Winter Pansies 2017-10-07T11:57:32+00:00
vivid purple winter pansies

How to grow vibrant Winter Pansies

“My Personal Advice & Tips”

Wendy displaying winter pansies

Wendy Barton, Plant Centre Manager

“Pansies always make me smile on the darkest winter’s day!”

Winter-flowering pansies were developed by breeders in Britain with three considerations in mind: the capacity to flower in the short days of winter; tolerance of our wet, cold and windy weather; and the ability to stay compact and not flop over when the weather finally warms up.

In general, pansies produce large flowers, up to 7.5cm (3in) and come in a spectacular range of colour combinations and patterns. Growing and nurturing so many winter-flowering pansies over the years I have come to particularly love the white with the purple face, the yellow with a black face, the primrose and the dark blue pansies as they really sparkle on even the most overcast day. They just look happy to me!

Trailing Pansies are also becoming very popular today. The flowers tend to be smaller, but because they trail they make a great show in hanging baskets or tubs.


  • Pansies can be grown from seeds or purchased in trays as bedding plants. I would recommend the latter as they can be enjoyed immediately!

  • Pansies perform best when they are bedded out in borders or containers between September and mid October at the very latest. This will enable them to get their roots established before conditions become too cold, and also have some bright lovely flowers before Christmas!


1. Pick your spot – Winter pansies will thrive in any good soil and love sunshine!

2. Make sure you mix some compost or organic fertiliser into the soil when planting for best results.

3. Space the plants about 7 to 12 inches apart and they will spread about 9 to 12 inches and fill your garden beds nicely. However, if you space them 4 inches apart, you’ll have an instant block of colour in your garden, but you may need to buy more plants!

4. It is best to plant them where you look at them with the sun or light behind you to ensure their flowers will face you.

5. Pansies will need to be watered at least once a week, possibly twice if the weather is hot.


  • Pansies are relatively pest and disease free. If you see any infected or yellowing leaves, prune right away.

  • The one thing that helps pansies thrive is regular dead-heading. As soon as the flowers fade, nip them off with your kitchen scissors or thumb and forefinger.

  • Mix Pansies with autumn flowering bulbs for a longer display as the pansies will provide colour before your bulbs start to bloom.

  • Create instantly colourful containers and hanging baskets by choosing sturdy winter evergreen plants, or striking coloured foliage plants (like Ajuga, Sage or Thyme) and then match them with pansies in just the right shades. By using some winter Herb plants in your mix, you also get the lovely aromas!

We sell our Winter Pansies plus a range of other winter plants outside the Farm Shop from September.

If you need any extra advice, please ask our Plant Centre or Shop Staff.