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Pansy Container Ideas

By: Marisa Reyes
Pansies are beautiful cold-tolerant flowers — check out these 5 pansy container plans for spring!

Get a head start this spring with pansy containers

As winter comes to an end and spring starts to gift us with the warmth of the sun, garden centers and nurseries begin to put out the first flowers of the year. When trying to decide what to take home, I recommend grabbing a few packs of pansies for spring pansy containers. With all of the color options to choose from there is so much you can do when incorporating them into your spring containers. Scroll on for a handful of spring pansy container planting plans and watch the YouTube video above where Garden Gate staff Kristin and Jennifer share a step-by-step tutorial of a couple of the spring pansy containers highlighted below.

Add pansy containers to your patio or entry

Plant up a few spring containers and a bare patio or terrace is suddenly filled with color. Your balcony becomes a bright spot in the apartment complex and neighbors are asking where those plants came from. Grouping containers together provides an even bigger show that draws attention to the entry, or you can use bright blooms to dress up a tabletop on the deck.

Spring containers are just the beginning of all the ways you can express yourself this growing season. Once they fade, you can get creative again by swapping plants out for a whole new look in summer and fall. In the meantime, get inspired by the spring pansy containers ideas here and maybe you’ll have to make another trip to the garden center!

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Red container with pansies, nemesia and daffodil flowers in spring: Add bold spring color to your containers with deep red blooms.

Go bold with red flowers this spring

This combination is perfect on a patio or next to your front entry because its bold colors make a statement that lasts for weeks. Plus you can enjoy the light, sweet scent of the pansy and nemesia as you walk by. Cool spring temperatures help these flowers last, but eventually you’ll need to deadhead.

Container maintenance tips

Pinch or snip pansy, nemesia and marguerite daisy stems back to a leaf joint to encourage more blooms. The daffodil only blooms once. So when it’s done you can pull the bulbs if you’d like to avoid unsightly yellowing bulb foliage as it ripens in the container.

The red osier dogwood stems cut from the garden provide height, color and texture even when the flowers are fading. Once the weather starts getting warmer, stems can get leggy and flowering slows. This is a good time to replace cool-weather plants, such as the pansy and nemesia. You can leave the gaura and marguerite daisy in place to add height and interest to late-season combos.

Planting plan for pansy container with dogwood stems

Plant list (number to plant)

A) Marguerite daisyArgyranthemum Grandaisy® Red Improved (1)
B) GauraGaura lindheimeri Belleza® Dark Pink (1)
C) Dwarf daffodilNarcissus hybrid (1)
D) PansyViola x wittrockiana Spring Matrix Scarlet (4)
E) NemesiaNemesia Sunsatia® Blood Orange (2)
F) NemesiaNemesia Nesia Sunshine (1)

Container is 20 inches in diameter

Small terra cotta planter with pansy, alyssum and kale: Try planting tabletop containers to dress up your favorite garden hangout spots.

Petite pastel container

This sweet little cool-season planter makes the perfect addition to a tabletop. You can still see your conversation partner across the table because the pint-sized plants won’t grow too tall in spring. As warmer weather approaches, the kale, sweet alyssum and viola will start to outgrow this 12-inch pot. But you can plant them in the border to enjoy blooms again later in fall, or just toss them on the compost pile.

pansy container tabletop circle plan

Plant list (number to plant)

A) Sweet alyssumLobularia maritima ‘Snow Crystals’ (3)
B) LewisiaLewisia cotyledon Elise Mix (1)
C) Ornamental kaleBrassica oleracea ‘Dynasty Red’ (2)
D) English daisyBellis perennis ‘Pomponette Mix’ (1)
E) ViolaViola cornuta Sorbet® XP Beaconsfield (8)

Container is 10 inches in diameter

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Pansy container with ranunculus: Contrast yellow ranunculus flowers with purple pansies for an eye-catching spring container!

Ranunculus & pansy container

Jam-packed with colorful spring blooms like snapdragon, tulip and pansies, this container will give you something gorgeous to look at until warm-weather annuals are ready to take over. Here, the different shapes and textures of the flowers make as much of a statement as their colors. Put this planting on a patio or front step where it’s easy to bend down to enjoy each individual flower.

Container planting tip

It’s OK to pack spring containers tightly because you’ll probably remove and replace plants as they fade with the approach of warmer weather. When planting, you may even need to gently press rootballs to squeeze them into the container. This won’t harm the plants as long as you’re careful not to break any stems.

pansy container with buttercup planting plan

Plant list (number to plant)

A) Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus ‘Solstice Orange Tricolor’ (1)
B) Tulip Tulipa ‘Jimmy’ (2)
C) Persian buttercup Ranunculus asiaticus ‘Maché Yellow’ (1)
D) Toadflax Linaria maroccana Fantasy™ Yellow (2)
E) Twinspur Diascia barberae Flying Colors® Red Improved (2)
F) Pansy Viola x wittrockiana ‘Fizzy Grape’ (1)

Container is 18 in. in diameter

 Container planting with pansies and Boxwood: Get four season structure with evergreens in containers.

Get four-season structure in a container

Adding evergreens, such as boxwood or arborvitae, to a container is a great way to get structure in every season. ‘Green Velvet’ is tolerant of pruning and can be shaped however you like. Hold off on pruning until all danger of frost has passed in spring to avoid damaging tender new shoots. When you’re growing shrubs in containers, get a pot that’s as large as possible (these are 24 inches in diameter) so there’s plenty of room for potting mix to hold moisture and help insulate the roots.

Boxwood tip

To get boxwoods through winter in zone 5, spray an antitranspirant to help prevent moisture loss and burned foliage, and water occasionally if temps are above freezing.

Container with pansy and arborvitae circle plan

Plant list (number to plant)

A) Boxwood Buxus ‘Green Velvet’ (1)
B) Pansy Viola x wittrockiana (12)
C) Lobelia Lobelia erinus (3)

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pansy container with rosemary: Try this simple and elegant container look with pansies and rosemary.

Petite pansy container

This little pot is the perfect way to add a splash of color to your patio in early spring. Cheery pansies come in a rainbow of colors so there’s sure to be one that will suit your garden’s palette. And they’re usually sold in multipacks, so you get plenty of bang for your buck.

Yellow and white is a classic combination that always looks good and is sure to charm. Add a small rosemary plant in a 4-inch pot to the center for contrast. This slow-growing herb won’t really take off until temperatures warm in summer.

Pansy growing tip

Pansies love the cool weather of spring and fall and grow best when temperatures range from 40 to 65 degrees F during the day. They can even take a light frost. If pansies start to flag in warm weather pull them out to give the rosemary room to grow and fill the pot — you’ll have plenty of stems for your favorite recipes!

pansy container with rosemary planting plan

Plant list (number to plant)

A) Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (1)
B) Pansy Viola x wittrockiana (8)

Published: March 30, 2023

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