Growing Pansies

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Pansies

Purple Pansies

Pansies are the colorful flowers with “faces.” A cool-weather favorite, pansies are great for both spring and fall gardens! Here’s how to keep your pansies growing and blooming.

Pansies have heart-shaped, overlapping petals and one of the widest ranges of bright, pretty colors and patterns.

Good for containers, borders, and as ground cover they are a go-to flower for reliable color in almost three seasons (except hot summers).

Are pansies annual or perennial flowers? 

The pansy can be either annual or perennial, however, gardeners treat this plant as an annual because it prefers cool weather and gets too leggy in summers. There hasn’t been much success producing heat-tolerant pansies that can survive hot weather.

However, pansies are surprisingly hearty in cold weather. They’ll survive a frost (even a hard freeze). Even if the blooms withers in the cold, the plants will often stay alive.


  • You can start pansy seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before you plan on transplanting them.
  • Plant seeds in late winter for early spring and summer flowering, or plant seeds in the summer for winter flowering.
  • Plant in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting
  • Pansies like sun, but cooler temperatures.
  • Space the plants about 7 to 12 inches apart. They will spread about 9 to 12 inches and grow to be about 6 to 9 inches tall.


  • Remember to water your pansies regularly. One of the most common reasons pansies fail is because they are not watered enough, so if your pansies are not doing well, try watering them more.
  • You can use a general, all-purpose fertilizer around your pansies to help them grow.
  • Remove faded/dead flowers to prolong blooming and encourage more flowers to grow.



Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Growing Pansies

Botanical Name

Viola x wittrockiana

Plant Type Flower
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type
Soil pH
Bloom Time Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Flower Color Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Yellow
Hardiness Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Special Features Attracts Butterflies