get leggy in both low light and high heat conditions. Pansies cannot tolerate too much heat. Excess sunlight gives out excess heat, and too much heat makes them weak and leggy.

During summer, when the rays of the sun are extreme, it is better to protect your plant from that heat by keeping potted plants beside your pansy flower bed.

You can also plant your pansies beside a big tree which will protect your plant from extreme heat. Ensure that your pansies do not get too much covered by the trees, resulting in low light problems.

When pansies do not get enough sunlight, they grow taller and leggy because they are constantly stretching themselves towards the sun, searching for light for their growth.

In such a case, you must check that your pansies receive enough sunlight. Take care about the planting position of your pansies.

Also read: How Much Sun Do Pansies Need? (Pansies Light Requirements)


Deadheading is a crucial step to avoid the problem of leggy pansies. You should regularly remove the spent pansy flowers from the plant by deadheading.

This is the process of removing the spent flowers from the plant. Along with the spent flowers, you must also get rid of the dead flowers. 

This will help encourage the remarkable growth of the plant. It will result in more blooming of the flowers.

Deadheading has a lot of advantages. It stimulates the growth hormone of the pansies and helps in energizing the plant for better growth and another flush of blooms in the plant. It also keeps the pansies fresh, bushy, healthy, and appealing.

Removing spent flowers from the plant

You should observe your pansy bed regularly. Particularly during the flowering season, you need to keep a watch on your pansies. If you ever find any flowers that are going to die, you must get rid of them.

Along with the flower head, you should also get rid of the top part of the stem.

While using pruners, make sure to do the cut where the stem joins the first leaf. You can even use your fingers or fingernails and pinch them off.

Best time to prune the plant

Before pruning, you should have an idea about the ideal time of pruning pansies. The growth size of the pansies is six to nine inches.

Pansies start getting leggy when they are at the end of their growing season, and this is an ideal time to trim your pansies.

Trimming the pansies will make your pansy healthy and promote good growth and the healthy blooming of flowers.

Leggy pansies will even break from between and fall off. That might not revive your pansies. To keep your pansies get going, you will need to trim them.

For trimming, you will need pruners or clippers. The tool that you are using should be suitable for use against delicate flower plants. Of course, do not forget you disinfect them to avoid transferring any fungus or bacteria.

Gently and carefully do the trimming. This will help to restore the healthy growth of the pansies.

Rejuvenate your pansies

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Trim your pansies by three to four inches. Cut them right above the leaf that is set on the stem. After you are done with your pruning and trimming, it is time to rejuvenate your plant.

Apply a small amount of fertilizer, like one teaspoon, for each square foot of pansy soil bed.

Sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil bed at the plant base evenly. Avoid sprinkling on the leaves and flowers as that will burn them.

Water your plant very well after applying the fertilizer. Use a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) for better results.

Also read: Do Pansies Need Fertilizer? (What Type, How Much & More)

Sanitize your plant before and after the trimming

You need to sanitize your plant and the tools before performing the trimming job. Disinfecting the tools like pruners or clippers will help avoid any transfer of fungus or bacteria to the plant.

Even after the pruning, clean your tools well with a bleach mixture or rubbing alcohol. Sanitizing them will help to keep all sorts of fungus, bacteria, and diseases away.

You must sanitize your plant after pruning. This will help eliminate all the leftover bacteria, fungus, or disease in the plant and avoid them from getting active and spreading and damaging the plant anymore.

Fertilizers containing a low amount of nitrogen

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the remarkable growth of plants. But too much nitrogen might affect the growth of plants.

Pansies do not enjoy a high amount of nitrogen. When you feed them with fertilizers containing high nitrogen, it makes the plant tall and leggy, and even they break to fall off.

Nitrogen increases the metabolism of the plant. This results in faster growth of the plant, due to which the pansies start growing taller and longer. 

A high source of nitrogen will only make your plant tall and leggy. It will not make your plant but weak and unhealthy. Also, your pansies will not be producing any flowers.

To avoid such situations, use a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K amount of 10-10-10. This will give your plant a balanced amount of nutrients.

Slow-release fertilizers work well with pansies. A slow-release fertilizer will make the plant absorb the nutrients from the soil as per its need slowly.

Use less amount of fertilizer if you are in any doubt. Using more fertilizers will only damage your plant.

Using less fertilizer might slow down the growth, but it will not cause any harm to your plant. You need to be patient enough to see your plant growing healthy.

Final words

Pansies get leggy due to several reasons. Leggy pansies only make the plant tired, and it does not even produce any flowers.

All you need to restore the growth of your plant is to watch and observe your plant daily. Whenever you see that your pansies are turning leggy, try to detect the reasons behind it. Take actions accordingly once you are done with knowing the reasons.

Provide your pansies with sufficient light, air, and water. Fulfill all other requirements of them.

Fertilize them to give them all the essential nutrients and boost their growth. Use balanced fertilizers. Avoid fertilizers that contain a high amount of nitrogen.

Keep checking your pansy flower bed regularly and keep removing the deadheads and spent flowers from your pansies.

Trimming will boost the growing energy of pansies, and they will start to give you a result of good growth and flower blooms.

Ref: The University of Arkansas, BritannicaUtah State UniversityWikipediaThe University of GeorgiaThe Pennsylvania State UniversityThe Royal Horticultural Society.


Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

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