During the early spring season when the weather can change from the 70’s down to the unsafe 30’s, and even into the 20’s, the plants to grow are pansies. Pansies are the best blooming perennial/biennial plants because even snow will not affect these cool loving beauties. Heat is their enemy.
While pansies are truly considered a perennial, they are best grown as an annual, replanting them each spring and fall for best show. This is because they bloom great in the spring, then stop in the summer heat, but can restart blooming again in the fall if you trim them back during the summer months. I feel that they are simply in the way of something better during the summer months and I would remove them and wait until fall to plant new, fresh pansies. Plant them around the time when you are ready to plant your spring bulbs and be assured that they will continue to bloom up to and including part of December.
I also called the pansy a biennial because the ones that you plant in the fall will probably survive the winter and re-bloom for you again in the spring, along side your spring bulbs. But once this happens, they will “poop out” and really not ever give you much of a show again.
Just consider the pansy as a “seasonal” plant that really loves the cold weather and do not expect any good results during the hot summer months.
Pansies like to be planted in a sunny location however they will tolerate heavy shade. A shady spot can result in some stretching, especially during warming temperatures. The condition of the soil is not real important as they can grow in almost any spot, but adding a little composted manure could be helpful. Fertilizer is not real important to the pansy, in fact over fertilizing is a bad thing. And starting pansies from seed-to-flower is difficult and could take up to 15 weeks.
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