Long Stemmed Pansies

Q: The pansies I bought the last week of September for a pot on the deck have extra-long stems. Are these a new variety?

A: Average temperatures since September have been in the mid-70′s, which caused the pansies to stretch longer than they should have. You can prune off the longest stems and fertilize to get new growth now that temperatures have gone down. Next year, try to resist the pansy planting urge until the first week of October.