The Pansy - a "flower for all seasons.” This small, delicate looking plant with fragrant, edible blooms is adaptable to weather of many different seasons and has one of the widest color ranges of any garden annual. Included in its wide color range are red, purple, blue, bronze, pink, black, yellow, white, lavender, orange, apricot and mahogany. Flowers may be a single color or multiple, sometimes with a black "face" shape in the middle. Pansies are easy to grow from seed yourself or, being such popular garden plants, can be found in most garden centers in both Spring and Fall. 


Buying Tips
Select colors that catch your eye (there are so many!), create a palette that goes well with your current garden design, or for the greatest visual impact, plant one color en masse. Choose plants that are well rooted and stocky with vibrant green foliage. Most pansy flowers don't take long to open, but if you're an instant gratification kind of person, choose plants with many large buds and only a few freshly opened blooms.

Planted about six to ten inches apart, Pansies perform best in a sunny garden location (or at least, an area that receives some morning sun). They prefer fertile, loose, well-draining soil. If your soil is not ideal, it can easily be amended with Bumper Crop to increase drainage and fertility. Or a granular or time release fertilizer can also be incorporated into the garden soil as you are planting the pansies. By adding a granular fertilizer now, food is easily provided for the plants' long term garden performance. The final step is to water the newly planted pansies thoroughly. To avoid any signs of transplant related stress we also recommend using Esbenshade's Transplant Root Stimulator to promote root growth and stimulate healthy growth.

Pansies are easy to grow for gardeners of any skill level, but failure to thrive is most often a lack of water and nutrients. Mulching around the pansies with 2 inches of organic material (i.e. compost, mulch, etc...) will help conserve moisture, and reduce weed growth. Water the soil (not the plant leaves) deeply. If there is a sudden cold snap, don't worry, most pansies have a high tolerance for cold and can be frozen quite solid without dying. though you may notice a purple cast show on the pansy leaves. This is a sign of stress, a result of cold temperatures that will be relived as soon as temperatures increase.  

Pests & Diseases
Pansies are hardy little plants and are relatively pest and disease resistant. A few common ailments that can affect them, though, are:

Powdery Mildew
White powdery patches on leaf and stem surfaces can be avoided by planting in a location that receives adequate air circulation. As a solution to an outbreak of Mildew, simply spray Neem Oil on the affected area. 

Root Rot
Root Rot can be identified by an excess of yellowing leaves usually starting at the base of the plant and working it's way upward and can be accompanied by dwarfed, stunted plant growth. Caused by too much moisture in the soil, the easiest solution is to provide measurably less water to the plants until you start to see improvement. Garden plants can take some time to recover when at the mercy of Mother Nature, but potted plants can be emptied of overly wet soil and refreshed with new, dryer material.   

The above diseases are best controlled by prevention. Check plants frequently during wet or humid weather as this is often when the first sign of disease appears. Avoid overhead watering which keeps leaves wet, providing an environment in which the diseases can flourish and spread.  

Small, round, sap-sucking insects that are visible on flower buds, but can be found on leaves as well. They are most often green, yellow, or black in color and once identified can be eradicated by using an Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil

Fungus Gnats
Tiny black, fly-like gnats that look very much like fruit flies. These gnats build their homes in moist soil and can be a good sign that the soil is too moist. Avoid watering until the soil has thoroughly dried or use an Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil as a solution