Why Do Pansies Get Black Spots on Them?

If you’re seeing black spots on your pansies, you may be feeling worried. Typically, pansies have spots, but black ones that don’t seem a typical part of their color pattern may be a sign something else is up.  

Black spots on your pansies may indicate a fungal disease. Typically, pansies don’t naturally have black spots on them. Any sign of discoloration, or possibly mold, would mean some kind of disease, or your pansies’ needs aren’t being met. 

In the rest of this article, I’ll talk about what your pansies’ black spots could possibly mean. We’ll discuss how to troubleshoot these potential issues so you can determine the best course of action quickly. Then, I’ll detail how to fix these problems if you’ve found them as the source. 

What Black Spots Mean on a Pansy

When something is amiss in the garden, there are a few things you should always be on the lookout for. The temperature of your garden, the amount of sun your flowers are getting, and the water intake are among the first. Usually, though, black spots may be attributed to mold

Mold can affect your plants in a few ways, but it depends on the type of fungus that attacks the plants. If your pansy plants get black spots on their leaves, stems, and flowers, it’s likely due to fungus growing on these parts of the plant. Sometimes, the fungus is in the soil from overwatering or waterlogging. 

Troubleshoot Your Pansy Plants

Whenever I have a problem in my garden, I go through a troubleshooting checklist to decide what the issue might be. You could, of course, implement all of these solutions into your garden and increase the overall health of your pansies. 

However, if you need a quick fix, you must first (ironically) slow down and figure out the problem. Eliminating guesswork will ensure you don’t waste money on supplies or time on new methods. 

  • Check the soil temperature. Pansies prefer temperatures between 68 and 70 °Fahrenheit (20 and 21.11 °C). If your pansies are getting black spots, their soil may be too cold or hot. As for climate temperature, they prefer between 45 and 65 °F (7.22 and 18.33 °C). 
  • Check the pH of your soil. Most plants grow best in neutral to slightly acidic soils (pH 6-7), while pansies prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH of 5.4-5.8.
  • Watering pansies. Water your pansies when they need it but do not overwater them. Overwatering can cause root rot and other issues, so be careful! If you’ve been overwatering the pansies, that may be the issue. 
  • Check sunlight exposure. Consider whether you have enough sunlight exposure around your home—pansies need full sun for at least six hours per day to grow properly. If there isn’t enough sunlight where you live, consider bringing some inside during the winter months and supplementing with artificial light sources like bulbs or grow lights.

If it’s none of these things, look for signs of potential disease or infestation. This can come in the form of bugs or pests, mold, mildew, spots, or white spider-web-like fungus over your plants. I’ll talk about looking for this more below. 

Check for Fungal Diseases

Fungi are a type of plant that lives on other organisms. They can be found on plants, trees, and other areas like the ground or in the air. 

There are many different types of fungi; some have spores that float in the air, and others grow underground or above ground. Some fungi produce spores by releasing them into the air, while others release them directly into soil or water, where they may float until they reach a new host or habitat.

Fungus is a common problem for pansies and other plants alike. You can help prevent fungus by taking good care of your pets and plants.

Here are some easy ways to avoid fungus:

  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy, especially during dry periods. Pansies are prone to root rot, making them more susceptible to fungal diseases like mildew, aphids, and spider mites (which will be covered in the next section).
  • Avoid overwatering. If the water sits in their drainage tray too long, it can cause root rot or dampen off (a fungal disease that affects seedlings). If this happens to your pansy pots, remove all affected roots immediately. Ensure you always make sure the top few inches of soil are dry before watering.
  • Keep plants in the shade. Pansies do not like hot temperatures, so make sure they are planted in an area with plenty of shade. In addition, heat and water can promote mold. 

How Do You Treat Black Spots on Pansies?

Fungus is a common problem for pansies and can cause the black spots you see on your plants.

Use a fungicide or repot your pansies to treat black spots caused by mold. If you’ve found that these black spots are a fungal disease or mold, a few natural remedies can be used. However, if the spots are a matter of unmet needs, you’ll just need to switch up your routine. 

Fungi also like warm, damp soil, so avoid overwatering or keeping them in water-logged areas. The fungus can be transferred from one plant to another if you don’t clean up after each harvest or replant a small amount of soil when moving plants around your garden bed.

The best way to prevent fungus from developing on your pansies and other plants is to keep them well-watered but not overwatered. 

If they are already infected, it’s not too late—you can clean up and prevent further damage with these simple steps:

  • Take all affected plants out of the soil.
  • Wipe off any dirt or debris from around the base of each plant with a damp cloth, being careful not to damage roots or stems as you do so.

You can also use some of the remedies listed below.

Use Neem Oil 

Neem oil is the most powerful natural fungicide available. It’s an organic, non-toxic substance that can be used on all types of plants to control fungus growth and even prevent them from getting a disease.

Neem oil works by suffocating the spores so they can’t reproduce or spread any further. It will also stop them from infecting your pansies or other flowers and kill any other fungus types, including leaf spot vectors, powdery mildew, and even mold!

Neem oil is safe for all kinds of plants, including pansies. It won’t harm humans either, so there’s no risk involved when applying it directly onto your flowers; just make sure you wash your hands after applying the neem oil around each plant because it could stain clothing if rubbed into the skin during the application process (just like using bleach would).

To learn more about using neem oil on plants, you can also read my other article: Should You Rinse Neem Oil Off Plants?

Other Natural Remedies for Getting Rid of Fungus 

Hydrogen peroxide is also a great natural remedy. To use it, you’ll need a peroxide (3% solution). Alternatively, you can opt for a vinegar (5%) solution.

Here’s how to use hydrogen peroxide to control fungal growth:

  1. Dissolve one teaspoon into 2 gallons (7.57 liters) of water
  2. Spray onto affected areas 
  3. Repeat every seven days until all symptoms have disappeared. Avoid getting this mixture into leaves since it may bleach them if left on too long! 

Or, if you want to use something else, you can use vinegar:

  1. Soak affected areas in 5% vinegar solution for approximately 10 minutes
  2. Rinse thoroughly after the 10-minute period has elapsed.
  3. Return the plant to normal conditions. Light levels should remain low enough not to cause further damage through photo-inhibition (reduction in chlorophyll production). 


Fungus is a plant disease that can cause black spots on pansies. Pansies are beautiful and easy to care for flowers, but they can be prone to pests and fungus. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent this from happening! 

By monitoring your soil temperature and pH levels and checking for aphids or other insects on your plants at least once a week, you should be able to control the problem. 

If you notice any mold on your plants, it’s best to treat them immediately, so they don’t spread throughout the rest of your garden!

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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