The pansy is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. Many people refer to it as the flower with a face, simply because of the unique blend of two contrasting colors.
Commonly grown in areas with slightly cool weather, the pansy is a fantastic choice not just for the spring, but it also does well in fall gardens. But, you should know that proper care is necessary if you want to grow your pansies in the right way.
The pansy has a heart-shaped appearance, and the overlapping petals really make the flowers look gorgeous. Not only that, but the pansy is also available in a wide range of patterns and colors.
It can be grown in containers, or you can place it around the borders in your garden. Many people also like to use the pansy as ground cover. It’s actually a big favorite among gardeners who want a splash of color throughout the year.
However, you should know that your plants need a considerable amount of care. For instance, if you do not prune the pansies properly, they will start looking leggy by the middle of July.
A tired or leggy plant is never a good option, so instead of harming the plant or directly killing the leggy pansies, you should know that there are many ways to ensure that the plant is able to thrive again.
Here are some simple techniques that you can use to keep the pansies from getting leggy.
Deadheading Is Important
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you regularly get rid of the spent pansy flowers. The only way to do that is by deadheading the plant.
For those who don’t know, deadheading is the process by which you remove the spent flowers from the plant. These flowers fall to the ground and go to seed.
If you are growing the plants already in a pot, there’s no point in overcrowding the soil. Furthermore, you also need to get rid of the dying flowers, as they only consume more energy and prevent the plant from blooming again.
Deadheading has a lot of benefits, and it has long been talked about as one of the most effective ways to improve plant growth and to make sure that your pansies remain fresh and healthy.
Deadheading will allow the pansy to channel its energy into seed production and also result in another flush of blooms, instead of simply focusing on the dying ones.
Removing the Spent Flowers
If you have a pansy bed or lots of pots in which you grow the plant, you need to go through the pansy beds on a regular basis. Ideally, during the flowering season, you need to check the bed at least once a week.
Any flowers that you think are about to die should be pinched off and removed. Remember to remove not just the flower head, but also the top part of the stalk as well.
If you are going to use a cutter, make sure you apply the cut right where the flower stalk connects with the first leaf growth. If you want, you can also use your fingernails to pinch the flowers right off.
When you do remove the flowers, you might want to carefully check for aphids as well. They might exist under the leaves. If you see any aphids growing under the leaves, you can use a bit of soapy water to remove them.
Also, you have to carefully check for the presence of slugs as well.
How to Figure Out the Best Time to Trim
An important thing that you should know about pansies is that they are not big plants. In most cases, they are able to attain a height of up to seven inches, and they usually exist in a mounded shape.
When they are about to reach the end of their growing season, you should know that the plant gets all spindly and leggy. It also becomes slightly taller. This is why gardeners call it “leggy.”
Overgrown pansies are going to fall over, so it’s important that you trim them properly. To rejuvenate the plant and make sure that it is able to stand up on its own, you have to be careful with the clippers.
First of all, get a small set of clippers that is suitable for use with delicate flowers like the pansies. Then, you need to gently make sure that you remove the excess trimmings.
Rejuvenate the Plant
Ideally, you need to cut back the pansies by at least three to four inches. More importantly, when making the cuts, you should ensure that you always apply it just above the leaf set on the stalk.
You have to make use of a set of smaller clippers to remove the delicate stems. Once you have cut the pansies, just apply a small amount of fertilizer (not more than a teaspoon), for each square foot of the garden bed.
Then, sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil at the base of the plant. You have to be very careful when sprinkling the fertilizer so as not to get it on the leaves, as that could cause the plant to burn.
Ideally, a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer that consists of granules is a wise idea. Then, to activate the fertilizer in the soil, just water the plant thoroughly. This is going to ensure that the fertilizer starts working its magic.
Pansies might be small, but the amount of care that they require is not little. You need to regularly inspect the pansies and make sure that you prune the ones that are dying.
It doesn’t require a lot of effort, but you also have to check for pest infestations or insects roaming about the plant. They could also cause serious damage to your pansies, so it’s important that you take appropriate steps to prevent your plant from dying.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.