Closely related to violets, pansies are the most popular type of potted colour. They come in a seemingly infinite range of colours, and there are thousands of different varieties. Flowers have 5 petals: 2 top petals that overlap slightly, 2 side petals and a large fused lower petal. Colours range from gold and orange though to purple, violet, and deep blue and many varieties have multiple colours in each flower. Strictly speaking pansies are biennials, which means they produce leaves in year one and flower only after 2 years, but extensive breeding has turned them into annuals – that is they flower every year. In fact many pansy varieties flower so prolifically and for such a long period of time that they seem to flower themselves to death after one year, and need to be replaced.
Pots are commonly forced into flower in glasshouses for sale in autumn. Once bought, they may stop flowering for several weeks until early spring arrives and flowering begins naturally.
What to look for
- Plants with a few open flowers and many buds
- Avoid plants with yellow leaves.
- Remove the plastic sleeve around the pot.
- Place pots in a well-lit place, ideally in partial (but not full) sun.
- Pansies stop flowering if they get too hot, so keep out of the sun after mid-morning in summer.
- Check pots daily and water if dry.
- These plants behave like annuals and may die back after 1 year.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
The pansy gets its name from the French word pensee meaning “thought”. It is thought this is because the flowers resemble a human face and in summer they bow their heads forward as if deep in thought.
Botanical Name: Viola tricolor hortensis, varieties of Viola _ wittrockiana
Common Names: Heartsease, Johnny Jump-up, Pansy
Country of Origin: Europe
Available Colours: Black, Blue, Brown, Cream, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow