Updated: Dec 30, 2019
YES! You can grow pansies from seed, but it takes while. Two things are important to germinate pansy seed: 1) The seed must be in darkness and 2) the seed must be kept moist. Pansy seed is very small. Sow several seeds in a pot; you may cover the seed with soil, so that it does not receive light, or simply cover the pot to keep the light out. The soil must be kept moist, NOT wet. When the seed germinates, uncover the pot. The seedlings may not all germinate at once; it will take about 14 days.
It will take about 70 to 80 days to flower. If you want pansy blooms for fall start seedlings in August. If you want pansies for spring start seeds in December.
Seedlings may be transplanted to cell flats when they develop least four leaves.
When the seedlings have filled out the potting cells, it is time to harden them off. Hardening is the process of getting them used to cool weather.
Our South Carolina winters are mild, so they can be hardened off by covering them in freezing weather. They can be covered with frost cloth. Frost cloth can keep plant temperatures about 8 degrees warmer than the air. These few degrees are important to the life of the plants.
Grow them in sun or light shade until they are large enough to be planted in the yard or a container.The seedlings may develop flower buds. Gently tip plant from the cell to see that roots have filled the soil ball. Then transplant to containers or in the ground. Pansies will survive mild winters, enjoy the blooms fall and spring!