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Year-Round Pansies

Jill likes cooking, writing, painting, & stewardship, and studies gardening through MD Master Gardener & Master Naturalist programs.

Hybrid pansies, like the one pictured above, often have distinct "faces."

Hybrid pansies, like the one pictured above, often have distinct "faces."

If you live in USDA Zones 2–10 (or the equivalent), you can grow pansies year round.

Members of the genus Viola, pansies include approximately 500 species, each producing pretty five-petaled flowers in a variety of colors.

Many types of pansies—with a wide range of growing requirements—are available, making it easy to grow pansies year round.

Some pansies grow well in extremely cold temperatures; others perform well in very hot climates. Some pansies thrive in full sun; others do best in shade. Some pansies grow well in rich humus, while others prefer rocky soil. And many are frost-resistant, gracing autumn and winter gardens with their fresh flower faces.

Crystal Bowl, Dynamite & Ultima are among the series of pansy hybrids that produce large flowers.

Crystal Bowl, Dynamite & Ultima are among the series of pansy hybrids that produce large flowers.

Botanical NameCommon NameZone

Viola adunca

purple violet, western dog violet

4–9

Viola blanda

woodland white violet

2–9

Viola canina

heath violet, heath dog violet

6–9

Viola cornuta

bedding pansy, horned violet

7–10

Viola cucullata

marsh blue violet

4–9

Viola hederacea

trailing violet, Australian violet

8–10

Viola jooi

5–10

Viola odorata

sweet violet

7–10

Viola pedata

pansy violet, bird's foot violet

4–9

Viola riviniana

dog violet, wood violet

5–9

Viola septentrionalis

northern blue violet

4–9

Viola sororia

4–9

Viola tricolor

heartsease, love-in-idleness, johnny jump-up

4–10

Hardiness Zone Maps

Don't know your growing zone? "World Hardiness Zones" provides links to hardiness zone maps for the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, South America and more.

This semi-trailing pansy hybrid has hooking stems & relatively small flowers.

This semi-trailing pansy hybrid has hooking stems & relatively small flowers.

Hardy Perennial Pansies

Depending upon the species, hardy perennial pansies bloom in spring, summer or from spring into summer.

Pansy Violets

Viola pedata, the bird's foot violet or pansy violet, is a frost-tolerant spring bloomer that grows best in partial shade in Zones 4–9. Pansy violet flowers are usually lilac with darker upper petals and purple veins.

Pansies make excellent bedding plants.

Pansies make excellent bedding plants.

Bedding Pansies

Viola cornuta, also called bedding pansies or horned violets, grow best in Zones 7–10. Mounding plants that grow well in shade and sun, they're also frost tolerant.

Viola cornuta begins blooming in late spring and continues to produce dark-veined purple flowers throughout the summer. Other colors are also available.

Bedding pansies with white flowers include 'Jewel White,' 'Sorbet Coconut' and those in the 'Alba' group. 'Magnifico' bedding pansies produce white flowers with deep pink edges.

Three bedding pansies in pastel shades include pink 'Victoria's Blush,' lilac 'Belmont Blue' and pale yellow 'Pat Kavanagh.'

'Sorbet Black Delight' bedding pansies produce dramatically dark flowers that are a velvety purplish-black.

Other hardy perennial pansies are listed in the table above.

all-year-round-pansies

Cold-Climate Pansies

Viola hybrid cultivars bred from V. cornuta, V. corsica and V. tricolor pansies can withstand cold temperatures and chilling frosts.

Two standout cold-climate pansies include Ultima Supreme pansies and the Universal Series of pansy plants.

Ultima Supreme Pansies

Ultima Supreme pansies are compact fast growers that produce large flowers in a wide range of colors and color combinations, including apricot, orange, purple and yellow.

Universal Series Pansies

Universal Series pansies tolerate hot and cold temperatures equally well—and they're prolific bloomers, producing masses of flowers with pansy faces in 13 solid colors, including blue, maroon, orange, purple, white and yellow.

'Baby Lucia' is another extremely cold-tolerant, heavy-blooming pansy. Its blue flowers grow from mounds that can reach up to six-inches high. Like many other small, viola pansies, 'Baby Lucia' is sweetly fragrant.

Hardy pansies will bloom, even when there's snow on the ground.

Hardy pansies will bloom, even when there's snow on the ground.

Heat-Resistant Pansies

As noted above, Universal series pansies are heat tolerant. 'Imperial Antique Shades' pansies are also heat-tolerant hybrids.

Imperial Series Pansies

Part of the Imperial Series of hybrids, 'Imperial Antique Shades' pansies do not produce as many flowers as those in the Universal series, but their blooms are larger. Delicate and fluttery, their flowers bloom in a variety of soft, pastel colors—mostly shades of apricot, blue, cream and pink.

Many pansies in the viola group have a sweet fragrance.

Many pansies in the viola group have a sweet fragrance.

Annual & Tender Perennial Pansies

all-year-round-pansies

Temporary Bedding Plants

Bi-color, tricolor and multicolor pansy hybrids are fun to grow as temporary bedding plants. All are prodigious producers of the quintessential pansy flower: five fluttery petals surrounding a pretty pansy face. Here are a few of the best.

Baby Face Pansies

Pansy hybrids in the Baby Face Series of plants produce bi-colored and multicolored flowers. Each has a distinctive pansy face.

Fama Series

Pansies in the Fama Series are semi-trailing, making them great as bedding plants and as spillers in mixed container gardens.The flowers, although not overly large, grow in masses of pastel shades.

Velour Series Pansies

Velvety petals; dark, vivid colors; and black markings are the hallmarks of the Velour Series of pansies. Two particularly gorgeous cultivars are 'Black Moon' and 'Elain Quin.' 'Black Moon' pansies produce flowers with rich, black petals. 'Elain Quin's' petals are a cream-striped rose.

Universal pansies tolerate extemely hot and extremely cold temperatures.

Universal pansies tolerate extemely hot and extremely cold temperatures.

all-year-round-pansies

Questions & Answers

Question: How often should I water my pansies?

Answer: If your pansies are in a bed, you may need to water slowly and deeply once or twice a week. If your pansies are in pots, stick your finger up to the knuckle in the soil: if it’s dry, water them.

© 2012 Jill Spencer

Comments

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on July 23, 2016:

Hi Caroline. Thanks for your question! Viola cornuta, the horned violet, is a good choice for you. It's a perennial that can take full or partial shade. Viola tricolor (Johnny jumpup) does well in full and partial sun, too, and they'll reseed. Both of these violets like moist (not soggy) soil, so you'll have to water them. Sometimes jumpups live two years here in Zone 7, as they overwinter quite well. You're in Zone 8, so they should last at least a year there or more. I like to plant pansies in clumps in and around other plants. They seem to hold moisture better that way, and the other plants give them a bit of shade. Here's a link to a variety of horned violet called Penny. http://www.perennials.com/plants/viola-cornuta-pen... Here's a link to a johnny jumpup http://www.burpee.com/flowers/violas/viola-johnny-... Good luck to you! All the best, Jill

Caroline Narwani on July 23, 2016:

I am so excited to plant pansies in my garden but would like to know which perennial type could I plant in full sun and also another in part shade in northeast Georgia. Thx for your post.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 02, 2012:

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan--Glad the hub brightened your gloomy-weather day. Always nice to hear from you! --Jill

Claudia Mitchell on December 02, 2012:

A little sunshine in my rainy Sunday afternoon. Thanks for a beautiful hub on pansies. I had no idea that there were so many variations. I should see if I can find some in my local nursery, but I doubt it...most of them are closed for the winter. Voted up and beautiful.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 30, 2012:

Thanks, tebo. I too have a real love for pansies. They're so photogenic! --Jill

tebo from New Zealand on November 30, 2012:

I've always loved pansies too and do have some in the garden. By the beautiful photos you have included you seem to have a lovely array of pansies. Lovely hub.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 30, 2012:

Hi aviannovice. Don't they have the sweetest faces? Very cheery to come home to! Thanks for stopping by & commenting. --Jill

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on November 30, 2012:

I am so glad that you did this piece. I would LOVE to have pansies year round, for they are one of my favorites. Thanks so much.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 29, 2012:

Oh man, Lee, I really am jealous--and amused. Christmas lights! Whatever works! Unfortunately, all we've got growing here to eat are radishes & turnips. (burp) Later, Jill

Lee Raynor from Citra Florida on November 29, 2012:

Hey Jill

Interesting Hub, I didn't know there were any heat resistant pansies.

Now a note just to make you jealous, I just picked some yellow squash for dinner with bell peppers also from the garden. I'm also trying green beans and watermelon although I doubt I can protect them well enough from the cold. I'm using Christmas lights and frost blankets but time will tell.

Lee

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 29, 2012:

You're welcome, purl3agony! Hope the link's useful to you. (: --Jill

Donna Herron from USA on November 29, 2012:

Thanks for the zone link! This information is really helpful for newbies like me to know what will grow well in my yard:)

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 28, 2012:

Hi purl3agony. Here's a link to the USDA Hardiness Zone map: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html. I'll add a link to the hub later. (Should have thought of that!)

Hey Lilleyth! You're so lucky, getting all those pansy flats. (: And I bet they make cheerful window boxes. Wish more hybrids were heat tolerant. The only ones we have that bloom all summer are planted in full shade along our deck. Happy gardening--and thanks for stopping by. --Jill

Donna Herron from USA on November 28, 2012:

Thanks for this info. We have pansies in our backyard, but how do I know which zone I'm in? Thanks as always!

Suzanne Sheffield from Mid-Atlantic on November 28, 2012:

Beautiful hub Dirt Farmer! My son works at Lowes and usually brings me a couple flats of pansies for my window boxes in the fall. I live in Delaware on the east coast so they only do well until hot weather.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 28, 2012:

Hi Pavlo! Pansies are great bedding plants most of the year, particularly in spring and fall. Happy gardening! Jill

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on November 28, 2012:

These flowers are lovely! They give your garden a new colouring in summer time. Great hub!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 28, 2012:

Hi faythef. I set out lots and lots of them last month. Here in MD, they'll live through the winter, even blooming in the snow. Just love them! Thanks for the vote. --Jill

Faythe Payne from USA on November 28, 2012:

I love pansies, Now is the time for me to plant them..they add color to my garden while everything else is dormant...thanks for the reminder..voted up.