7 Reasons You Just Gotta' Love The Pansy Flower


There are so many, many drop-dead gorgeous flowers to love, so many to plant in a garden.  But why love the pansy flower?

I'll always remember the first time I had planted pansies in the front flower bed of a townhome I had once owned in Northern Virginia.  One winter day, there was a heavy snowfall during the night.  When it finally stopped early that morning, the brilliant rays of the sun lite up pure white snow that had blanketed the garden bed.  

REASON #1:  I looked out the window and there was a big yellow face pansy peeking up through the white snow and smiling with its face towards the blue sky. Pansies love cool weather and will warm your heart even after a snow fall. I have loved pansies ever since.  

In a few weeks, pansies will be in the garden centers and I will be there eagerly picking out trays of pansy flowers for my apartment balcony garden.

What You Need To Know About Growing Pansies (Viola × wittrockiana): 

  • The viola family includes both pansies and violets

  • Pansies are annuals that grow best in zones 6-10, preferring 60 degrees F range (16 degrees C) during the day and 40 degrees F range (4 C) during the night. However, contemporary hybrids are often more adaptable to higher temperatures.

  • Plant seeds in late winter for early spring and summer flowering, or plant seeds in the summer for winter flowering.

  • Plant in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Pansies like the sun and cooler temperatures.

  • REASON #2: Pansies will easily grow in containers and flower boxes, as well as garden beds and edges

  • Pansy is from the "French word pensie, meaning thought or remembrance."

  • Takes full sun to part shade (generally means 6 hours of sun is required)

  • Hybrids grow approximately 8" tall with a 2-4" diameter and a flattened like face

  • Colors come in blue, purple, red, rose, yellow, apricot, brown-red, white and bi-colors

  • Although susceptible to fungal leaf diseases, pansies are relative free of serious insect or disease problems. (When planted in garden beds and edges, do watch for slugs and snails

REASONS #3 AND #4:  Two Interesting Facts About Pansies  -- they're edible and they have a fragrance.    The Flower Expert

Some pansies have a delicate perfume-like aroma. Once you have smelled and identified the pansy scent, it is unforgettable. Pansies seem to exude more fragrance at early morning and dusk. The yellow or blue pansy flowers seem to have the strongest scent.

Both the leaves and flowers of pansies and violas are edible and high in vitamins A and C. The flowers impart a strong flavor and have been used to make syrup, flavored honey and salads. Both the leaves and flowers can be used as a garnish, such as on cold fruit or cream soups. The flowers are also useful as a dye.
— The Flower Expert

Edible Pansies

However, if you plan to eat pansies, here's a warning from Martha Stewart, Tasting Pansies

Pansies and violas can have a mild, fresh flavor or a more prominent wintergreen taste depending on the variety and how much you eat (a whole flower tastes stronger than petals alone). Only eat flowers that are grown organically, without chemical pesticides. This rules out almost everything from florists, garden centers, and nurseries; it’s a good idea to grow pansies yourself if you plan to consume them, or order from an edible-flower source.
A sprinkling of sugar gives flowers baked onto little scalloped sugar cookies a lovely, subtle iridescence.
— see Martha Stewart

Pansies and other edible flowers can be purchased.  To learn more about this, see Where To Buy Edible Flowers on Good Housekeeping.com.  After doing an extensive search on buying organic edible flowers at a reasonable price, I've come to believe it may be better to just grow your own.  In fact, I'll be looking into doing that myself.  If, however, should you find a good source in the U.S.A., PLEASE share this information!


The above image is a beautiful lemon cake heavily finished with a edible flowers and is by Mat & Vanner; however, you will need a translation for the recipe.  A similar lemon cake recipe can be found on Food Network by Ina Garten

REASON #5:  They're perfect in flower arrangements and as bouquets

Here's a gorgeous flower arrangement with pansies. Learn more on how you can create a beautiful arrangement of flowers from your balcony garden at Nola.com, How to design gorgeous, homegrown (and free) backyard bouquets.  


REASON #6:  Pansies are just beautiful offering a wide array of colors

Here are just a few examples of the many colors of pansies.

Sources of these images are from the following, top left to right. Black pansy, Thompson Morgan; Orange Pansy, a Google search; Tiger Eye Yellow Pansy, Veseys.com; Pink Pansy, Jackseeds.com; White Pansy, Public Domain Pictures.net; and Tri-Color Pansy, Freepik.

Reasons #7: Pansies are inexpensive

You can buy them already potted. You can buy them in trays as single cuttings, usually 4 to 12. In short, you get a “lot of bang for the buck.”

Additional reading sources for this post:

There now, can you not love pansies?  No?  Well, for those of us who do, let's just glow with joy and plant pots and pots of pansies.