PANSIES IN HANGING BASKETS
Pansies are great in hanging baskets and planters especially for
early Spring plantings and Fall Plantings they are best treated for
most of us as an annual, however some lucky gardeners can over-winter
Pansies are easy and fun to grow from seed.
One of our all time favorite spring flowers are Pansies. With their
bright faces and great range of colors they are ideal for Spring or
Fall hanging baskets.
Pansies are classified as half-hardy annuals. This means that they
will survive very cool temperatures without being killed. They can be
set out in early Spring or Fall and they will reward you with more and
more blooms as the days begin to lengthen or shorten if your heading
A gift of pansies is supposed to mean "you occupy my thoughts" since
pansy, comes from the French pensee -- meaning a thought, and heart's
ease. Fable has it that the pansy was originally white but was colored
purple by Cupid.
Giving a hanging basket of pansies is a great gift idea.
Planting A Hanging Basket of Pansies
Select your hanging basket click here for some options.
When selecting your hanging basket or planter you need to consider if
you wish just to top plant your hanging basket or as we like to do
side-plant your hanging basket - which achieves hanging basket spheres
or balls of color. For more on side-planting click here.
Pansies like slightly acid soil and a well-drained location so hanging
baskets and planters are ideally suited to them.
The best way to start with pansies is to buy started plants from a
local nursery. These plants have become so popular recently that they
are available in fall and spring. For fall planting be sure to select
varieties that are the most hardy and able to withstand colder
When you go to the nursery for plant, expect to see many in full
bloom. You can buy these plants but be aware that they may be already
past their prime and may be leggy and/or root-bound. If you can select
those plants that are smaller and do not have buds.
Tip: : If your planting a Spring hanging basket and your plants have
come straight from a warm nursery or greenhouse let them sit somewhere
sheltered for the first week or so so the plants cans adapt to the
Remove each young plant from its pot or cell and gently tease the
root ball apart, being careful to keep it all in one piece. Breaking the
young roots encourages them to branch out and grow into the surrounding
soil. Otherwise they might stay in a tight clump and never grow
Place the young plants about 8 inches apart at the same level that
they were growing in their pots and firm the soil around them. Within a
week or so, the plants will start blooming.
Caring for your Hanging Baskets of Pansies
Pansies are pretty much easy care.
Too much cold and wet from over watering and/or too much rain can
sometimes freeze the plants killing them so we recommend watering your
baskets in the morning.
Remember to dead-head your plants so that they will not waste energy
setting seed. Pansies will take light frosts and keep on blooming but
when an extra heavy frost or cold snap is expected cover your baskets
with a towel, some frost cloth or one of the new hanging basket frost
covers see below.
Pansies can actually freeze solid, then thaw out when the sunlight
hits them, and continue to bloom but the only issue when this happens
is that they will likely loose all there flower buds for a while. If
this happens to you dont despair for yes they will recover and after a
week or two and start producing buds again.
Fertilize pansies regularly all season long. Fertilize at planting
and throughout the Spring and into Summer or if your planting a fall
basket keep feeding every two weeks or so.
Pansies love blood meal or blood and bone but any flowering plant
fertilizer will work well too.
Some Special Varieties of Pansies
If you need more cold hardiness, look for the Majestic series of
pansies, the Maxima series, the Bingo series, and Purple Rain. The
Maxima series will also tolerate more summer heat, making it a useful
plant indeed for zone 7 gardeners. Purple Rain pansy has a spreading
habit and tends to bloom two weeks earlier than other types. It is dark
purple with a small yellow eye.
The Maxima pansies are the blotched type and come in a full range of
colors. Majestic Giants are a series of pansies with very large blooms.
They come in blotched faces and solid colors. Both the Maxima and
Majestic series are available in mixed colors and single colors but you
may have to search for the single-color flats.
For clear solid colors with very either tiny eyes or none at all,
look for the Clear Crystal series. Crystal Yellow, Crystal White,
Crystal Orange, and Crystal Blue are very lovely and can be bought in
single-color flats or mixtures.
Look for Romeo and Juliet if you want soft romantic pastels in shades
of yellow, pink, mauve, blue, white, and rose. Sterling Silver is a
lovely soft pink with a darker center and small yellow eye. Jolly Joker
is half bright orange and half purple. The Impressions series comes in
rose and blue and the flowers have darker blotches or faces.
Some unique types of pansies include the Imperial Antiques which give
soft, blended colors. Each flower changes subtly from opening to
maturity. Another interesting series is the Joker series. One
interesting combination is Jolly Joker F2 Hybrid, it combines an intense
orange lower petals with a deep purple (almost brown) upper petals. The
Joker Light Blue has an outstanding flower with a light purple outer
color with a white band leading to a dark purple blotch.
Whichever varieties and colors you end up with you can be sure of
having hanging baskets of planters full of cheerful and colorful blooms.
Pansy Flowers Are Edible Too!
Pansies are not only a wonderful hanging basket plant, but they are
also edible as well. They are used in salads, and are crystallized and
used as decoration on cakes. If you decide to nibble on your pansies,
make sure that they have not been sprayed with any pesticides before
Did you know that pansies also last quite well as a cut flower, in a
small nosegay or bouquet for indoors.