The pansy is one of the cheeriest of flowers. With its bright colors and its happy, face-like center, it livens up flower baskets everywhere in the spring and summer season. Pansies are relatively hardy, and it is possible to take a cutting of a favorite pansy to propagate and enjoy later in the year. Come late summer or early fall, the pansies in your basket may look less than beautiful. Pruning a pansy plant judiciously throughout the season will help your pansies look their best in late summer.
Items you will need
Determine why you want to cut your pansy. If it is because you enjoy the look of the pansy and want to create more pansy plants like it, remove parts of the pansy that will propagate well. If you want to prune the pansy because it is looking scraggly at the end of the summer, you need to prune with an eye to the shape and health of the plant.
Prepare your pansy for vigorous blooms by deadheading the pansy throughout the season. Look at the flowers and determine whether they are still vigorous or whether they are beginning to wilt. If they have formed seeds, it is time to deadhead the pansies. Remove the old flowers by pinching the stem 1/4 inch above the leaf below the flower. This will remove the flower and will encourage the plant to make new flowers.
Prune your pansy for shape by cutting the pansy stems down to about 4 inches in height. Use pruning shears to make clean cuts. Measure 4 inches off the soil. Look for the closest leaf. Place the shears 1/4 inch above the leaf and make the cut there. Do this to all of the pansy plants, and they will be cleaner and will often have new flower growth.
Propagate pansies in the late summer or early fall and to enjoy them all year. Prepare your supplies beforehand when you want to propagate pansies from cuttings. Purchase rooting hormone and place a dusting of the hormone at the bottom of a short jar. Prepare a pot for the pansy cuttings and fill it with fine soil.
Cut the pansy just below the stem joint. A stem joint is where a leaf or bud joins the stem. Below this is the cambium, and this is where the new growth of the pansy plant begins. If the joint is hollow the cutting should not be used, since it will not grow. If desired, dip the bottom of the cutting into rooting hormone to encourage root growth. Place these cuttings into fine soil and water them lightly. When the cuttings show new growth, you have successfully propagated them.
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