Pansy, also known by its scientific name Viola tricolor, is a popular garden flowering plant. It is also one of the most popular box plant and houseplant among indoor gardeners. Its name comes from the French word pansée, which means "thought", because it is suppose to resemble a human face in deep thought. They come in colours ranging from orange to purple to dark blue that is close to black. They grow well in sunny and partially sunny places. Pansies are biennials, which is to say, in the first year they only produce leaves. They start bearing flowers and seeds in their second year of growth, after which they die.

Gardening enthusiasts buy young plants from the garden centres ready to bloom. If you wish to grow them from seed, plant them indoors in early November for them to be ready for showing in spring. Pansies are quite hardy. They will tolerate light frost and snow but not too much. To get them to bloom, give them at least 6 hours of sun - fewer than that, and the blooms will be correspondingly fewer too. They cannot stand much heat though, if it gets too hard, they become leggy and stop blooming.

Botanical Name Viola tricolor
Family Violaceae
Type Container/Garden Plant
Position Pansies are hardy plans that can stand cold but not too much warm.
Care Pansies need soil with good drainage or else they may rot.
Watering Water regularly during dry weather. To protect the roots from winter cold, mulch with pine straw.
Feeding Timed-release plant food works best to feed your pansies over many months. Select fertilisers that contain nitrate nitrogen. Mix the fertiliser to the soil before setting out the plants. Look for fertilisers made specially for pansies, such as Pansy Booster. Reapply fertiliser in late winter to get profuse blooming. Removing faded blooms will also stimulate more flower production, and also to prevent them from seeding.
Repotting This should be done about once a year, in spring, using lime-free compost and wide, shallow pots with good drainage..
Propagation Pansys are usually grown from cuttings. Cut a leaf with 2 to 5 cm of stalk, and insert into cutting compost, keeping the temperature at 20°C.
Pests and diseases Pansy sickness includes stem rot, which causes the plant to collapse without warning. Destroy any affected plants to prevent the disease from spreading. Use fungicide before planting.

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