Pansies make for a stunning addition to your flower bed ideas and are also one of the best fall flowers for pots. However, when learning how to grow pansies, it is also important to know when to plant pansies to improve your chances of success.  The time you sow your pansy seeds will also depend on when they flower – always check the packet of the seeds you are hoping to sow for guidance. ‘These dainty little perennials are usually grown as annuals and are handy to provide color when other plants aren’t flowering. Use as underplanting in containers or mixed with bulbs, in sun to part shade and water regularly,’ says H&G’s garden expert Leigh Clapp. ‘If buying plug plants or establish pansy plants at the nursery select ones with buds rather than open flowers for the best chance of success.’

How to grow pansies from seed – step-by-step

Pansies are a garden favorite. Highly versatile they are  one of the best plants for hanging baskets as well as adding color and character to your container gardening ideas. Learning how to grow pansies from seed is surprisingly easy though will take longer than buying established plug plants. With the right care and attention, pansy seeds will germinate within two to three weeks and then be ready to plant out into the garden once the frosts have passed – some hardier varieties may be able to be planted out before this, so check the details of your specific variety. 

How to grow pansies from plugs – step-by-step

Growing pansies from plugs is the most common approach when learning how to grow pansies as it is a lot easier than growing from seed. Purchasing plugs will, however, be more expensive than raising your own seeds.  Gardening expert Charlotte Bailey talks us through the basics:

How to transplant pansy seeds outside

‘To transplant outdoors, re-pot them into a larger container with nutrient rich, well-draining soil, making sure to check the seed packet for the ideal spacing for your specific cultivar. Most recommend between 6-8 inches of space between each seedling,’ advises Charlotte.

What is the best month to plant pansies?

‘February is the best month to plant pansies from seed,’ says Lindsey Hyland, founder of UrbanOrganic Yield (opens in new tab). However, these need to be grown undercover, they can be planted out once the first frost has past. Always harden off your seedlings first before exposing them to the cold winter nights.  There are some varieties that can be sowed both earlier and later so check your individual seed packet for more specific guidance.

Do pansies like sunshine or shade?

Pansies like sunshine but can also thrive in shade. ‘Pansies can handle four to six hours of direct sun (also known as full sun) per day, but if you want to keep their dazzling colors shining bright and blooming for longer, growing them in a location that receives 6-8 hours of partial shade is best,’ recommends Charlotte Bailey.

Do pansies grow back every year?

‘Yes, pansies do grow back every year. They are perennial flowers, which means they come back year after year. The best way to ensure they come back is by planting them in the ground in the fall. You can also plant them in pots and bring them inside during the winter, but they may not flower as abundantly if they’re not in the ground,’ explains Lindsey.