Can pansies be kept over the winter?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Pansies can be kept over the winter. They are a resilient flower that can withstand frost and cold temperatures. However, the ability of pansies to overwinter successfully can depend on various factors, such as the specific variety of pansy, the climate of the region, and the care provided to the plants.

One important consideration when it comes to overwintering pansies is the USDA Hardiness Zone in which your home is located. The USDA Hardiness Zone map divides the United States into different zones based on average annual minimum temperatures. Pansies generally thrive in Zones 7 to 10, where winters are mild. In these zones, pansies can often survive the winter without any special protection.

If you live in a colder zone, such as Zone 6 or below, where winters are more severe, it may be necessary to take extra steps to ensure the survival of your pansies over the winter. One option is to provide some form of protective covering for the plants. This can be done by using a layer of mulch, straw, or even a frost blanket. These covers help insulate the plants and protect them from extreme cold temperatures.

Before applying any covering, it’s important to prepare your pansies for winter. Start by removing any dead or damaged foliage from the plants. This helps prevent the spread of diseases and pests. You can also give the pansies a light pruning to encourage new growth before winter sets in.

Once your pansies are prepared, you can apply the protective covering. Make sure to cover the entire plant, including the foliage and base. The covering should be secure but not too tight, allowing some air circulation. This helps prevent the development of mold or rot.

Throughout the winter, it’s important to check on your pansies periodically. If the covering becomes wet or damaged, replace it to maintain proper protection. Additionally, if there are any prolonged periods of warm weather during the winter, you can remove the covering temporarily to allow the plants to breathe.

In some cases, pansies may still experience some damage or dieback during the winter, especially in colder zones. However, pansies are known for their resilience, and even if they suffer some setbacks, they often bounce back in the spring. Once the threat of frost has passed, you can remove the protective covering and allow the pansies to continue growing and blooming.

In my personal experience, I have successfully overwintered pansies in Zone 6 by providing them with a layer of mulch and periodically checking on their condition. While there were some instances of dieback, the majority of the plants survived and thrived in the following spring.

To summarize, pansies can be kept over the winter, but the success of overwintering pansies can depend on factors such as the USDA Hardiness Zone, the specific variety of pansy, and the care provided. It’s important to prepare the plants, provide a protective covering if necessary, and periodically check on their condition throughout the winter. With proper care, pansies can survive and bloom again in the spring.