Taking Care of Pansies – My Grandmother Has Got a Method Which Has Been Used by Many Generations of Our Family!

    Taking Care of Pansies – My Grandmother Has Got a Method Which Has Been Used by Many Generations of Our Family!
    Greg

    6:12 PM EDT, March 20, 2022

    Pansies are definitely some of the most common spring plants. Their colorful flowers can be spotted almost everywhere - balconies, terraces and flower beds – until the end of May or even until the end of June. How to grow pansies to enjoy their wonderful flowers throughout the whole spring.

    Pansies – origins

    Pansies are a hybrid of three species of violet: tricolored violet, horned violet and Altai violet. So our pansies were created by a man.

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    Pansies – appearances and species

    There are hundreds of species of violet. Of course when we buy them we hardly ever pay attention to the names – it's flowers that attract our attention. They are not perennials so we can enjoy their beauty for a short time only.

    All the species bloom in the spring when we buy them. And this is their beauty that makes us choose a particular species.

    Pansies come in one, two or three colors. Apart from the traditional species with big flowers, the species with tiny ones are becoming more and more popular.

    Some of the species are fragrant, especially the blue ones.

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    Pansies – location

    Pansies prefer lower temperatures and that is why they bloom so wonderfully in early spring. They like the sun, like most blooming plants, but when it's too intensive the flowers may fade.

    Pansies are resistant to frost, but when we grow them in pots or crates, their roots can freeze at sudden temperature drops.

    Those growing in flower beds can be protected with non-woven fabric – this will protect them against the spring frost.

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    Pansies – cultivation

    Pansies grow well in universal soil medium. They need to be watered on regular basis. Just like all blooming plants (of course excluding succulents) it hates being both underwatered and overwatered. When they get too much water, their flowers and leaves fall. They also fade when your watering is too generous.

    If you keep the soil relatively dry, the plant won't overgrow. And while watering pansies make sure you don't spill it all over the plant.

    Removing the faded flowers and dry leaves is an option, yet it is not necessary.

    Pansies – blooming

    Some pansies begin to blossom as early as in February, so in March and April when they are available in stores , they are in full bloom. The blooming is very intensive, until the end of May and sometimes even the end of June. If you want your pansies to bloom longer, you need to fertilize them and clean regularly.

    From my own experience I can tell you that when the temperatures begin to rise dramatically, pansies finish blossoming and there is very little you can do about it.

    On the other hand, in the summer we replace them with other plants so it could be the case that when you get rid of your long-blooming pansies, it will be too late to buy their replacements as they will have been already sold out.

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    Pansies – propagation

    Pansies are biennials which are sowed. Those that we buy in March were sowed in the previous year and were grown in greenhouses. If you want to grow your own pansies, you need to sow them in the autumn. In the winter they should have access to the sun being kept in a cold place or outside in the ground. Only for the frostiest periods they have to be covered with leaves.

    If we don’t remove faded pansy flowers, there is a chance they will spread and next season we will have their seedling.

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    Pansies – my grandmother's method

    Pansies tolerate the cold very well, but when you buy them you never know when the greenhouse they used to be grown in was heated or not.

    Pansies do not need heating but it is possible that there were other plants with them that did.

    Of course it's easier when you buy them from a gardener who can advise you on what kind of environment the plants were grown in.

    That is why my grandmother, when she was no longer able to sow the plants herself, always 'hardened' the pansies that she bought.

    It is really worth doing to prevent their failure right after planting them in the garden or putting outside onto a balcony or a terrace.

    It's all about gradually accustoming the plant to the outside temperatures. For example by putting them out for the day and bringing them inside for the night first. Or you can first put them onto a balcony or a terrace (sheltered from the wind) before planting them in the garden.

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    As for the frost, which is rarer and rarer these days, my grandmother would never water pansies in the afternoon if the temperature was forecast to drop below zero at night.

    If the day temperatures were about 0 C (32 Fahrenheit), she would not water pansies at all. Water near the surface can freeze and that will kill your pansies for sure.

    My grandmother never overwatered pansies. She was inclined to 'keep them dry', but using standard soil, not peat.

    Properties of pansies used by my grandmother

    Pansies have some healing properties – our grandmothers would use them to make infusions to look after their skin.

    They also help in case of inflammation, fever and cough.

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    Pansy flowers are edible, so you can use them to decorate some dishes. Of course as long as you don't use any chemicals for cultivations.

    Cut pansy flowers could also be used to make wonderful small bouquets.

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