Growing and Caring for Pansies - the Basics

comments (0) April 9th, 2015

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Pansies – Origin and Importance to the World

"Beautiful, flat, symmetrical, velvet-like flowers, more than two inches in diameter, magnificently and variously coloured". These were the words of Charles Darwin, who took great interest in flower cross breeding as part of his general obsession with natural selection.

Pansies, being what they are – stunningly beautiful – were very much in vogue in England and abroad, being a muse for painters, favourites of the aristocracy all over Europe and an inspiration for the breeders and the gardeners of that intriguing age.

Testifying to their appeal, pansies were immortalized by Shakespeare with the lines 'little western flower, / Before milk white, now purple with love's wound, / And maidens call it love-in-idleness.' What quite a deep dent can a flower make in the universe with its simple loveliness.

For his part, Darwin kept detailed diaries about his experiments with flowers (including pansies) and the various traits that became dominant or passive with time – so, who knows, probably pansies played their part in one of the highest points of the human civilization – Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

Pansies Basics – Growing and Basic Care

If you need more detailed information or a further tip, you can check some gardening websites like Newbury Gardenrs or similar – there's always more to know, even for a comparatively easy to grow plants like pansies.

Modern pansies' ancestor is a European wildflower named Viola wittrockiana. Also commonly called Johnny-jump-up, nowadays the names pansy and viola are used more or less interchangeably.

Either way, pansies love cool climate. It's highly advisable that you plant them in autumn, so the plants can flower in the spring.

During the winter, pansies don't look at their prettiest (that's both an understatement and a compliment). But fear not, these little robust beauties are just waiting for their time to come and when it does, the beautification of your garden is guaranteed.

Over the centuries pansies have developed a pretty impressive toughness for such a tender plant and they generally thrive in hardiness zone 4-8. That's to say that they feel comfortable to overwinter in Southern Canada. Respect.

Although pansies love full sun deeply, it's better to partly shade them during the summer, especially if you live south of zone 7 – they will keep their good looks longer and bloom more.

Take into account that through the centuries pansies have become very much cold resistant, but unfortunately they don't stand up very well to proper heat.

It's best to plant these annuals 8 to 12 inches apart. Their spread is usually between 9 and 12 inches and grow 6 to 9 inches tall.

Pansies are so versatile they will feel at home when planted in pretty much all types of soil, but they appreciate nothing better than moist, well-drained soil.

Water them regularly, because pansies love water. Adding a little bit of fertilizer every now and then for better growth comes in handy.

Removing dead or faded flowers is a good strategy, since it stimulates the flower growing process and prolongs blooming.


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