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6+ planting tips for pansies that you should follow

When gardeners think about a cool-weather annual, the pansy is likely to be the first thing that comes to mind. With their heart-shaped and overlapping petals, they are one of the most recognizable flowers in the landscape. They look great in containers, used as ground cover, or as a colorful border.
Some of the most popular varieties include:
• Joker Series: Orange and deep purple flowers
• Princess Series: Cream to blue petals with a yellow center
• Bingo Series: Larger flowers in a variety of colors from pale blue to
burgundy
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Follow these simple suggestions for growing these eye-catching plants, and you’ll be enjoying them (with the exception of hot summers) for most of the year.
1. Start them from seeds
You can plant your seeds directly into the garden soil, or start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before you intend to transplant them. Plant your seeds in late winter for spring and early summer flowering or in late summer for winter flowering.
2. Prepare the soil
Pansies like moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Mix decomposed leaves, compost, or composted manure into the soil to condition it. Use coarse sand in clay soil to improve drainage or peat moss to help retain moisture.
3. Plant them in sunlight
Pansies like it in the sun, but they much prefer cooler temperatures. Over the years, pansies have been bred to withstand cold temperatures. There has been little luck, however, in producing a heat-tolerant variety.
4. Give them room to grow
Since they can spread 9 to 12 inches, space them about 12 inches apart. Mature plants are anywhere from 6 to 9 inches tall. Keep removing dead or faded flowers (deadheading) to draw out the blooming season and promote more growth of flowers.
5. Make sure they have food and water
Water your pansies regularly to keep them healthy. They can die if they don't get enough water, so if they start looking sickly, give them a good watering. You can also help them grow by using a general, all-purpose fertilizer at fall planting and every four to five weeks in spring.
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6. Be on the lookout for pests and disease
Luckily, pests are not a big problem for pansies, but you might have to control the occasional snail or slug. Leaf mildew is a common disease that is usually avoided, along with most pests, by ensuring the plants get enough sun, fertile soil. and good drainage.
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