By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – OK, so it’s Spring. Seriously, it really is, no matter what the thermometer says, and as we wandered past giant pots of pansies for sale the other day, my mom wondered if they’d survive outside in the bitter weather we keep getting.

The good news is, yes! Pansies are one of the few annual flowers that can handle the cold. In fact, if you planted them last fall, even though they’d have been buried in snow and would have browned a good bit, pansies perk right up and bloom again once the weather’s better.

If you buy pansies now and put them in a sunny spot in a big pot, they should be fine. Or plant them in the ground as soon as it’s warm enough to dig.

The earlier you plant pansies in the spring, the longer they’ll last into summer. Pansies hate summer heat, but the deeper their roots have grown by the time it gets hot (and it will) the better their roots will be protected from the sun and the more water they can tap into to help them get by.

Even in wicked hot summers, I’ve had plenty of March-planted pansies last well past the Fourth of July.

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