When to plant winter pansies – the secret to growing perfect pansies all year round

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Sprucing up your garden with winter pansies is a common gardening task for many Brits, with the colourful petals and rich green foliage a hit in many gardens across the country. With autumn in full swing as we edge further in October, the time to plant winter blooms has arrived – and these are the key dates you should know to secure a long-lasting flush of pansies in your garden.

When to plant winter pansies

The warmth of the soil in September and early October makes for the perfect planting conditions for winter flowers.

Early autumn sunshine works wonders for your plants in establishing growth, but as we Brits know all too well – it doesn’t last long.

From mid-October onwards your pansies have less of a fighting chance when it comes to strong growth, compromising your winter blooms.

With the prime time to plant long gone, October and November can be a little late for your winter pansies to flourish through the Spring – but with this early planting trick, you can keep them in bloom right through the seasons.

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Start planting ‘reserves’ in September…

With the prolonged seasons bringing late summer sunshine and early summer rainfall, planting times are changing.

To rescue your garden from the bleakness of winter, start filling your empty hanging baskets and pots with winter flowering pansies in September.

When your summer baskets and pots fade later on in October and November, you can quickly replace them with well-established pansies to fill your garden.

Nurture your pansies in a sunny spot to soak up every drop of the late summer and early autumn sunshine.

Why you should plant reserves

Winter pansies planted in borders, pots or baskets in September will grow quickly and produce vigorous roots and voluminous tops.

The bushier the tops of your pansies grow, the more flowers they will produce.

By reserving your pansy supply, these bright blooms will flourish right through the winter and into Spring.

Pansies planted later in October or November will cease to grow these idyllic bushy heads.

The cold soil and absence of sunlight will prevent winter pansies from growing strong roots
Which will fail to flower until late in the Spring.

Key dates

Planting your winter pansies at the right time of year will secure a steady flush of the yellows, purples, oranges and pinks of these cold-season flowers.

To keep pansies blooming through the year, plant them:

  • In September for early winter flowers
  • In October if September is unusually hot to avoid seed-setting
  • In October for late-winter/ early spring blooms if the weather has been mild
  • In November for a strong Spring display

How to plant winter pansies

If you’re planting in stone, ceramic or wooden pots, buy six packs of pansies as early in September as possible.

Re-pot them as soon as you have them using multipurpose compost.

Plant them into 13cm flower pots and leave in a warm sunny spot to establish strong growth.

Replace your faded summer pots with your larger, established pansies when your garden begins to look bare in autumn.

To add impact to your pansies why not try…

  • Adding spring-flowering bulbs below the roots of the pansies before planting them
  • Planting foliage-heavy plants around the borders of pansy pots for contrast
  • Combine plants to create bold colours and use lighter colours to pack a punch in the darkness of autumn and winter
  • Planting more pansies, closer together

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