Pansies and Violas: Which One Is Best for You?

Pansies and violas are a great addition to any fall or winter flowerbed. They are cold weather tolerant and they are winter flowering, which makes them a rarity in the flower world. While you may think all of the smaller flowered plants are pansies, these two flowers are different, and you’ll want to make sure that you plant the right flower for your yard.

What Is The Difference Between Pansies and Violas? Are they Annuals or Perennials?

Winter flowering pansies and violas are related flowers, but they are different. Winter pansies and viola plants are both perennials, but they are in a class of flowers called short-term perennials. Short-term perennials will rebloom each year for a few years, and then you will have to replant. Both pansies and viola flowers love the cold, and they will die out on their own as soon as the weather begins to heat up.

Pansies and violas look a lot alike. They are both small plants that come in many different colors. However, there are ways to tell pansies and violas apart. Pansies and violas are both European flowers. In fact, all pansies are part of the viola family. The word pansy comes from the French word pensee, which means thought.

You can tell the difference between pansies and violas by looking at the number of petals. If the bloom has four petals pointing upward, and one petal pointing downward, it is a pansy. If the flower has two petals pointing upward and three pointing downward, it is a viola. Violas are smaller than pansies, and they bloom abundantly.

Violas and pansies come in gorgeous colors to brighten up the winter landscape. This is important if you are a business owner, because you want the front of your company to look inviting, and colorful flowerbeds can help tremendously. One of the most popular colors for perennial violas is the viola tricolor. The viola tricolor is a series of yellow, orange and white blooms. Many people love the purple pansy, but they can also be found in pink, blue, white, yellow and red.

How Long Do Pansies Bloom? How Long Do Pansies and Violas Last?

Pansies and violas can begin to bloom in early spring, depending on where you live or where your business is located. If you’re wondering when to plant pansies, you will want to wait to plant pansies and violas until you are fairly sure you won’t have days of freezing night temperatures. Pansies and violas are cold tolerant, but days below freezing can kill pansies without protection. Pansies and violas do enjoy time in the sun, but they do not have to have full sun all day. This is especially true as the weather begins to heat up.

Pansies will continue to bloom as long as it does not get too hot. You will be able to keep pansies and violas blooming if you deadhead the plants. If you have never deadheaded plants before, you need to know how to deadhead pansies and violas.

Deadheading pansies and deadheading violas works the same way. You can clip off the faded blooms with a small pair of scissors, or you can pinch off the blooms. Be sure that you deadhead the plants at the base of the bloom, above a leaf cluster, to encourage the plants to continue to bloom.

While pansies and violas love the cold weather, they are not fond of heat. In fact, there are varieties of pansies, such as the ice pansy, that can survive a snowfall.

Both pansies and violas will stop blooming and die off the warmer it gets. If you plant violas or pansies in the front of your business, and they get time in the sun as well as the shade, there’s a chance you can coax them to continue to bloom into the summer, or if you’re lucky, the fall. However, once it gets too hot, the flowers will stop blooming, and will reappear in the fall.

How to Work Pansies and Violas Into Your Landscape

Can you plant pansies and violas together? Of course you can. In general, pansies are slightly larger and taller than violas. You can mix and match pansies and violas for a colorful display. In a business landscape, pansies or violas are planted in front of perennial shrubs that don’t bloom at all, or only bloom once during the season. Pansies and violas can add a welcome burst of color in front of your office.

What if you don’t have a bed in front of your office? No worries. You can still add color to your business during the winter. Pansies and violas look great in containers as well. For some businesses, this may be a better option to beautify your business. You can plant pansies in window boxes, or you can plant violas in containers on your porch, or down your driveway. Pansies and violas look amazing massed in planters.

Pansies and violas need moist soil that drains well. They don’t do well in clay or loam soils. Some species of pansies and violas like coarse soil, so be sure and ask what soil is best for your pansies or violas. If you plant the flowers in containers, you’ll be able to control both the soil mixture and the sunlight.

If you want to mix pansies and violas together, plant the violas along the base of your landscape, as they need to be in front of the pansies, which are usually taller. You can plant the violas close together, as they like massed groupings. Pansies need to be planted six inches apart, but they can be planted as far apart as 10 inches in a landscape.

Whether you decide to plant pansies or violas, you are sure to have beautiful masses of color, even on the darkest, grayest winter days. If you make sure that your plants get plenty of sun and water, and you encourage them to bloom by deadheading them regularly, your flowers will bloom for months. What a great way to beautify your business!

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