This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Jan 25, 2009

Can Someone Help???


I noticed over the last couple of weeks that some of my pansies are developing dark, bluish, outer leaves- what could be causing this? If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Gardening!




Well, it is the cold that is causing this. Thanks Jan, and everyone for the helping hand- know it is appreciated :). I went out and took a look at my outdoor pansies and some of them have the same thing, not as dark, but maybe it’s because of the light they get? In any case I’ll just carry on as usual and plant them out in February at some point.  I think next time I water I’ll be sure that the fertilizer has higher Phosphorus and also Potassium. In Shane Smiths book Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion he states that Potassium helps with stress and cold/heat tolerance.

Thanks again to everyone! It sure is nice to know I have so much help...all I have to do is ask :)


  • Pusepilde

    Hi Tessa!

    Something similar happened to my pansies last spring. They had a really tough start with low temperatures and bright sun. I think the low temperature was most to blame.


  • Aunt Debbi/kurts mom

    Tess, check the base of the plants and make sure they are not planted too deep. Pansies have a crown like strawberries and the crown needs to be right at the soil surface. If they are planted too deep, they tend to rot. The bluish tinge may just be a reaction to cold. The only other culprit might be over watering, but I think you would see yellow instead of blue. Good luck.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Thanks so much for the help. I think it might be the lower temps lately. I've been trying to kept it at about low in mid-40's in there at night, and that has been a struggle. I'm sure we had much lower temps during the snow storm, just before Christmas, however. This past week it has been sunny and I needed to open the door- temps dropped rapidly as soon as afternoon hit. I wonder if it is a fluctuation of temps that could be the problem?

    Thanks again,


  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Aunt Debbi,

    Thanks for coming to the rescue! I checked the base of the plants and most of them are alright. There are a couple that are a little deeper than they should be- these don't have blue leaves, however. I didn't know that about them- being similar to strawberries, that is, that's a useful piece of info- Thanks! I'll have to remember that with the next ones coming up :) The over watering is a possibility, as I am guilty of that! I took some of them and cleaned out the tops of the soil and replaced it with some sifted compost- hopefully that will help. I have noticed a few little gnats, so over watering has been going on for a while! Thanks for the help!


  • Jan

    Yes, it definitely is the cold doing that to your pansies. Here in Louisiana, we plant our pansies out in November as winter annuals. When it gets very cold some of the leaves do this, but it doesn't seem to harm them. They just carry on blooming. When do you plant yours outside?

    Always Growing

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    I have no idea, although I have noticed that on them before. It never seemed to bother the overall growth. I usually just pull those leaves off :)
    I'll have to check how deeply mine are planted.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Jan, thanks for confirming! It seems to narrowing down to the cold. I've never noticed the bluish leaves on my outside ones that have yet to get new blooms. The greenhouse has been staying no lower than 40, looking at the gauge I have. I'll have to go check my pansy bed outside too. I'll just carry on as usual. Thanks, for stopping by :)

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Yeah, I went out today and cut them off. I also gave them a boost with some sifted compost. We'll see what happens! Happy Gardening and thanks for responding :)- it's good to know that if I run into problems I have a network of good (and knowledgeable) people to run to for help!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Thanks everyone- see the update above! Happy Gardening :)

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