Pansies are lovely flowers for your winter garden. But you might be asking, “Can pansies survive the frost?” You want to be sure that your efforts in planting them won’t go to waste. Planting flowers in fall that will just die in winter is a waste of time, money, and efforts.
You can proceed in planting those pansies. Here’s why:
With the proper care and preparation, your beautiful pansies can survive frost. They are particularly robust in Zones 4-8. Pansies can endure light frosts and even prolonged snow coverage. In Zones 9-11 where the climate is warmer, the pansies can have flowers during the winter.
Don’t worry if the leaves of your pansies wilt and change its color to gray-green. This is the plant’s defense mechanism when the air temperature drops below 25° F. It will bounce back to its vitality once the temperature increases.
The timing of planting your pansies is critical for its survival in winter. Soil temperature must not be too hot or too cold. The ideal soil temperature is between 45° F and 65° F.
Pansies that are planted when temperatures drop below 45° F usually become stunted with pale leaves and fewer flowers. This is because the immature root system is strained by the cold so it doesn’t absorb nutrients properly. Meanwhile, pansies planted when temperatures are still warm will appear yellow. They also flower poorly and are more prone to pests and frost damage.
If you live in Zones 4-8, it is best to do protective measures to ensure that the pansies survive the freezing temperature. You can do this by shielding the plants with dry winter mulch. Apply 2-4 inches thick of pine straw over your garden bed. The mulch aids in trapping the heat in the soil and minimizes its exposure to cold wind. Gently remove the pine straw after wintertime. You may also use special frost protection blanket to cover your plants.
It is also important to choose healthy seedlings. Healthy plants rapidly grow the root system which is vital for winter survival.
Good drainage is another measure to consider. Saturated soil compromises their ability to thrive in cold season, so make sure that they are planted in a well-drained area.
As a rule of thumb, pansies with medium-size flowers are more favorable in winter compared to varieties with larger flowers. Here are known varieties that overwinter well:
Pansies can survive frost. They overwinter then flourish when spring comes in cooler regions. While in warmer regions, they continue to grow and flower during the wintertime. If you live in cooler regions, it is best to shield your pansies from the storm. With the right pansy management, you’ll welcome spring time with a lush and colorful garden.
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