Reading Time: 5 minutes 🍃
For many people, pansies have a special place in their garden. They are known for their bright colors and unique patterns. The good news is that they aren’t too difficult to cultivate, as long as you have the right type of soil. But will ericaceous compost suit pansies?
Pansies are well-suited to ericaceous compost. They thrive when the soil pH is around 5.8. But they can tolerate soils as acidic as 4.8. As long as they have loamy soils and plenty of fertilizer, you’ll be able to see some spectacular blooms.
Getting the right soil conditions is important to have thriving pansies. Keep reading to learn more about what this species will require.
How pH Levels Affect Pansies
When you are growing pansies, it’s important to think about the pH of the soil. Pansies will thrive in more acidic soils. The ideal pH level is around 5.8. However, they will be able to tolerate levels as low as 4.8.
If the pH is too high, you can start to experience several problems. This is because the soil isn’t releasing the nutrients the pansy will need to survive. Most commonly, you will be facing a lack of iron, magnesium, and boron. There are a few ways that this deficiency can manifest itself, including:
- Yellowing leaves. This is caused by a lack of iron, which results in a condition known as chlorosis. Often, the yellow color will be most visible in the leaf veins. However, it can also be seen at the tips of the leaves.
- Stunted growth. Nutrient problems can also be responsible for growth defects. It might cause buds to be aborted or the leaves to start to show signs of puckering.
- Necrosis. This occurs in extreme cases and results in the death of the plant, as the nutrients needed to grow aren’t passing through the tissues.
If left untreated, a pH imbalance can cause a lot of damage to your pansies. The good news is that if it’s discovered early, you can solve the problem and reverse any harm. To find out whether there is an issue, you’ll need to perform a pH test. You’ll be able to find this at many hardware stores.
Lowering pH Levels for Pansies
There are a few ways that you can create the soil conditions that your pansies will need to thrive. The best option is to use ericaceous compost. This is known for its low pH content, making it the ideal choice for growing pansies.
It’s a good idea to mix this compost into the soil. Try to put it throughout the top six inches. This will give the pansies the nutrients they will need to thrive. To keep the plants fertilized properly, you’ll need to top up the ericaceous compost every year or two.
Some of the other ways that you can lower the pH include:
- Using peat moss
- Placing some compost onto the garden
- Sprinkling some wood ashes over the area
If you have alkaline soil, you might need to turn to more powerful methods of lowering the pH. You can try using some powdered sulfur. It’s best to contact a professional to apply this. If you do it yourself, you can get sick from breathing in the fumes.
All of these methods will take a while to start producing results. Sometimes, it can be a few weeks before the pH starts to drop. Because of this, you’ll need to be patient. Keep testing the soil. When it reaches the right level, you can begin planting the pansies.
Type of Soil Conditions Pansies Require
Once you have the right pH level, you can turn your focus to some other soil amendments to make pansies more comfortable. Here are some of the elements that you should consider.
One of the most important elements is the amount of moisture the soil contains. Too much water, and there is the potential that it will lead to root rot. Too little, and your pansies will be left dying from thirst.
Getting this balance right is especially important during the summer months. Because of their shallow root systems, there is a chance that pansies will experience heat stress. A layer of mulch can help prevent this, trapping the moisture within the soil.
Pansies prefer loamy soils. These will retain some moisture at all times. But you don’t want anything that has so much moisture that it will become muddy after it rains. If you notice this, you will need to improve the drainage. A good way of doing this is by mixing in some sand.
There is an easy way to check whether you have got the mix right. Stick your finger into the soil. It should be moist but not wet. If the soil mix is right, but your soil is still too dry, it could be a sign that you aren’t providing enough water to your pansies.
If you want to get plenty of beautiful flowers on your pansy, you’ll need to make sure that you are feeding them properly. Here are some tips to use:
- Use ericaceous compost. This is high in organic materials. When it breaks down, the nutrients will be released into the soil. Mix it into the top six inches of the soil for the best results.
- Get a balanced fertilizer. To supplement the compost, you can use some fertilizer. Look for something that has an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. It’s best to get a quick-release liquid fertilizer. You’ll need to apply it once every four to five weeks during the spring months.
Aside from this, you don’t need to be too worried about nutrients in the soil. Pansies will be able to adjust, allowing them to thrive without too much maintenance.
Check out: Ericaceous Compost for Violas
Other Tips For Growing Pansies
The right soil conditions are important when growing pansies. But it isn’t the only thing that will determine your chances of cultivating these plants. Here are some of the other elements you need to keep in mind.
You will need to get used to deadheading your pansies to help them thrive. This refers to the removal of old blooms. You will be encouraging new growth, so fresh flowers will start to come to the fore.
Protection from Animals
Depending on where you live, you’ll need to think about ways to protect your pansies from deer. The good news is that this is pretty simple. You just need to make sure that you spray the garden with some deer repellent. This should be available in your local hardware store.
Finally, you need to make sure that you find the ideal location for your pansies to thrive. Pansies tend to struggle when faced with high heat. In many cases, they can suffer when the temperature climbs over 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius).
Because of this, you might need to place it in partial shade during the summer. Try to offer them some protection from the afternoon sun. Just make sure that you don’t put them into too much shade, as they will turn spindly.
During the winter, you might notice that blooms have started to shrivel up and turn brown during the winter. Don’t be worried; this is a natural response to the cold temperatures. As long as the stem stays green, the pansies should recover when the warmer weather returns.
Pansies are beautiful flowers, ideal for growing in small spaces. Because of this, they have become a favorite in gardens worldwide. The good news is that they are fairly easy to grow. You’ll just need to make sure that they have the right soil conditions. They prefer acidic soils with good drainage, away from harsh temperatures.