2017: Year of the Pansy - Majestic Giants II Blue Jeans

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Majestic Giants II Clear Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Majestic Giants II Fire

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Majestic Giants II Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy -King Henry Viola (Botanical Interests)

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Mardi Gras Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe Blueberry Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe Mulberry Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe Rose Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe White

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe White Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe White Violet Wing

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Lemon Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Sunny Day Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Deep Blue with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Fire Surprise

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Red with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Rose Surprise

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Tricolor Imp

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus White with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Yellow with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Gold with Blotch Imp

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Persian Surprise

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Primrose with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure Light Blue

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure Orange

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure Primrose

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure White

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe Ocean

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Beaconsfield 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire DeluXXe Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Mardi Gras Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Mardi Gras Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - inspire Plus Marina

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2017: Year of the Pansy - inspire plus Sun N Surf Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire plus True Blue

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Inspire Plus Violet Face

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Blue Picotee Shades

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Misty Waters

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Purple

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Purple and Blue Shades

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Rose Shades with Face

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Yellow Red Wing

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Yellow with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Blueberry Swirl

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Blueberry Swirl 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave feature

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave feature 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Frost

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Frost 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Golden Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Morpho

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Morpho 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave in a Salad

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Sunshine N Wine

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Sunshine N Wine 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Violet Wing

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Violet Wing 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Violet Wing 3

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave White

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave White 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave White 3

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Cool Wave Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Blotch Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Blue Frost

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Clear White

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Fall Feature

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Morpheus

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Rose

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Matrix Solar Flare

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Sunrise

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Sunrise 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Sunrise 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Blotch Mix

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Halloween Mx

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Primrose

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Primrose 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Rainbow Design

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Sunburst

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola True Blue

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Panola Yellow Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Spring Matrix Spring Feature

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Antiqu Shades

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Blue and Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Landscape

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Landscape 2

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Mulberry Shades

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Ocean

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Orange

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Plum Purple

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Red and Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Rose Picotee

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature White

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Nature Yellow with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Majestic Giants II Blue Jeans

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Lavender Surprise

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Ocean

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Colossus Purple with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Blue with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Deep Blue

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Marina

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Neon Violet Imp

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure Golden Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure Lemon

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Pure Violet

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Red with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Rose Surprise

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Yellow Imp

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Yellow

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall White

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Purple with Face

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Wonder Fall Blue with Blotch

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2017: Year of the Pansy - Delta Beaconsfield

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Each year we select one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop and one edible as our "Year of the" crops. Each is chosen because they are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse, and versatile. Free downloadable presentations can be found on our SlideShare account.

2017: Year of the Daffodil

2017: Year of the Pansy

2017: Year of the Brassica

2017: Year of the Rose 

Selected Article:

2017: Year of the Pansy

Pansies are a friendly-faced flower but until the 19th century most people considered them a weed.

2017: Year of the Pansy

Pansies are such a friendly-faced flower! But I bet you didn’t know until the 19th century most people considered them a weed. Today, pansies are a hybrid plant cultivated from those wildflowers in Europe and western Asia. Much of the collection and cultivation of pansies can be attributed to plantsmen and women in the UK and Europe more than 200 years ago. For example: Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet, daughter of the Earl of Tankerville, and her gardener cross-bred a wide variety of Viola tricolor (common name “Heartsease”) and showcased their pansies to the horticultural world in 1813. Further experiments around the same time eventually grew the class to over 400 garden pansy varieties.

 
Garden pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are a mixture of several species, including Viola tricolor. Oftentimes the names “pansy”, “viola”, and “violet” are interchangeable. However Modern pansies are classified by the American Violet Society as having large-flowered blooms with two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal, with a slight beard in its center. They’re considered annual bedding plants, used for garden decoration during cooler planting seasons. Pansies come in a rainbow of colors: from crisp white to almost black, and most all colors in between. They are also a great addition to your spring or fall vegetable garden as they are edible and pair well with lettuces. They can also be candied and used to decorate sweets or other dishes.
 
In the late-1830s the classic pansy “face” was discovered in a chance sport that produced a broad dark blotch on the petals. It was released to the public by James, Lord Gambier with the name “Medora”. Further hybridization of V. tricolor, V. Lutea and a blue-flowered species of Russian origin, V. altacia, lead to breeders selecting plants for more unusual pansy colors, different color combinations, and a larger flower size.
 
Most pansies fall into a few categories: Large (3 to 4 in.), Medium (2 to 3 in.) Multiflora (1 to 2 in.) and a new category of Trailing pansy. Some modern Large-flowered pansy series are Majestic Giant, bred by Sakata (where Majestic Giant White Face was a 1966 All-America Selections Winner); Delta, bred by Syngenta; and Matrix, bred by PanAmerican Seed. Medium-sized pansy series include Crown by Sakata and Imperial from Takii & Co., Ltd. (Imperial Blue won an All-America Selections in 1975). Multiflora pansy series like Maxim and Padparadja won AAS awards in the early 1990s. New on the scene for hanging baskets and ground cover are WonderFall from Syngenta, and Cool Wave® pansies, from PanAmerican Seed – the makers of Wave® petunias. These Trailing pansies spread over 2 ft. wide and overwinter in fall gardens. Today’s garden pansy varieties can fill any sunny space – large or small, hanging overhead or growing underfoot – with soft fragrance and happy blooms.
 
While many retail garden centers offer pansies in handled-packs, hanging baskets or individual pots, many gardeners still start their own pansy flowers from seed. To germinate, start your pansy seeds indoors with a soilless mixture (this helps prevent disease on the seedlings). Plant seed 1/8-in. deep with a light cover and a gentle watering. Pansies prefer darkness for germination. The media temperature should be 60-65°F and keep air temperature at 70-75°F. The media should stay damp (covering with a plastic wrap or damp newspaper will help retain humidity. A fine spray or mister can be added if the media dries. Germination occurs in 10-20 days. When shoots appear, remove covering and move the flat to a brightly lit but cool room to continue to grow. Continue to grow cool. Separate seedlings into larger containers after two sets of leaves appear. Begin to feed with diluted plant food.
 
For transplants or purchased finished plants, space your pansies 6 to 10 in. apart in a well-drained and fertile soil location. The best location is an area that receives morning sun. Adding granular or time-release nutrition to the soil is encouraged, especially for trailing pansies as this increases their vigor and number of blooms. Offer plenty of water at planting and during their adjustment period to help establish roots and minimize stress. Mulching can help retain moisture and reduce any weeds that may compete with your plants. Pansies planted in the spring will enjoy the warm days and cool nights of the season. Most V. wittrockiana will begin to diminish or go out of flower as nighttime temperatures begin to rise in the summer. When planted in the north for fall outdoor decorating, pansies will enjoy a shorter but colorful season of blooms and in many cases will overwinter to pop up again the following spring. Southern gardeners often use pansies as their winter color and enjoy them all season long.
 
The National Garden Bureau recognizes and thanks PanAmerican Seed as author of this fact sheet. This Pansy fact sheet is provided as an educational service of the National Garden Bureau. There are no limitations on the use. Please credit the National Garden Bureau.
 
Please consider our NGB member companies as authoritative sources for information. Click on direct links to their websites by selecting Member Info from the menu on the left side of our home page. Gardeners looking for seed sources, select “Shop Our Members” at the top of our home page.
 
Photos can be obtained from the NGB website in the area labeled “Image Downloads.” National Garden Bureau would like to thank our members for providing the photos for this feature. Please credit the National Garden Bureau anytime one of these images is used.