Pansy Companion Plants

Pansies are the darlings of the cool-weather garden. Either spring or fall is a great time to add Pansies to your containers or garden borders for an injection of color until the hot weather of summer begins. Pansies include Violas, which are actually half hardy perennials that can withstand light frosts. These plants are versatile and will grow in full sun or part shade and come in a rainbow of colors. Because this plant is very dainty and does not spread quickly, Pansies are often grown in pots or used as a bedding plant in large groups. 


Shrubs To Plant With Pansy

Pansies perform best during the cool days of spring and will die back or go dormant when the heat of summer sets in. Use Pansies for a lovely splotch of color at the base of early blooming shrubs like sarcococca, daphne, azalea, rhododendron, and forsythia. Either pick colors in matching hues to create a harmonious look, or get crazy and randomly plant an eclectic mix of colors to banish the winter ho-hums.

Perennials To Plant With Pansy

Pansies grow well in a wide variety of soil textures and pH levels, so finding perennial companions is quite simple. Spring bulbs, iris, bleeding hearts, columbine, lupines, and hardy primrose all bloom when Pansy is actively growing early in the spring. Plant Pansies as a ground cover at the front of a bed to help suppress early weeds. In hot areas, Pansies bloom in fall and winter and look good with late-blooming perennials such as asters, mums, tall sedum, and low-growing ornamental grass. Pansies will withstand gentle frosts alongside the mums and are indispensable for late fall color. 

Annuals To Plant With Columbine

Pansies are some of the earliest annuals to bloom and seem to be everywhere in spring. They come in a wide range of interesting colors, some even in bi or tri colors. Finding annuals to grow with Pansies is easy as long as you stick to the hardy, late-blooming annuals. 

Primrose and pansies are always the first to show up in the spring. They can be planted outdoors once the nighttime temperature is reliably over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Petunias, calendula and lobelia are the next annuals that can be planted out with little fear of them freezing in temperatures below 45 F. Late in the summer, refresh garden beds or planters with some brightly colored Pansies paired with fuchsia, verbena, marigolds, and petunias. They will stay in bloom until well after the first frost in fall. 

Best Companion Plants For Pansy in Containers

Pansies can be tucked into any container to provide instant color and to refresh a planting scheme for the fall or spring. A great combination for early spring includes Pansies as the anchor, lobelia as a filler, and Alyssum as a frothy spiller over the side of the pot. All three of the plants will thrive in cooler weather, although the lobelia and alyssum should be cut back in early summer to refresh the foliage. This planting scheme can be adjusted throughout the growing season for continuous blooms until fall. After the Pansies have died back, replace them with long-blooming ivy geraniums or fuchsia. When the alyssum and lobelia have died back in late summer, replace them with a fresh batch of Pansies to complement the geranium or fuchsia still blooming. 


Plants Not To Grow With Pansy

Hot weather annuals and perennials are not ideal to grow with Pansies. By the time most of them are in full bloom, Pansies will have faded during the hot days of summer. Heat-loving clematis, daylilies, peonies, sunflowers, and cosmos should be avoided with Pansies. Aquatic and bog plants are also not great companions for Pansies, which require well-draining soil for healthy growth. The wet soil preferred by waterlily, cattails, papyrus reed, rush reed, and marsh marigolds will not support Pansies. 

Best Plants To Grow With Pansy








Spring-blooming plants are the best match for Pansies. They tolerate the cooler temperatures that Pansy prefers and often mix and match well with any color you choose. If you have room in your garden, try planting one bed with exclusively spring-blooming plants, and another with fall-blooming perennials, leaving space for growing Pansies on a seasonal rotation.

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Author Robbin Small - Published 9-22-2023