Count on pansies to design landscape plantings featuring single colors. All but the white blossoms in this bed are Panola pansies, a multiflora type that unfurls high numbers of smaller flowers. In landscape beds, give pansies plenty of space, arranging plants 8 or 10 inches apart. It may look sparse at first, but plants will fill out. Wider spacing provides good air circulation around plants, lowering the chances of disease or pest outbreaks.
What’s better for fall color than a pansy? How about a trailing pansy that naturally rambles and scampers over the edges of hanging baskets? Cool Wave pansy does just that, opening classic pansy blooms in a rainbow of shades. Look for hanging baskets planted with Cool Wave spreading pansies, or whip up your own. Choose baskets in single colors to complement your home’s exterior. Or get in on nature’s autumn act by hanging baskets overflowing with pansies that contrast with the fall color of nearby trees.
Pansies and spring bulbs like tulips make excellent planting partners. Tuck bulbs into soil in fall, then add winter-hardy pansies. In spring, watch the magic unfold. This pansy is Panola XP True Blue Pansy, a multiflora type that stands up to winter chill without missing a blooming beat. To help pansies survive when temps drop below 20 F for several hours, cover plants with a frost blanket or a 2- to 4-inch-thick loose mulch like pine straw (gently rake it off when air temps rise). Healthy pansies can typically withstand single digits for short spells without extra protection.
Take advantage of the new pansy breeding by tucking Cool Wave Spreading pansies into window boxes where their stems will create a waterfall of bloom. For pansies in containers, mix a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer into soil prior to planting. This is a secret to strong growth and a steady flower show. In window boxes, pair pansies with upright coppery leatherleaf sedge, like this Bronco ColorGrass sedge.
Cool Wave Spreading pansies strut their stuff beautifully in hanging baskets, where stems cascade 18 to 24 inches. Water is one secret to success with fall-planted pansies. Water well at planting time, and be sure to water plants thoroughly before cold snaps. If cold is strong enough to freeze soil around pansy rootballs, roots cannot absorb water until soil thaws.
Pansies bring strong cool-season color in containers that can last well into the New Year in regions with mild winters. Choose pot planting partners that also deliver a long show, like Blue Arrows juncus, a type of rush, and sweet alyssum. For longest lasting color, keep pots in a sheltered spot on a porch. When air temps fall below 25 F, pansies look wilted and leaves turn gray-green. This is a typical response to cold air. Plants rebound as air temperature rises.
Create a colorful container garden packed with annuals that thrive during cool weather, including Anytime Pansiola, a heat-tolerant pansy that’s winter hardy in Zones 5 and higher. It pairs beautifully with Dark Knight sweet alyssum and Sunsatia Lemon nemesia. In pots or planting beds, removing faded and frost-damaged pansy flowers keeps plants from forming seed pods and reduces disease outbreaks.
For chic fall flair, tuck pansies into pumpkin pots. You can either plant directly into a pumpkin that you’ve hollowed out, or slip a potted pansy into a pumpkin, which may help the pumpkin to last a little longer. Remember to choose pumpkins that stand up straight if you plan to draft them as pansy pots.
A spreading-type pansy formula mix provides a colorful edging for planting beds. Pair it with a leatherleaf sedge for a season-long show that keeps going strong even after cold temps arrive. For pansies in beds, fertilize at planting time with water-soluble plant food to give plants a solid start. In warmer zones, avoid giving pansies a high-nitrogen fertilizer during September to avoid causing plants to stretch.
For the best results in terms of color, cold hardiness and overall growth, buy pansies like landscapers do, picking up larger cell packs or 3- or 4-inch pots. These plants have bigger root balls, which means plants will take off more quickly in beds and containers. Check roots to make sure they’re healthy like this—having many white, fibrous roots on the outside of the root ball. The best time to plant pansies is when leaves on trees first start to change color. Soil temps should be between 45 and 65 F.
Grow a crop of good cheer with the friendly faces of pansy flowers. An eye-catching blend of purple shades, white and yellow make ‘Promise Marina’ an easy favorite for pots and planting beds in spring and fall. Better still, pansies are a plant that doesn’t draw Japanese beetles.
Count on pansies for living color when temperatures tumble. First developed in England in 1812, pansies still reign as the cool weather color champion. New introductions include Cool Wave Spreading pansies (shown), which spreads 18 to 24 inches in planting beds. For a can’t-miss color show, fill beds with pansies in single colors, or buy what’s known as a “formula mix,” a custom color blend created by plant breeders to open in eye-pleasing shades. In this bed, the lower pansies feature a formula mix sold as Cool Wave Berries ‘N Creme Mixture spreading pansy.
If you’re a gardener who craves pure splashes of single colors, try something different this year. Mimic Mother Nature’s fall color show and treat yourself to a hanging basket planted with a mix of hues. The effect is truly a garden party in a pot. Cool Wave Mix Spreading Pansy delivers a just-right blend (designed by the seed breeders) that’s eye-catching and perfect for fall. Tuck a pot into the ground at least six weeks before frost, add extra mulch once the ground freezes, and you’ll be rewarded with early spring pansies. Cool Wave pansies handle temperatures as low as -13°F. They’ll look frozen solid during winter, and leaves and stems may turn brown, but watch what happens when spring peeks ‘round the corner. Of course, plants in pots won’t survive freezing temperatures.
Look for pansy formula mixes with color blends to suit every season. Panola Autumn Blaze pansy opens blossoms in shades perfect for fall: burgundy and gold. Panola pansies are multiflora types, which open smaller flowers on shorter stems, giving plants a thick covering of blooms. Panola is an overwintering pansy, the kind that garden centers guarantee to survive winter and usher in spring with fluttering flowers. Pansies in pots won’t survive winter in colder zones, where soil can freeze solid. For best winter survival, tuck Panola pansies into planting beds.