How to Fertilize Pansies

Most pansies have two or more colors on each petal.
Most pansies have two or more colors on each petal. (Image: purple pansies image by Adam Fuller from

Cool-weather pansies add bold color to flower beds and planters. Available in nearly any color imaginable, pansies thrive in the spring and fall months when many plants are still dormant. They require minimal care, allowing you to enjoy their blooms without the need for constant work in the garden. Pansies are not heavy feeders, but some fertilization encourages them to remain healthy and to continue with their prolific blooming. Pansies grown in containers do require more frequent fertilizing than those grown in beds.

Things You'll Need

  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Soluble fertilizer

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Apply a slow-release, 10-10-10 (10 percent each nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) analysis or other similar fertilizer to the pansy bed just prior to planting. Use 1 tsp. of fertilizer per each square foot of bed, or use 1 tsp. per each gallon of soil in a planter.

Apply 10-10-10 fertilizer to the bed at the same rate as at planting every four weeks while the pansies are actively growing, according to West Virginia State University Extension. Sprinkle the fertilizer between the plants and work it into the top 3 inches of soil. Do not get fertilizer on the pansy leaves, as it may cause damage.

Fertilize potted pansies beginning four weeks after initial planting. Use a 10-10-10 water soluble fertilizer every two weeks, or as recommended on the fertilizer label. Fertilizer leaches from potted plants more quickly so frequent fertilization is necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add compost to the bed prior to planting. Compost adds nutrients to the soil as well as improving drainage.
  • If you grow your own pansies from seed, fertilize the young plant with a quarter-strength soluble fertilizer once weekly until you transplant them to their permanent location.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing the pansies. This can lead to reduced flower production.
  • Do not fertilize pansies when they are not actively growing. Fertilizing during cold snaps or heat waves when pansies are semi-dormant can burn the plant's roots and kill them.


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