Keeping Pansies Perky

A healthy pansy plant

Pansies that are suffering from winter conditions

A mass planting of pansies in excellent condition in late January

This winter is a hot and cold one. And the temperature fluctuations have played havoc on many of the plants that were put in last fall, like pansies. So if your plants look stressed like the ones in the photo above, here is some advice. If yours look like the ones that look radiant, keep on doing what you are doing.
Here are a few tips to get your rough looking pansies thriving again.

  • If we have not had rain in several days and a hard freeze is expected, water the plants. And after a hard freeze, water the plants again.
  • Remove all spent blooms including their stems. Do so weekly.
  • On warm days like we had this past week, liquid feed ( 20-20-20) the plant every two weeks if the weather permits. Remember, if the mulch you are using is pine bark, it is decomposing and using nutrients, especially nitrogen.
  • Make sure this time of the year your plants are well mulched, as over the past few months the mulch may have been pushed away from the plants. I like to freshen mine with a bit of pine straw this time of the year, as that is my mulch of choice.

Remember your plants will not look better overnight, but over time healthy plants will put on a great spring show.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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