How To Grow - Pansies

Pansies are one of the UK’s all-time favourite winter flowering plants. There’s an enormous range of varieties available in a full spectrum of colours, not to mention all of their face-like markings, different sizes and forms. Just follow our easy growing guide and introduce these reminders of spring and colour to your garden.


There is a wide range of pansies available – trailing, ruffled, giant flowered and the more traditional kinds. You can really let your taste for a colour run riot! You can also go for scented varieties. Pansies are particularly prized by gardeners as an autumn bedding plant, for flowering in the late winter and early spring, but you can also grow them as part of spring bedding too. Pansies thrive in cooler weather, however, and can suffer in a mid-summer heat wave. Pansies are compact and low-growing – you can grow them alongside bulbs for a spring display, as well as in a massed bed, in containers or as edging.

When and Where to Plant

Pansies prefer full sun or partial shade, and a moist environment. Plant them out in beds, or in containers and baskets. The soil can vary, however, moisture retention is important. For autumn bedding, plant out your plug plants from mid-September to early October, depending on the size of the plants acquired. For spring bedding, late April to mid-May is the optimum time, depending on the weather conditions. Grow on plants indoors until they reach 8 to 10 cm in height at which point they’re ready to plant out.

How to Plant

Dig an individual hole for each plant with a trowel, deep enough to comfortably fit the root ball without bending or breaking the roots. Place the plant in the hole and fill back in, keeping the base of the stem at soil level. Gently firm down. Water generously and feed regularly. Plants should be placed 15 cm apart; bear in mind that they will grow to a height of 15 to 25 cm. Use a general purpose fertiliser when planting out. Once the plants are established, keep the soil moist and mulch to help retain this moisture.


Depending on the autumn weather, pansies may or may not flower throughout the winter. During a mild autumn, they will begin to produce flowers which will hold until the spring when new flowers grow and take their place. Flowers should be pinched off once they have bloomed and have begun to wither – this will extend the flowering period, with new flowers encouraged.

Plant Care

Pansies are relatively free from disease problems – use slug, snail or aphid deterrents when necessary. If your pansies are growing in containers, fertilise them with soluble compost every fortnight – watch out for the plants growing ‘leggy’ however, as this indicates too much fertiliser.

Did You Know

The name of pansies is ascribed to the French “pensée” meaning thought or remembrance – possibly, so the rumour goes, because the large ‘face-like’ flowers nod forwards as if deep in philosophical thought. Where to garden pansies originate from? At the beginning of the 19th century, the wild flower named Heartsease was taken up by flower enthusiasts and gardeners. The trend took off and by the 1830s a myriad of hybrid violas was available. In 1839 the ‘Medora’ pansy, bred by William Thompson, was made available, marked by blocks of colour on the lower petals. This variety became popular across Britain and then Europe. In the process of this diversification and popularity, the pansy’s petals became fuller, and the face or heart-shaped look of the modern bedding plant emerged.


Our Best-Selling Pansy Plants for beautiful Spring/Summer colour are:

Pansy Grande Fragrance

70 Plants, £15.99

Pansy Cascadia XL (Trailing)

70 Plants, £17.99





Our Best-Selling Pansy Plants for beautiful Autumn/Winter colour are:

Pansy Can Can

70 Plants, £15.99

Pansy Strawberry Rose

70 Plants, £15.99



Pansy Purple & Orange

70 Plants, £15.99

Pansy Oceana

70 Plants, £15.99


View our Full Range of Winter and Summer Pansies

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