A favorite amongst gardeners, not only are pansies colorful with remarkable patterns, they’re resilient too. Hence it can come as a surprise to find that they are not unsusceptible to damage from external forces as one may initially think.
One of their main threats is animals. Pansies find themselves prey to a wide range of animals and insects. I’ve detailed the exact ones below.
So, what eats pansy flowers? It’s an unfortunate fact that pansies are eaten by pests and animals alike. Their list of predators is fairly extensive and includes the likes of snails, slugs, mites, aphids, caterpillars, birds, rabbits, and even raccoons.
Below, I’ll explore the relationships between these animals and pansy flowers further.
Then we’ll be looking at a bunch of methods to help prevent your pansies from being eaten.
So, keep reading to find out more!
What Is Eating My Pansy Flowers?
Whilst the usual prey for birds are other animals and insects; they have also been known to peck at flowers here and there.
Panies, unfortunately, have made the cut too.
For pansies, the most threatening bird of all is the almighty crow.
Flowers admittedly aren’t their first choice, but they have an established reputation for nibbling pansy petals.
Whilst they do so predominantly in a bid to eat insects residing on the pansies, the petals end up damaged too, so we can hardly deem them beneficial animals.
Rabbits quite simply adore pansies. To them, they’re treats, and delectable ones at that.
Whilst their favorite part of the pansy to eat is the flower itself; they typically roam around with sufficient appetite to devour the entire plant.
This is made possible by the fact that pansies grow at a low level.
Fortunately, the harm inflicted by rabbits is unlikely to affect the plant’s root system, so your pansies are still likely to rebloom during Spring and Summer time each year, their flowering season.
Raccoons are a controversial addition to this list.
They don’t exactly eat pansies. However, they do destroy them. Hence it’s worth familiarising yourself with the risk that they pose.
In the hunt for alternative food sources, raccoons take no issue in pulling out whatever lies in their way.
Pansies included. Unlike birds and rabbits who feed on the superficial components of the pansie, raccoons threaten to uproot the plant, in turn, slimming their chances of healthy regrowth significantly.
Snails and Slugs
Snails and slugs are infamous for their love of pansies.
They relentlessly munch away on the plant’s leaves, as well as its flowers and buds.
Their nocturnal way of life means that you’re unlikely to catch them in the act.
However, you’ll know that they were around by the not-so-inconspicuous slimy trail they leave behind!
Spider mites pose a considerable risk to pansies and their future livelihood.
The reason is they target the plant’s sap. In turn, they deplete the plant of its much-needed nutrients, leaving it with little energy to continue growing.
Whilst they’re much too small to be seen by the naked eye, signs of a mite infestation include discolored and deformed leaves, as well as tiny webs left behind on the foliage they’ve attacked.
Much like spider mites, aphids suck the sap out of pansies.
Whilst this can be controlled through methods we’ll delve into later, the main problem with aphids is the speed at which they reproduce.
The bigger the infestation, of course, the more damage your pansies will undergo.
Not only do they suck the plant’s sap, their subsequent production of honeydew is both an ant attractant as well as a breeding ground for all sorts of harmful fungi.
Fortunately, unlike mites, aphids can be seen with the naked eye, and thus, their presence can be countered fairly rapidly.
Last but not least, caterpillars are yet another bug that enjoys feasting on pansy flowers.
The most common types of caterpillars you’ll find on your pansies are cutworms and omnivorous loopers.
Both varieties pose a similar threat to pansies.
That is, they feed on their leaves, devouring up the plant’s moisture and, in turn, inhibiting its growth.
These infestations can be completely detrimental to your pansies, so you ought to take action as soon as you can!
How Do I Stop My Pansy Flowers From Being Eaten?
So whilst pansies are resilient in nature, when it comes to being eaten by animals, they certainly need a helping hand.
That’s where you come in!
Here are a few methods you can adopt to prevent your beloved pansies from being a mere meal for its many predators.
If you find yourself with a caterpillar, slug, or snail invasion underway, using your hands may be the most effective solution for you.
Each of these pests is easily seen with the naked eye, so simply put on a pair of gloves and remove them from the plant.
For reassurance that they won’t come back, we recommend dropping them directly into a bucket of soapy water.
However, it’s worth noting that these are a nocturnal bunch, and you’ll only really be able to take action at night.
Installing a fence will help to deter larger animals, like rabbits and rodents, from getting to your pansies.
The fence should be around 3 ft overground, and there’s no harm in installing it 1 ft underground too.
The underground nature of it will prevent the future risk of burrowing animals, such as voles, from invading your pansies from down below.
The best way to eliminate aphids from your pansies is via good old-fashioned water!
Simply set your hose pipe on a powerful enough stream, and hose away.
You’ll knock the aphids off the plant, and provided the stream of water isn’t too powerful, your pansies should remain completely intact throughout the process.
Scent deterrents are a non0toxic and harm-free way to ward off unwanted animals.
Spraying the plant, or its close vicinity, with cayenne pepper or peppermint will repel rabbits and rodents from the area.
The same concept is effective in the case of insects too.
For instance, caterpillars find citrus repulsive, so applying a lemon peel solution to the plant will undoubtedly scare them away.
Another solution is to purchase an insect repellent solution from a garden store.
Most likely, the instructions will guide you to spray the plant a few times over the course of a week or so.
Before you know it, the plant will be insect free.
Plus, no insects mean the risk of birds decreases too. An all-around win!
Nevertheless, whilst it’s a simple enough approach to administer, it’s not one that is without risks.
Namely, such solutions tend to be toxic, so if you have young children or pets running around, you’ll want to be extra mindful.
How about neem oil as an alternative? Neem oil is a natural solution that has long been utilized to eliminate aphid and mite infestations on plants.
Essentially, the pests wind up covered in the oil, and it eventually suffocates them. It’s brutal but effective and non-toxic!
Pansies are a traditional and aesthetically pleasing addition to hanging baskets.
If you don’t quite have the will to deal with animals and other pests getting to them, your best bet may be to simply position them well out of reach.
How Do I Get My Pansies To Flower Again?
Getting your pansies to flower again requires patience.
Their flowering season spans the Spring and Summer months, so it’s only then that you’ll have the opportunity to observe whether or not they seem to be growing healthily.
If they are, they’ll look just like the pansies you know and love.
But if they’re not, this may well take the form of missing flower heads, deformed leaves, and missing plants altogether.
Fortunately, in the case of the latter, it’s not too tricky to get your pansies back to full health.
Optimize Growing Conditions
The first call of action is to make sure their growing conditions are as optimal as can be.
Doing, so it’s pretty straightforward.
It’s as simple as ensuring that their soil is well drained and that they’re positioned to absorb sunlight in the morning and be shaded in the afternoon.
Use A Fertilizer
I also recommend using a fertilizer to aid their growth.
They can’t get all of the nutrients that they need from your garden alone.
They need a helping hand. That’s where the fertilizer comes in!
If you need to buy some, this is the one to get from Amazon.
Before you know it, they’ll be flowering healthily and in abundance.
You may want to check out my other guides while you are here: