One of my potted outside Pansy plant has wilted and lying down in the soil. Do just cut down to just above the soil and leave it all winter? Would it bloom again in Spring? It's a large white pansy. Should I bring the pot out of the weather even though they like the cool?
Whatever's wrong with it, it's definitely nothing to do with cold temperatures, it's not that cold here and pansies love cool weather and are hardy to lots colder temperatures than what we've been having. It could be overwatering, underwatering, or someone (person, pet, raccoon, etc) stepped on it or bumped up against it or something and broke the stem. If it's over or under watering, you need to correct that or else the plant will die. If it's a broken stem, chances are it'll grow back, I'd just remove the broken part and see what happens.
If there is any foliage at all on the plant, try to leave some if it is a bit healthy, even just the smallest shoot will help the plant to recover as just a bit of root UNDER the soil will be asking rather a lot from your pansy, as you say, they are real hardy plants if treated right, so before you cut the lot of, snip a bit at a time to See if there is a little healthy bit lurking under the waisted growth, if it shoots again, maybe give a very weak diluted liquid feed to encourage new growth,
Good luck. Weenel.
Many bedding plants like pansies and violas are prone to suddenly wilting as you describe, and often it is caused by a waterborne fungus which invades the plants roots and tissues preventing water from taking in water. It could either be Phytopthora or Verticillium wilt. Poor soil drainage is often the cause.
If it doesn't recover, throw away the plant AND the soil. The fungus/spores will most likely remain in that same old soil, so using it again will just infect any new plants you put in it. You should also clean the pot itself with a bleach solution to be safe.
Good advice Jasper and thanks. This just might be what happened. I thought maybe I was over-watering, but now I don't think so. The plant was just so wilted, I pulled it out of the pot. I still have the soil, but now I am going to dump it.