Caring for and planting pansies

The pansy is a cultivated plant that arose from numerous crossings of various European violets. Above all, the variety of colors and flower size make the classic a favorite in spring on the bed, balcony and in containers. Viola wittrockiana works best planted in groups or in combination with tulips, hyacinths or daffodils. Without much care, the heralds of spring quickly take effect and the two-year-olds withstand even a light frostdesignated species. This means that when sown in the first year, vegetative growth will take place and in the second year the flowers will appear. Choose from a variety of interesting varieties and color combinations.

Botanical name: Viola wittrockiana
Other names: Pansies, Pensée, violets, garden pansies
Use: borders, window boxes, pots, cemetery plantings, bowls, traffic light plants
Origin: worldwide
Flower colours: white, yellow, orange, red-brown, blue, violet, two-tone, with eye, partly with wavy petals
Flowering period: autumn, March to May
Special features:The garden pansy is similar to the field pansy (Viola arvensis), but has significantly larger flowers and more intense colors. The classics are hardy, similar to horned violets, winter protection with brushwood is recommended. In spring, the plants bloom tirelessly for many weeks.

In which location does the pansy feel most comfortable?

With these classics, colorful effects can be achieved in the garden and on the balcony from March. In climatically favorable regions, planting sometimes takes place in autumn. The advantage of autumn planting is that the violets are well rooted in the soil, grow bushy and bloom more profusely in spring. A partially shaded location with nutrient-rich soil and a pH of 6.5 is ideal. Since Viola do not tolerate waterlogging, good drainage is also important.

Our gardening tip: Viola quickly create a mood in baskets, bowls or boxes with little effort and at low cost.

How do I plant my viola?

Viola wittrockiana can be planted in borders, bowls or in the cemetery in autumn or spring. Make sure that the site is well loosened and free of weeds before planting. You should improve heavy soils with a little sand, as standing water is not ideal. Water the violets thoroughly before planting. The planting hole should be 10 to 15 cm deep and correspondingly wide. When planting, first put potting soil in the planting hole and then the potted pansies. Fill the gap with a mixture of potting soil and excavationand make sure that the edge of the pot is level with the ground. Finally, press the root ball well with your hands and water the new planting. In autumn you should plant in good time before the first frost so that rooting takes place before winter. Basically, the violets only grow and develop well by repotting. If the violets are left in the culture pot, bushy growth and the formation of many flowers cannot take place.

With pots, balcony boxes or bowls, it is important that you first fill in a layer of expanded clay as drainage. Garden pansies can be combined with other species or planted as a single variety.

Tip: The biennial plants look best when planted flat. A distance of 10 x 10 cm to the next specimen is optimal. Viola are often planted in the cemetery as seasonal plants to complement ground cover. Here you can plant more densely.

How do I properly care for my viola?

Viola wittrockiana are low-maintenance flowers. After planting, it is important to ensure an even water supply without waterlogging. Trimming wilted buds will result in a longer bloom time as no energy is put into forming seeds. If you leave the withered flowers standing, seeds may form. The resulting seed can be used for propagation. Depending on the variety, however, the young plants may differ in color because the mother plant is the result of a cross. Propagate in good conditionsthe flowers themselves and next year you will find small plants in a different place. After flowering, the biennial species usually turn yellow and die. Further culture is very rarely successful. Viola are hardy, if you planted them in autumn, winter protection with brushwood can help to prevent severe freezing.

How do I water and fertilize my pansies?

The popular spring flowers are quite undemanding after planting in nutrient-rich soil. It is therefore important to use high-quality potting soil when planting in containers. Furthermore, it should never dry out or become waterlogged. If the plants are too dry, the leaves will turn yellow and the number of flowers will be reduced. How often you water depends on the size of the plants, the temperature and the amount of sunlight. This means that additional watering is required during phases without precipitation, especially on sandy soils. Violas in boxes and pots need a little more attention and care.

Fertilization depends on the soil quality; fertilization is not absolutely necessary on humus-rich locations. With light sandy soils you should enrich with organic garden fertilizer. Viola wittrockiana in containers can be supplied with liquid fertilizer at intervals of 2 to 3 weeks from April.

How do I overwinter my pansies correctly?

The genus Viola is very hardy, tolerates frost and can remain in the garden all year round. Some brushwood can be placed on the plants to protect the flowers and leaves. If there is late snowfall in spring, plantings that are already flowering in the garden should be covered with brushwood to protect the first flowers.

What types of viola are there?

In addition to the pansy, the small-flowered horned violets (Viola cornuta) are well known. This miniature variety has several small flowers and is shorter in stature than the garden pansy. Horned violets are often offered as a mix with different colors in one pot. The demands on the soil and care are identical for both species.

Known as sweet violet, Viola odorata is a perennial herb. In partial shade, it delights year after year with a large number of violet flowers and a fine fragrance.

Planting and caring for horned violets — Plants AZ

Pansies and horned violets are closely related and very similar, but not identical. You can find tips on caring for, planting and overwintering horned violets here.

For planting AZ

diseases and pests

Pansies are robust plants and, if cared for properly, are not very susceptible to diseases and pests. A possible problem can be:

gray mold

In unfavorable weather or weakened plants, gray mold (Botrytis) can occur. The plants have a grayish-brown mycelium. Moisture encourages infestation, so keep plants drier if possible. In the event of a massive infestation, cut back the affected plants, dispose of the affected parts of the plant with household waste and treat the plant with bio-active agents.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Which plants are suitable for the combination?

All spring plants such as primroses, forget-me-nots, Bellis, tulips or daffodils and grasses, ivy, box, small conifers and structural plants are ideal for combining.

How can Viola wittrockiana be propagated?

The most common method of propagation for all Violaceae is sowing. From May you can sow the seeds directly into the bed. Or you cultivate in preculture in seed boxes on the balcony or terrace. The germination temperature should be between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. If it is too cold or too hot, it can inhibit germination. Make sure the seed is sunny and kept evenly moist.

How hardy are pansies?

Planted in the garden, the classics are very tolerant of low temperatures. In climatically unfavorable regions it is better to resort to flowering plants in March, thus reducing the risk. Horned violets and pansies do not like damp conditions in particular.

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