How to Protect Pansies From Hard Freeze


Snow has been falling steadily throughout the night. When you open your front door, you may expect to see that your garden has been completely destroyed, but instead, you are met with rows of pansies (Viola tricolour ‘hortensis) that are beaming up at the sunlight and are surrounded by newly fallen snow. Your careful attention to preventing your pansies from being damaged by a severe freeze led to the stunning display of brilliant winter pansies that emerged from the snow. The hardiness zones 6 and above recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture are optimal for the growth of winter annuals, and there is a precise window within each zone that indicates when it is the optimum time to plant.

Growing Winter Pansies

The temperature of the soil at the time that you plant your flowers will impact the plant’s future health. According to Gardening Know How, the temperature tolerance of pansies decreases when the soil becomes too warm, causing them to take on a yellowish tinge and making them more susceptible to harm from frost, disease, and insect infestation. Your pansies won’t blossom as much if the soil temperature is lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and their roots will die off. Check to see whether your area is inside one of the suggested hardiness zones for the pansy, and then plant appropriately.

It is advised that you plant late September crops in zones 6b and 7a, early October in zone 7b, and late October in zones 8a and 8b. For a good planting, the soil temperature should be between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The preparation of the soil is also quite important, so strengthen the flowerbed by adding three to four inches of organic matter. Pansies may be made stronger by providing them with a bed that is exposed to sunshine for a total of six hours each day. Immediately after planting, give the plant water, but take care not to get any of it on the leaves or blooms.

Pansies and Frost

Your pansies may need some more care and attention when there are signs that a severe frost is on its way. First, you should thoroughly water the bed, and then you should lay mulch around the plant bed in order to maintain a warm temperature in the soil. The soil may also be warmed by adding a covering of pine needles or hay. Freeze-Pruf is a solution that can be sprayed on plants to protect them from frost, but if you don’t have any extra sheets, you may try protecting your plants with old sheets or any other fabric that allows air to pass through it.

Freeze cloth comes in a variety of sizes and is available at garden stores. The Dallas Morning News strongly recommends using it. Freeze cloths come in a wide variety of colours and forms, and they are offered with a tie-string attached so that the cloth may be wrapped securely around the plants. Freeze cloths do not need to be washed before being reused. In the event that there is a strong freeze, you may want to increase the amount of freeze cloth that is wrapped around the plants. Avoid using plastic at all costs since it might cause your plants to char if the sun shines through it while they are within it.

Caring for Frost-Damaged Pansies

Remove the dead or damaged blooms, leaves, and branches from your plants as soon as the danger of frost has gone and the winter weather has been less severe. Your blooming display has seen a significant improvement, and if the damaged blossoms contained seeds, the plant no longer has to expend energy keeping those seeds alive. According to recommendations made by the University of Georgia Extension, dead blooms have a greater propensity to attract diseases caused by fungal blight and should be removed to ensure the overall health of the plant.

A very wet season that follows the significant melting of snow raises the level of moisture in the soil while simultaneously depleting the oxygen levels that the soil and plant need. When fall arrives, pansies should be on the drier side, so it’s possible that you’ll need to make some adjustments to the drainage in your garden.