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Pansies, A Happy Harbinger Of Spring

Updated on February 21, 2015
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Few garden plants possess the ageless charm of a cheery Pansy.

Their jovial appearance in the garden blissfully signals an end to a cold and gloomy winter season.

The cordial presence of blooming Pansies gaily signifies that spring has finally arrived.

Their liveliness and vitality boastfully announces to the world that “idleness is over, so gardener ~ get going!”

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There are over 250 varieties of Pansies available at market today.

Most of these cultivars are segmented into ‘families’ or ‘series’ because they tend to comprise like attributes or qualities.

Growth habit, leaf form, flower form and hardiness help determine their relationship within their dynasty, even though they may vary in color.

Baby Praying Mantis On A Pansy
Baby Praying Mantis On A Pansy | Source

Pretty Pansies For Your Landscape

Two Pretty Pansies And A Dianthus Share A Patio Planter
Two Pretty Pansies And A Dianthus Share A Patio Planter | Source

Learning About Pansies

Popular Pansy strains readily available today are ones like Crystal Bowl, Delta, Imperial, Majestic Giant, Maxim, and Universal.

There are two primary forms of Pansies that we all have recognized through the years. ‘Faces’ or ‘Blotched’, and ‘Clean’ or ‘Clear’.

There are slight variations therein as well, like ‘Wings’ or ‘Whiskers’.

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Popular Pansy Series

Crystal Bowl series Pansies are dainty and small, bright and clear-colored flowers. They do not have faces or blotches. They are very free-flowering and quite compact. Although their flowers are smaller, there are lots of them! Colors range from white to yellow, true blue, rose, orange, violet and a beautiful scarlet color. The solid colors mix well with other more vividly colored Pansy families.

Imperial series is highly prized for its non-fading colors and vigorous growth. The Imperial family of Pansies blooms are 2 to 3 inches wide and faced, or blotched. The Imperial series is unique in that it possesses several colors not found in any other Pansy series. These Pansies are truly outstanding, with large 3 to 3-1/2 inch blooms on very sturdy 6 inch plants that maintain a dwarf and very compact habit. Blooms come early and are profuse. Imperials are resistant to summer heat. They are recommended highly for use in container plantings and garden beds.

Majestic Giant series has a free-flowering habit and stands up to heat and cold particularly well. Their large flowers are 3 to 4 inches across, and all have faces. Majestic Giants, which are one of the largest classes of flowers, and the first pansy to be awarded an AAS -- All American Selection. Almost all varieties in this series have the traditional dark blotch or face. Majestic Giants come in blue, purple, white, yellow and red.

Maxim series has small, faced or blotched flowers that bloom prolifically on very compact plants. Maxim Pansies have very good heat and cold tolerance. This series offers fourteen colors that bloom abundantly. One Pansy in the family, Maxim Marina, is an A.A.S. 1991 Bedding Plant Winner. Its unusual flower color is light blue with a dark blue face that is outlined in white.

Universal series Pansies offer masses of early-blooming flowers that come in a wide array of clear colors or faced varieties. The plants are dependable and have shone to be very cold and heat tolerant. Plants in this family have proven to be quite cold tolerant during southern winter conditions, and extremely heat tolerant in northern summers. There are 13 colors and a mixture which contains both solid and blotched varieties.

This cutie is a soft yellow Pansy in the Cider Punch series.  The two upper petals are peach colored 'wings'.
This cutie is a soft yellow Pansy in the Cider Punch series. The two upper petals are peach colored 'wings'. | Source

Pansies come in so many color choices, and they enjoy blooming for quite a long time!

Crisp, white to near perfect black. Yellows from creamy to sunny. Light, sky blue to dark, deep purple. Red, maroon, brown and orange, and so on it goes!

They are a care-free and freely flowering plant that will benefit from dead heading. This will allow the plant’s energy to keep producing beautiful flowers, as opposed to setting and developing seeds.

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Pansies are not very heat tolerant, so springtime is the perfect time to plant these cuties in the garden.

They prefer a bright spot in the landscape, and grow very well in containers and raised beds.

They will thrive in a well lit area that provides them with a minimum of six hours of light.

They don’t like harsh sun exposure, like in the heat-of-the-day.

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Two 'blotched' yellow Pansies and a pink Lantana share a combination garden planter.
Two 'blotched' yellow Pansies and a pink Lantana share a combination garden planter. | Source

A Pansy plant is technically classified as a biennial, and normally has a two-year life cycle. The first year they may only produce foliage. Flowers and seeds will be set forth in their second year of growth.

The Pansies available at the local market now have been growing at the greenhouse since last year, and are retail-ready to be offered for sale to gardeners this spring.

There are several varieties available that have been hybridized by plant breeders to bloom the first year, and some will bud and bloom in as little as just nine weeks from their sow date.

Pansy Tips

Keep your Pansies happily watered as the warmth of summer approaches, and give them periodic feeding, about once every week to ten days.

When removing the spent flowers, remove all of the stem, not just the seed pod.

Mulch your Pansies to allow for consistent moisture.

Blotched cherry pink Pansies share a garden planter with a pale pink Azalea bush.
Blotched cherry pink Pansies share a garden planter with a pale pink Azalea bush. | Source

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    • NotTooTall profile imageAUTHOR

      NotTooTall 

      6 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Hi Movie Master,

      Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate you leaving your comments very much.

      I am in love with Violas too! I can never keep up with their dead heading, which is actually okay. I get new strouts each year that way. I think their whiskers are so cute! :)

      N T T

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Pansies are such 'happy cheery' flowers, I grow them every year, I like violas too! I didn't realise there were so many varieties!

      thank you, voted up.

    • NotTooTall profile imageAUTHOR

      NotTooTall 

      6 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Hi Dirt Farmer,

      Thank you for coming by and leaving your comments. I appreciate it!

      I love Pansies. They put a smile on my face, that's for sure.

      So glad that spring is here! :)

      N T T

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      6 years ago from United States

      They do have the sweetest faces! Really like your photos.

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