The Q&A Archives: Cutting Back Pansies

Question: Last fall I planted some pansies hoping for some late fall and early winter color and was pleasantly rewarded with flowers all winter due to the mild winter we had, I suppose. In the spring, my plants were large, lush and full of blooms which have continued up to the present, when the heat has now set in. I am wondering whether to cut them way back and wait for them to grow again in the fall or whether to wait until the end of the summer to do so, or to not cut them back at all. Is it possible for them to survive the heat of the summer or will I just need to pull them out and repurchase again in the fall?

Answer: In my experience, pansies are not worth keeping once the heat sets in. They look terrible, take up space in the garden, and their survival is iffy at best. Some newer varieties are more heat tolerant than others, so you might take a chance with them. If you decide to try, cut them back hard and be sure they get plenty of water and nutrients for the rest of the summer. If possible, give them some shade during the heat of the day. Good luck!

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