When to Plant Pansies Outside? (Best Time)

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant pansies outside

Pansies are very easy to grow, an attribute that no doubt contributes to their popularity. In fact, these flowers can blossom during winter, a time when most plants struggle to survive.

That said, you can’t just grow pansies anytime you want, considering their mediocre heat tolerance. So when to plant pansies outside? You should do this task during fall or late summer, though spring is also possible. Read below for more details.

Best Time to Plant Pansies Outside


1. In the fall or late summer, when the soil is 45 to 70℉

Fall or late summer is the best season for growing pansies outside, especially if you live in the south. Here, they may bloom throughout winter, as long as you start the seedlings at the right time.

Now, you may ask, “What about Northern locations?” Gardeners in these areas can also plant fall pansies to brighten up their homes in autumn and spring, but winter flowering is impossible in this case.

Blossom periods aside, here are the things to keep in mind for successful fall gardening:

  • Put pansies outside when the soil is 45 to 70℉. Note that lower temperatures will keep them from blooming.
  • Place pansy seedlings in garden beds at least six weeks before your first frost. Otherwise, the plants won’t have enough time to develop and survive winter.
  • For instance, because Dallas in Texas has its first frost on November 20, people here should set pansies outside on October 9.
  • Meanwhile, the growing season for these flowers starts in August in Minnesota, where icy weather often begins in September or November.
  • Pansies will thrive under full sun or shade (provided the shade is only partial). Regardless of where you put them, the flowers should receive six hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • People living in the south can just insert seeds directly into the garden bed. However, northern gardeners will need to implement the winter sowing or milk jug technique.

Also, if you live in Michigan, so the fall is ideal to plant some great plants, click to learn more about the best time, suitable temperature and other factors when you plant tomatoes, potatoes and even grass seeds.

For more details on this method, watch this video:

2. In spring, when the soil is workable

If you want to plant spring pansies outside, you’ll have to wait until the soil is workable. Ideally, direct seeding outdoors should happen only when frost has passed and the ground has reached the temperature range we mentioned above.

This is why I recommend planting pansies indoors if you start them from seeds. In fact, going down this route allows you to garden much earlier (in late winter, around eight to ten weeks before the last frost).

For example:

  • Worcester in Massachusetts has its last frost on April 29. If you’re determined to start your pansies garden outside, you should wait until April 30.
  • On the other hand, if you sow seeds or pot transplants indoors on March 4 or February 18, you’ll have a mature plant much earlier.

When Can I Plant Pansies in Spring?

Look up the last frost date where you live and use the above guideline to determine your planting date.

That said, if you find it difficult to follow the recommendations above, another possibility you can consider is putting pansies outside a month before the last frost.

For example, residents of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania can move these flowers outdoors on March 27, a month before the region’s final frost (April 27).

Why Plant Pansies?


Here are some reasons you may want to grow pansies in your garden:

  • Pansies taste nice in salads, sandwiches, and cakes.
  • They pair well with other flowers like primrose and alyssum.
  • They can grow in pots, garden beds, and planter boxes.
  • They are inexpensive and can brighten up your yard throughout winter. For example, pansies will survive frosty weather in Michigan and Georgia without trouble.

How Long Does It Take for Pansies to Bloom From Seed?

Seeds will take one to three weeks to germinate. If the temperature is suitable (specifically, 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit), sprouting will take place within ten to fourteen days.

Are Pansies Annual or Perennial?


Pansies are actually perennials, but most gardeners treat them like annuals. The reason is these flowers tend to die out when summer comes, whether people grow them in spring or fall.

Before planting summer pansies, it’s vital to note that hardiness zones 8 to 11 are too hot for these flowers. Therefore, if you live somewhere like Wilmington in NC or Norfolk in Virginia, your pansies likely won’t survive summer.

On the other hand, hot weather in zone 1 through 7 is still tolerable to these plants. For example, residents of Tillman in Oklahoma, which is in zone 7, can grow heat-resistant pansy varieties in May or June.

How to Care for Pansies in Pots?

  • Make sure your pots have drainage holes.
  • Orient the containers towards the south in spring or fall, and move them to an eastern location in summer.
  • Put one seed in one pot only, and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Keep the seedlings under partial shade until they have two sets of leaves. At this stage, plants should be six to twelve inches apart and fertilized once a week.


Knowing when to plant pansies outside is essential to protect them against adverse weather.

To summarize, you should keep in mind the soil temperature and frost dates where you live, whether you grow pansies in spring or fall.

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