Pansies are the most popular winter flowering seedling amongst our local gardeners. Along with their little relatives, known as violas, they constitute the bulk of flowers gracing the winter and spring displays. They are easy to grow and most rewarding once temperatures dip with the onset of winter.

The key to success is to be patient and only start planting them out once the weather is cool enough. Early pansies and violas are prone to root rot disease if temperatures and humidity levels are too high.

This season, there is a huge range of Pansy Matrix hybrids and masses of different Viola Sorbet varieties. There are colours to suite every taste from white to dark purples. Some have clear faces, whilst others have intricate patterns on each flower. The little violas are more heat tolerant than their larger pansy relatives and last longer into the heat of spring and summer. Nothing beats these charming little plants for adding colour to the dreary winter garden.

Growing hints:

  • Full sun or dappled shade
  • Well drained rich loamy soil
  • Water regularly
  • Feed every 10 days with water soluble plant food (3:1:6 formula is best)
  • Check for aphid infestation
  • Dead head spent flowers
  • Cold and frost hardy

Garden uses:

  • Mass planting and bedding
  • Pots and containers including hanging baskets
  • Individual small pots for table decor
  • Herb and vegetable gardens (flowers are edible)
  • Violas are good in alpine sink gardens