Pansies To Brighten Your Garden

Pansies are the easiest way to add colour to the winter and spring garden!

Nothing matches their charm, or the incredible array of colours and colour combos. There are Pansies with faces, with whiskers, and with frilly petals, and even some that look as if they have been hand painted.

If you don’t think your garden needs more colour, look again. They take up as little or as much space as you determine. They fill any nook or cranny, old wheelbarrow, gutter, hanging basket and pot, as a border or between spring bulbs; anywhere that receives enough winter sunshine.

Pansies can be teamed up with other flowering annuals such as alyssum, Bellis perennis, Iceland poppies, calendulas and violas. Use them as a border to frame tall Snapdragons (Antirrhinum), Delphiniums and Stocks. If a bed receives a mix of sun and shade, use Pansies as a sunny border for shade-loving Primula Malacoides behind them.

READ MORE: 8 flowers to brighten up your winter garden

Growing Pansies

Could any other flower on earth have a stronger hold on the fascination of creative breeders than the pansy?

Pansies symbolise ‘loving feelings’, which is definitely what all gardeners feel when this well-known cool-weather favourite, with its heart-shaped overlapping petals, becomes available for us to plant. The colour combinations and patterns available in many cultivated ranges are simply outstanding and there is virtually no colour you can think of that is not represented amongst the pansies.

Grow them well

Find a sunny spot with at least six hours of sunlight in winter, but keep in mind that they flower for months on end and should get a little shade when summer comes around again.

Prepare the soil well with ample compost and a dusting of general-purpose fertiliser.

Space them about 20cm apart and take care not to plant them too deeply. The crown of each seedling should be just above ground level.

Water your trays of nursery-grown seedlings well a few hours before planting them and then again after planting them out.

Water the newly planted seedlings every 3 – 4 days to get them established. As soon as you see new growth, water about once a week in winter in the early morning to allow the plants to dry off before nightfall. If the weather suddenly turns hot, water more often.

Fertilise every two weeks with a water-soluble fertiliser for flower production to keep up their energy.

Varieties to try

Cool Wave’ is a series that includes, ‘Blue Skies’, ‘Blueberry Swirl’, ‘Golden Yellow’, ‘Red Wing’, ‘Violet Wing’ and ‘Pastel Mix’. This bestselling brand is vigorous and has a trailing habit of up to 75cm in spread. It is a perfect choice as a groundcover or for hanging baskets, pots and window boxes.

Frizzle Sizzle’ will give you ruffling flower petals in warm autumn shades including burgundy and orange, with some flowers sporting attractive whiskers so typical of pansies. Height 20cm. Spread 25cm.

Matrix’ – within this series you will find any colour combination you can dream of. This is the perfect bedding pansy range to fill your garden beds with. Large flowers are carried on short, strong stems. Size: 20cm x 25cm.

The Gardener