Pansies in Pots- Creating a Simple Display

Pansies look great in containers
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In this article, we will be discussing how to create a stunning, simple display of pansies in a pot for spring. If you grow your own spring bedding plants from seed, such as wallflowers, stocks, violas and Bell’s daisies, you can plant up containers in autumn, after the summer annuals are past their best.

Pansies look great in containers
Pansies look great in containers

If you do this and you leave them outside then protect the plants within from strong winds and the container from freezing frosts or becoming waterlogged. This is to prevent the roots from rotting.

In this article, we will be describing how to create a spring display in autumn using violas and other widely available plants to give a simple but elegant display.


Since they will not start to flower until spring, it is usually better to keep the plant in their pots overwinter in an unheated greenhouse or a conservatory.

In this way, they are easier to move before they are planted inside a pot, tub or planter.

When spring arrives you will need to acclimatize the plants gradually to outdoor conditions by standing them outside for a week or ten days to harden them off. Once they have become acclimatized to outdoor growing conditions, then you can plant them in the container of your choice. In this way, you can grow your spring bedding plants in autumn overwatered in a cool greenhouse readily for colour in spring.

Pansies will suit many container displays
Pansies will suit many container displays

It is cheaper than buying in plug plants.

If you do not have the time or do not have a greenhouse then you can buy your bedding plants in. You do have many plants of choice, spring bulbs in individual pots, forget-me-nots and pansies are the most popular choice.


It is tempting to go for complicated planting scheme in a large container, but a change can be made by using a pretty patterned pot with flowers that stand out with the container and its colours.

The results will be stunning outside on a window ledge or in the middle of a patio display.

Ericas make a great display
Ericas make a great display

A row of similar pots along the top of a wall will be a stunning addition to any container display. One such attractive display is made with pansies and hence why this article has been written. It comes in a good range of colour that will brighten any garden. For small pots, it is better to go for vibrant colours of one shade whilst for larger pots it may be advised to go for a mixture of plants to give an instant impact.


First, select a glazed pot with an attractive pattern on it. Cover the drainage holes with a small crock. It is best that the ceramic pot chosen is frost proof and has a simple oriental-style design. The design should match the pansies within it.

Loosely fill the pot with a multipurpose compost to within 2.5cm of the top, pack in as many plants as possible; a small pot often can accommodate 4 pansies easily.

Generally, push each plant out of their original housing through the base. You may need to squeeze the root ball to fit them into the container, but do not force them. It is best to choose plants of a uniform colour with plenty of flowers and markings to give an instant effect. Remember to remove and spent and dead blooms.

Fill any gaps with more multipurpose compost to about 1.25cm between the top of the compost and the rim of the container, This will allow the pot to be watered without the water spilling everywhere. Feed the plant with a high potash feed like phostrogen every 2 weeks to keep the plants full of blooms.

Stand the pot in a matching saucer and check the pot regularly to make sure that it is not drying out.

A more elaborate display can be made, if you use a contrasting shape and colours of snakehead fritillary, along with ericas, pansies flowers, hebe and a gold conifer.


Another classical look is achieved if you plant pansies in a metal bucket.

Pansies look good in all sort of simple containers but to have a truly stunning display can be achieved if a simple, metal bucket is used.  It will be suitable to use it next to a front door or near a water feature.

Fritillaria meleagris
Fritillaria meleagris

It is best to use an unpainted metal bucket as a potholder. Put a layer of shingles in the base of the bucket to raise the pot and to improve drainage.

Choose a flower pot that is similar in diameter to the inside of the bucket. Place it with a mixture of pansies and stand it in the shingle base. If you want a truly homogeneous display it is better to grow plants from cuttings rather than from seeds. The biggest problem with pansies is that they will cross readily and the seedlings will be hybrids with many colours possible. Buckets of pansies do make a quick and instant container display.

Another display can be made by teaming up pansies of cream and white and grow them with green and yellow euonymus and hebes. Combine this with silver Helichrysum italicum to give a display that will not soon be forgotten.


In this article, we have discussed how to use pansies and other spring bedding plants to give a colourful display in simple pots. This article concentrated on pansies, but they can be replaced with wallflowers, stocks, Bell’s daisies.

You can go very simple and have monochromic colours in a simple, patterned, glazed pots or you can grow them in an ungalvanized metal bucket.

For a more elaborate display, you can mix pansies with shrubs and bulbs, to give much more interest.

As you can see pansies do make an impact in display either on its own in pots or mixed with other plants. A truly versatile flower.

If you have any questions that you wish to make or comments that you want to raise, please do so in the comment box below.

Do use pansies in your container garden for an instant spring display.


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