Skip to main content
Plant of the Week - Pansy

Common name:


Botanical name:

Viola x wittrockiana

Pansies are hybrid plants derived from several species within the Viola genus and are part of the Violaceae family. Pansies are a welcome sight after a long, cold winter. Pansies are often the first flower we see arrive in garden centers due to their ability to withstand colder temperatures.

With multiple color variations, the pansy is a versatile flower to add color to your garden and help usher in spring. As we move into the heat of the summer season, we will see pansies begin to fade away due to their inability to tolerate high temperatures. However, in fall, pansies arrive again in garden centers to add more color to fall plantings. Depending on winter temperatures, pansies can last into winter time.

Pansies can be a hungry plant. It is best to add a slow release fertilizer to ground plantings roughly once per month. Container plantings will benefit from a liquid fertilizer about every two weeks during their growing season. You can deadhead, or prune, faded flowers and bare stems regularly to promote new buds and new growth.

  • Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Aim for partial shade in warmer climates.
  • Water Requirements: Pansies prefer evenly moist soil. Be sure to have drain holes if your pansies are planted in a container, or well draining soil if they are planted in the ground.
  • Characteristics: Pansies are characterized by their five petal formation. Some varieties are characterized by a darker blotch, or “face”, at the center of the flower. Pansies can range in shades of red, blue, purple, yellow, and white.
  • Uses: Pansies are a great addition to containers and flower beds in early spring and early fall. Their variety of colors allows them to be versatile to compliment any additional plants in the landscape.
  • Interesting Facts: The name pansy comes from the French pensée and reflects the meaning of ‘remembrance’ or ‘thought’ in the 19th century language of flowers.
  • Varieties:
    • Matrix Series: This series features flowers that are 3” – 3.5” on a short, strong stem to support the flower.
    • Cool Wave: has a prostrate habit that fills in landscapes and containers. It has superior overwintering capabilities and is one of earliest to re-emerge in spring.
    • Frizzle Sizzle: offers a frilly flower form with unique and bold colors
Both the blooms and the leaves of pansies are edible and high in vitamins A and C.
Pansies taste like a slightly floral version of lettuce, and the flowers can be used to make syrup, flavored honey, and natural dyes.
February’s birth flower is the pansy
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the juice of a pansy was used in a love potion, referencing the Ancient Greeks’ use of the flower in herbal remedies and love potions.
Himmel's Landscaping & Garden Center

Author Himmel's Landscaping & Garden Center

More posts by Himmel's Landscaping & Garden Center

Leave a Reply