I dare you: As winter turns to spring, look at a display of bright, bold pansies … and try not to smile. These cheerful flowers are all about making us feel better as cold weather moves out and balmier days move in. So let’s take them up on it!
Now is the time to plant these tough little charmers. Tagawa Gardens has thousands on display, with more coming in every week. You may find that it’s tough to choose which ones need to go home with you. But whichever color and type you pick out, you can’t go wrong.
Pansies are a lot tougher than they look, even in unpredictable Colorado.
Calling someone who seems a bit delicate a “pansy” should actually be a compliment. Pansies will easily survive a light freeze. In Colorado, our transition from winter to early spring can bring rain or snow or both and back-to-back days that are bitter cold or shirt-sleeve warm. The pansies can take it all in stride.
Pansies love our mile-high sunshine, but are happy with a bit of light shade, too. Morning sun is ideal. For spring-planting, Tagawa Gardens recommends that your pansies go into your garden where they’ll get a little bit of protection from the strongest afternoon sun. That way, when summer arrives, your pansies will last a bit longer.
Some compost mixed into the planting holes is definitely a bonus for your pansies. Well-drained soil is a must.
Snow on the ground? You can “hold” your pansies after purchase before you plant them
There may be snow on the ground now, but that’s no reason not to go out and buy your pansies. Pansies need to slowly adjust. Acclimate (hardening off) to outdoor conditions so when you get them home, set them outside in a protected spot, unless their already hardening off. Protected means no full sun or wind, outside, not inside. After a few days outside of hardening off, clear some snow and get them into the ground. At this point, cut off any blooms to help the roots get the bulk of the energy
Pansies can be the stars of your garden in pots or in beds.
Pansies aren’t vining plants as such, but they will spill gracefully over a pot or window box. Just remember that pansies grown in above-ground containers probably won’t perform quite as long as pansies growing in beds, where their roots are a bit more protected.
Fall-planted pansies in beds will routinely survive our Colorado cold and snow and be popping up again as the fall-planted bulbs are making their late-winter debut. But keep in mind when you plant that pansies don’t like being buried under deep snow for days and weeks at a time. It’s a good idea to put snow removed from driveways and sidewalks someplace away from your pansy beds.
A little food…. a little trimming, and your smiling pansies will reward you!
Tagawa Gardens can help you care for your pansies and recommends that you fertilize your pansies regularly with a plant food formulated to encourage blossoms. Age Old® Organics “Bloom” or Nature’s Source® is what we like, or your favorite “bloom booster” fertilizer would be a great choice.
Keep the flowers trimmed as they begin to fade. And then just relax and see if you don’t find yourself smiling back as the happy-faced little plants perform.