It’s hard to beat Pansies’ smiling “faces” as the Official Welcoming Committee for spring, inviting plant lovers back to the garden! Also known as violas, these flowers are cool weather favorites, blooming beautifully in early spring and late fall. They tend to get leggy during hot weather, so they’re often treated as annuals, although they can survive cold winter temperatures. Varieties such as Icicle pansies are bred specifically for handling cold winters, including snow and hard freezes, and will emerge again in the spring.
Pansies like sun and cooler temperatures, and will thrive in well-drained, hummus-rich soil. Pansies do well in the garden as well as in pots, but be sure to keep them well watered, especially in pots since these tend to dry out more quickly. Feeding with an all-purpose fertilizer and pinching back the heads of spent flowers will keep your pansies blooming longer.
Pansies come in a wide variety of colors, including, purple, yellow, orange, blue, white and red with dark markings in the flower’s center, creating the familiar pansy “face.” The word pansy comes from the French word pensee meaning “thought,” so receiving a bouquet of pansies means someone is thinking about you.
Pansies are also edible, and can be candied to decorate cakes and desserts or added to salads, adding a fresh, almost mint-like flavor to dishes. Just make sure you know that any pansies you plan on eating haven’t been treated with pesticides or exposed to other harmful chemicals or fertilizers.
There are seemingly endless varieties of pansies to choose from. Here are some favorites to consider:
- Flirty Skirts Mix – A ruffled variety that offers a textured twist to traditional pansies.
- Helen Mount – A true “Johnny Jump-Up” – a more petite version of a pansy in a tri-color of deep purple, yellow and white.
- Sorbet Formula Mix – Mostly solid-hued pansies with tiny black lines radiating from the center. Colors include blackberry, blueberry, coconut French vanilla and lemon.
- Majestic Giants II Formula Mix – An extra large variety of classic colored pansies.
Need more ideas to bring some spring color to your landscape? Call us or contact us here at Farmside Landscape & Design for ideas or leave it to us to make it happen for you.