The Q&A Archives: Leggy Violas And Pansies

Question: I planted violas and pansies earlier this spring. They are still blooming nicely but have gotten leggy, so don't look as nice. How should they be cut back? Can they be cut and rooted, either in dirt or water, to plant elsewhere? Thanks.

Answer: These plants tend to become leggy if grown in excess shade or with age and as the season turns hot. They can be cut back by about half, watered and fertilized and will rejuvenate later with cooler weather if they survive the hot summer. They can also be transplanted to a cooler location, but this is stressful and can kill them since they are already stressed. Most gardeners consider them to be cool season bedding plants and replace them for the summer with heat loving plants. In my experience, the violas will often self seed and thus "come back" on their own the following fall or spring from seedlings. The seedlings transplant well while small, begin blooming at a young age and often overwinter to provide a nice show the following spring.

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