How to grow pansies

Quick Reference:

Type of Harvest: Single harvest

Transplant/Direct Sow: Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant: Start seeds indoors 8 weeks before the average last frost date for spring, and 6-8 weeks before the average first frost date for a fall garden.

Days to Germinate: 10-14 days

Days to Maturity: 70-90 days

Planting Depth: ½ ” deep

Germination Temp: 40°F

Seed Spacing: Plant 3” apart. Thin to 12-20” apart.

Row Spacing: 2' apart

Light: Full sun

Soil pH: 6.0-7.0 pH

Water: 1- 1 ½” of water per week

Soil Temperature: Minimum 40°F. These are cool weather loving plants.

Fertilizer: 5-10-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation: Not needed for the pansy plants. Pansy plants are hard to start from seed. So once they are established do not move them.

Planting and Care:

Harvest Type

Pansy's are a continuous harvest and healthy plants will bloom for about eight months.

Transplant / Direct Sow

Direct sow pansy seeds in the late summer. You can start seeds indoors in mid-August for hotter climates and in July for milder climates. Pansy's will handle cold weather, even snow. They will fade in the hotter parts of summer.


Full Sun - part shade - afternoon shade in hotter climates.

When to Plant:

Start seeds in darkness when temperatures are around 70°F. Move seedlings to a shady window for a few days and then into the sun. If direct sowing outdoors, cover the seeded area with a thin layer of cardboard, which you will remove for watering.

Days to germinate

It takes most pansy seeds 10-20 days to sprout.

Days to maturity

It takes about 12 weeks for Pansies to reach maturity and bloom regularly.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1/6" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Germination is best when the soil is 45°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant seeds by broadcasting them and then covering them with a light layer of soil. " Thin to 2 inches when plants have their third set of leaves. Pansy plants are short and narrow. You can let them crowd each other as needed.

TIP: Pansy plants are one of the few flowering plants that will bloom in the winter. They are a lovely way to attract winter bees to your garden.

Companion Plants

Pansy plants make lovely companion plants for brassica plants, such as mustard, kale, kohlrabi, peas, chard, onions, and carrots. Plant them in small spaces on the edge of rows as filler and to attract pollinators.

Growing conditions

Pansy seeds need darkness to germinate. You need to cover them with cardboard or black plastic to keep the light off of them. They grow in rich soil that is well-draining. Keep the temperature between 45°F and 60°F.

Tip: Pansy plants are excellent for the edge of beds and they will bloom throughout the winter. During cold weather they will stop blooming and bounce back with new buds quickly.


It is not necessary to rotate pansy plants. Give them some liquid fertilizer now and then, and they will remain happy.

Anticipated yields

Pansy plants will produce a few blooms at a time and will continue to bloom from September through early summer. For visual impacts 20-30 plants will happily coexist in 2'x2 space.

Family Sown collections with pansy seeds: