“Pansies Are Tough”

(Viola x witrockiana)

They may not look like it with their delicate foliage and petite colorful blooms but pansies are tough. Pansies, once established, are one of the toughest annual flowers available able to survive temperatures as low as the single digits. Pansies planted in the fall provide a beautiful color display that can be enjoyed fall through winter and into early spring. These winter beauties can last up to 6 months or more in the landscape given the proper care.  Pansies are available in a wide range of colors including red, white, blue, orange, yellow, mixes and more.

The word pansy comes from the French word “pensee”, meaning thought or remembrance.  The plants we now call pansies originated in England around the early 1800′s

Pansies planted in full sun will reward us with an awesome color display all winter long. They tolerate part shade, only if the shade is from a tree that drops its leaves during the winter months allowing sunlight to penetrate through the tree. If planted in a shady location the plants tend to stretch in search of more light and become leggy with little or no bloom production. Pansies will continue to bloom all winter long with a little help from you. Once the blooms have faded and begin to die it’s a good idea to remove the spent blooms and stems. If the bloom stem is left attached to the plant it will continue to feed this stem. Once this occurs the plant will slowly reduce it bloom cycle and spend its energy to produce seed.
Pansies require well-drained soil; they will not tolerate excessive moisture. Planting pansies in raised beds will not only ensure good drainage but will improve the color visibility throughout the landscape. Mixing in large amounts of organic compost or landscapers mix will help raise the soil level and provide the drainage needed. Pansies can be planted in pots, baskets and various other planters as long as there is adequate drainage. Pansies are heavy feeders. Feed with Espoma Organic Blood meal. Blood meal provides a slow release form of natural nitrogen (12-0-0). Use one pound per 25 plants a time of planting.

Popular Pansy Bloom Types

Majestic & Crown

Pansy flowers come in one of three basic color patterns. Blooms can be single, clear color, such as yellow or blue. A second pattern is a single solid color with black vertical lines reaching from its center, these lines are called “penciling” and are similar to viola markings. The last type of flower is probably the one most familiar to home gardeners. The bloom of this type has a dark center called a “ Blotch” or “face.”  Majestic Giants are available with what is referred to as a “Blotch” or “Face”.  The “Blotch” is located in the center of each 4” bloom surrounded by assorted solid colors. The Crown varieties are categorized as “Single Clear Color” blooms, these blooms are solid in color with no markings. Pansies come in several other varieties and colors, but we strongly recommend the Majestic Giant and Crown series. These varieties have been used in North Texas for years and are proven staples of a seasonal landscape!