The pansy is one of the most popular flowers in the garden! Despite their delicate name and appearance, pansies are hardy, disease resistant and do well in cooler climates. Plus, they are low maintenance and easy to grow!
The pansy is a member of the Viola family and is easily recognized. The round flowers have five petals and come in a wide variety of colours ranging from bright pink to pure white. Flowers can a be single solid colour, while others have black lines radiating from the center. The most familiar looking pansies, like the ones pictured above, will have a dark center that looks like a “face.” Leaves can be oval or heart-shaped. They grow to be 8-10 inches tall.
Some pansies have a delicate scent to them, with the scent being the strongest early in the morning and at dusk. Pansies are some of the earliest blooming flowers, blooming in late fall, early winter and early spring.
Although, pansies are technically perennials, they are often treated as annuals or biennials. They will look beautiful in both garden beds and containers, adding a burst of colour to the landscape. Be sure to plant flowers at least 6 inches apart in fertile, moist soil to allow for proper ventilation. Mulching will help keep the soil moist. Pansies prefer full to partial sun. They should be watered about once or twice a week and should be fertilized once a month. As well, don’t forget to remove dead blooms to encourage new growth.
Fun Flower Facts about the Pansy
- the name pansy comes from the French word, pensee, which means thought or remembrance
- in the language of flowers, the pansy represents thoughts of lovers
- pansies are one of the oldest cultivated flowers in history
- the pansy was particularly popular in the 19th century and was commonly used in “love potions”
- pansies are edible and have a minty flavour; they can be added to salads and desserts
- yellow and blue pansies seem to have the strongest scent
- the flower can be used as a natural dye
- pansy petals are often used in potpourri
- Frost Tolerant Flowers For Your Garden (funflowerfacts.com)