If ever there were a pretty little flower that could be considered a ‘tough cookie’ , it would be the pansy. Although these captivating little beauties may look delicate, they are one of the first flowers that can brave our spring gardens in cold New England. Believe it or not, pansies perform best in cool weather months, looking and blooming best in early spring, and then again in fall. It’s the heat of the summer that stretches their limits, literally. Warm weather temperatures cause pansies to stretch and become ‘leggy’ or tall. The solution to keeping them going in the summer is to plant them in part shade, cut them back when they get too tall, and plant summer loving annuals close by to take the spotlight off of them until they perk up again come fall.
So when can pansies be planted outside? What are the minimum temperatures they can tolerate? Good questions. It depends on who grew them. Pansies can tolerate low temperatures down to the mid twenties without flower or bud damage, as long as they’ve been acclimated. That means, they are already used to cold temperatures and haven’t gone straight from a hot greenhouse to outside. Our pansies our locally grown in cool greenhouses, making them ready to brave the chilly outdoors. So right NOW is the time to kick off the gardening season and plant pansies!