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How to Grow Pansies from Seed

Written by Mindy on May 1st, 2014

Believe it or not, pansies are easy to start from seed.  This plant propagation method can be done twice a year, which depends on when you want your pansies to bloom.  If you want your pansies to bloom in the spring, you will need to seed your pansies in the autumn.  On the other hand, if you want summer blooms, then you will need to sow your seeds in March.  If you choose this later approach, your pansies will be cared for as if they were another summer annual.

Pansies can be started inside and out.  While both directions will be given, keep in mind that one has more control over the environment if the seeds are started indoors.

Indoor Seed Propagation

To start your seeds indoors, you will first need to clean your container.  This can be a flat or shallow pot, which has been scrubbed, soaked in bleach water, rinsed and dried in the sun.  Next, you will need to gather your “soil.”  You can use a soil-less mix that contains a lot of perlite or you can create your own.   To make your own soil, combine equal parts of sand, organic matter, and garden loam.  Once the materials are gathered, mix and sift the soil.  Place mixture on a flat tray and place in an oven that is set at a low setting.  Bake the soil for 12 hours.  This later step will sterilize the soil.

After you have the soil, fill your sterilized container with the planting medium and moisten.  Watering the soil at this step will prevent one from burying the seed after planting.  Once the soil is completely saturated with water, sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil’s surface.  Top the seeds with ¼ inch of vermiculite or homemade soil.

Lastly, place the seeds in a location that receives sunlight and is kept at 59 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

pansiesOutdoor Seed Propagation

To plant your seeds outside, one will first need to prepare the garden soil.  To do this, dig or till down 9 to 12 inches.  While turning the soil, also incorporate a good amount of organic matter.  Once that is done, moisten the soil and sprinkle the seeds on top.  Add ¼ inch of organic matter on top of the planted seeds.  Monitor the soil moisture often.

Regardless of which technique you choose, you can expect to seed little green dots appear in about 6 to 8 days.  Once the seedlings have produced their first set of true leave, transplant them into individual pots.  The only exception is if you have planted the seeds outside in the same location you want to plant them in.   If this is the case, make sure to thin them out so that they are spaced every 7 to 12 inches.


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