New World Little Gardens

purple tansy pattern

Purple tansy

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Tansy’s masses of blue-purple flowers will attract bees and beneficial bugs to your Little Garden throughout the spring and summer.








Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Now place your seed mat on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 1 week you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, you can thin your purple tansy seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one and removing the others.


When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When the tansy is about as tall as your finger (in 2-3 weeks), it’s ready to shift into the garden.
  • Get your tansy used to life outside: you can harden off your tansy seedling by putting it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Bees and pollinators love tansy, so plant it in the corners of your Little Garden to attract the good bugs.
  • The thistle-like blooms will look great in your flower beds too.

Harvest time

  • Tansy looks lovely in a bouquet. As a cut flower in the vase, it will last about 5 days (remember to change the water regularly).
  • Regularly thinning your purple tansy, by picking the flowers, will encourage more flower production.

Watch out

  • Tansy is almost untroubled by pests and fungal infections.
  • It self-seeds very vigorously, so can become a nuisance. To manage it, you can simply pull out the seedlings. Or, after they flower (but before they set seed), cut down the plants at the base and dig them into the soil as a green manure or throw them into the compost
  • Contact with tansy may cause skin irritation in some people, so wear gloves when handling these plants.

Purple tansy in your gardens