Why Are My Pansies Drooping? (Common Reasons with Best Solutions)

There are a couple of reasons why a pansy can begin to droop. If these issues are not corrected as early as possible, they can cause much bigger problems for the pansy plant.

If you’re asking, “why are my pansies drooping?”, then this article will become a savior for you.

Generally speaking, a pansy will droop because they are either subject to too much heat or suffer from water-frequency stressors. The domino effect caused by these problems not being resolved can result in nutrient deficiencies and pest infestation.

Why Are My Pansies Drooping

Luckily, they are quite easy to correct if you act fast. It can be as simple as relocating the plant, for example.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why your pansies are drooping and, of course, how to fix them and prevent them from arising again. 

Why Are My Pansies Drooping: Reasons and Solutions

The best way to fix anything in the plant world is to adjust or correct the root cause (mind the pun).

Quite often, we go straight for the quick fix; although it may look like it has worked on the outside, there can be several underlying issues that may prevent the plant from regaining full health again.

Why Are My Pansies Drooping Reasons and Solutions

Let’s look at why a pansy can show signs of drooping. Furthermore, we will go over what should be done to prevent and/or fix the issue. 

Incorrect Watering

Overwatering or underwatering a plant can cause some of the biggest issues for most plants. Pansies are one of those plants that react quite negatively to water stress.

Both potted and ground-grown pansies require at least 1 inch of moisture per week from either manual watering or natural rainfall. They are usually happy as long as the soil is moist but not soggy.

Let’s have a look at how water frequencies affect a pans.


Pansies do most of their growing during the cooler seasons. The excessive winds during these times can cause the soil to dry out faster than usual. If water isn’t applied to the dried-out soil soon enough, the plant’s foliage and flowers will start to droop.

Furthermore, warmer, drier heats can also cause wilting and/or drooping as the air prevents humidity from assisting the plant. Again, the soil will dry out and cause similar issues. These problems generally arise due to underwatering. 


Giving a pansy plant excessive water will give the plant root rot. If the soil isn’t allowed time to dry out or has poor drainage, the soil becomes soggy. If the plant’s root system sits in that soggy soil for too long, it will rot and form diseases such as mold.

This mold can spread through the whole plant as a result. Early signs of root rot are drooping of the leaves as it struggles with discomfort underneath the soil.


As a preventative measure, filling around the plant base with a 2-inch layer of shredded bark or hay can help to keep the moisture from drying out as fast.

Additionally, it’s worth checking the soil moisture content every couple of days to ensure it is moist but not soggy. If the root system can’t recover, it’s best to pull the plant up and repot it with new soil.

Insects and Diseases

Several pests, insects and diseases can cause the drooping of a pansy plant, namely due to overwatering. As the plant becomes moldy, the pests are attracted to the scent and start building a colony there as the new food source continues to rot.

The most common pests and insects on a pansy plant include aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.

Additionally, diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spot, and Botrytis blight tend to spawn in soggy conditions produced by overwatering. The tiny spores latch on and begin to cause havoc as they multiply.

Both of these types of nuances will cause drooping of a pansy by sucking the life and nutrients out of them, leaving them limp. 


Depending on the damage caused, there are a couple of ways to help fix the drooping caused. Firstly, pull up the plant and gently rinse the soil away from the root system to discover the extent of the damage.

The root system is the most important part of the plant.

If the plant’s root system is much, it’s best to dispose of it completely to stop the disease from spreading. Better still, burn the plant to be sure. If there is some life there, use a natural fungicide with a copper base as they work best.

Add some to the newly potted soil to keep the roots from damaging.

If insects were the culprits, apply a natural pesticide such as neem oil. Make sure you dilute it to at least half strength, as it is usually quite potent and can cause more damage at full-strength.

Insufficient Space and Air Circulation

If pansies are grown or placed too close to each other, they can succumb to issues caused by poor air circulation. As the airflow is minimized, the touching plants can begin to sweat.

When sweating occurs, mold can build up, which causes drooping due to the plant trying to heal.

It focuses its energy on recovering and begins to look limp. As the plants grow close, they also struggle to receive the sun’s rays and/or light.

As a result, they suffer from a condition known as etiolation. This is where a plant becomes elongated and leggy.

The leaves stop forming, and the stem stretches as it attempts to reach for the sun. The issue becomes greater if it needs to fight other plants for the sun. A long, thin, pansy will droop as this problem persists. 


Plant or place your pansies with at least 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) of space between them. They thrive when placed somewhere, they can receive full direct morning sun. Followed by shading during the intense afternoon rays of the sun. 

Insufficient lighting and heat

Lighting and heat are 2 of the prime factors causing a pansy plant to droop. Plants need light to convert as food via photosynthesis. Lack of light will make the pansy suffer from elutriation.

They will stretch as they search for light, which causes drooping. 

Additionally, as we touched on before, pansies thrive best when placed or grown somewhere, allowing them to bathe in the direct morning sun.

During the rest of the day, it’s best to move them somewhere shady to avoid dehydration and burning from the hotter afternoon heat.

They only like 6 hours of full sun for the day, so keep that in mind when choosing placement and timing the sun and shade for the day.

Pansies thrive best in temperatures that are consistently between 45-65° F (7-18°C), so they don’t necessarily love the heat. Instead, they are cooler climate plants.

Excessive heat will cause them to wilt and droop as they become dehydrated.


Place or grow your pansy where it can receive adequate light. This can include a window sill or balcony.

If the light is a problem in the location where it is growing, it is possible to purchase some grow lights to simulate light. These lights have advanced so far that they can easily meet the plant’s light requirements.

To help counteract the heat, location is the first preference. If it is impossible to relocate the plant, it could be worth installing a shade cloth or some kind of covering or windbreak to keep them from being scorched.

Alternatively, bring the plants inside during hotter times if possible. Make sure you read their signs and give them water if required.

Alkaline Soil and Bad Nutrients

When the soil for a pansy is too alkaline, it will have a lot fewer available nutrients for the plant. A lack of nutrients will throw out the balance of the plant and make it droop.

Early signs of nutrient deficiency include poor blooming, paling of all foliage and/or the base leaves turning yellow. In contrast, the plant will become leggy and droop if a pansy receives too many nutrients.

So finding balance is crucial. 

Furthermore, the pH of a pansy needs to be below 5.4-5.8 to ensure things such as thielaviopsis (black root rot) can’t creep in and take over.

This can easily kill a plant if left unattended but cause drooping as an early warning sign the plant is suffering. 


As far as nutrients are concerned, flushing them out if they receive too many is an option. As long as your soil has optimal drainage and the pot/container has an outlet hole, you can apply enough water to dilute the nutrients and eventually flush them out.

Keep an eye on your plant as you do so, as it can become overwatered and suffer further. If the plant doesn’t seem to recover, you can simply remove it from its container, rinse off the soil from the root system and repot it with new soil. 

The simplest way to keep the pH of your plant in check is by testing the soil periodically. Test kits are cheap and readily available from most home depot and gardening stores. Maintaining balance is key to the survival of the plant. 

How do you take care of pansies?

There are only really a couple of steps that need to be taken to ensure that your plant stays happy and healthy.

They are generally low-maintenance plants, so taking care of them in a specific way will simplify the task. Here are a few things to remember when caring for a pansy plant.

How do you take care of pansies
  • Firstly, keep in mind that a pansy is an outdoor plant, so place them somewhere where they can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight earlier in the day, followed by shaded protection later on. The sun will allow them to flower and produce the vibrant colors we know and love. Keeping them inside won’t generally allow them enough light to produce these flowers. 
  • Keep in mind that they can tolerate cooler temperatures as low as 15°F (-10°C) so if it does happen to drop below that point, bring them inside until there are a few days where the temperatures are consistently higher than 15°F. Then take them back outside again. 
  • Pansies like regular watering ensure you keep their soil moist but not soggy. If the soil dries out too much, it’s tricky to get it to be moist again. The plant will dehydrate, and its health will decline rapidly. Depending on the weather and location, you may need to water 1-2 times per day. 
  • Fertilize regularly with either fish emulsion or another water-soluble store-bought miracle grow solution. This will help produce those vibrant green leaves and help them to grow evenly. 
  • Remove any faded flowers or dead foliage. Simply trim the stem as low as possible, just above a growth node, so it can regrow. Pansies can grow flowers quickly, so removing any energy-sucking foliage will help the plant push out more to replace them.
  • Lastly, pansies will stop growing when temperatures get too warm so enjoy them while you can!

Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)

Do you water pansies in the winter?

Pansies are cooler climate plants and need to be watered during the winter. Often, winter winds can dry out the soil much faster, leaving them dry and in need of a drink. They can be watered all year round, although they usually stop growing as temperatures reach over 70°F (21°C). 

Do pansies grow better in pots or the ground?

Pansies are much better suited in pots/containers. It’s easier to move them around this way and help them receive the right amount of light, sun and shade. They are a little fragile up top, so if grown in the ground, you risk them being pelted by rain and excessive amounts of sun.

You could, however, install some shading in the way of shade cloth or windbreak if growing them in the ground is your only option. If you want your pansies to be biennials or perennials, it is best to plant them in the ground.

How long do pansies last in pots?

Pansies usually last for one season. If you plant them in the fall/autumn, you can expect them to last around 8-9 months. E.g.: Plant in September, last until around May/June

How much sunlight does a pansy need?

A pansy thrives best with around 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They need to be protected from the harsher afternoon sun, though. It’s best to have some kind of covering or shading in the afternoons.

How often should potted pansies be watered?

Pansies need around 1 inch of water per week. You could allocate smaller amounts every couple of days or the full amount once weekly as long as the soil stays moist but doesn’t become soggy due to excess water.

The frequency will depend on various factors such as climate, plant size, positioning (in direct sun, subject to wind), etc. It’s recommended to check the soil before each watering to make sure that the plant isn’t being overwatered.

Do pansies like to be wet?

Pansies thrive in the fall and winter but do not constantly like to be wet. If they are receiving too much water via rainfall, try to get them undercover and allow them to dry out and recover. Too much water can cause many issues, including root rot and pest infestations.


As we have just discovered, there are many reasons that a pansy may begin to droop. The biggest issues are overwatering and underwatering.

These problems result in root rot and dehydration, respectively. Regardless of the cause, the drooping can be pretty easy to correct.

We hope that this article has been helpful to fix these problems as they arise. We look forward to creating more content like this to continue increasing your knowledge in the garden.

Thanks for tuning in, and as always, happy growing!

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