Pansy Spotlight

panYes, it’s spring and yes, it’s snowing. Now you know why pansies are the backbone of early spring gardens—they shrug off this kind of weather without generating maintenance calls afterwards. When it does warm up they quickly perk up and start blooming, putting on a good show all over again.

Here’s some good advice for commercial color and for the homeowner, too: the trick is to present pansies as…well, interesting. Everyone thinks of them as good ol’ pansies, the same old-same old—“same as they ever were,” to quote a song.

The truth about pansies is very different. The breeders have been busy, and a lot of new and interesting genetics have entered the market. We now see a range and depth of colors, presentation, habits, and showmanship that rival the big guns of spring.

Pansy Basics


We like gardens of clear color, and several pansy lines do the job. For impressive 55mph color that gets noticed as people drive by, go with ‘Matrix® Yellow’, ‘Matrix® Orange’ or ‘Delta True Blue’. These flowers feature bright clear colors that flash with the sun.

Pansies with Style


For a fancier look all in a single tray, go with ‘Matrix® Sunrise’. It has a jewel-toned flower that’s very sophisticated for a pansy. ‘Cool Wave Violet Wing’ is the picture of a country garden—it’s a pansy with a strong johnny-jump-up look. A third pansy that comes to mind is ‘Cool Wave Frost’, a delicate lavender we have grown out in 10-inch hanging baskets—it’s extremely light and beautiful.

Classical Pansies


If you prefer your pansies with faces, go with ‘Delta Premium Deep Blue Purple’, which is really a true purple without much blue. Match it with its sister, ‘Delta Premium Yellow Blotch’. Between the two, you can draw shapes with solid blocks of color, or you can mix them together for a dotted, flickering look.

The Big Ones


Choose something from the Majestic series if you prefer your blooms on the large size. ‘Formula Mix’ is a good choice if you just want some of everything—super-sized.

And a Great Mix Is . . .


‘Dynamite Clear Mix’. If you can’t decide which colors to use, this mix has all the key players. It does a great job of welcoming spring with abundant blooms; plus, your favorite color is bound to be in there.