Pansies Take A Bum Rap

I think Pansies take a bum wrap.  How in the world did the word “Pansy” get tagged as being effeminate and weak.  The pansy is one of the boldest and strongest of flowers.  Pansies that are planted in the late fall, face winter  snow, wind and hail, and survive to lift their faces to the sun in the early spring.   I was just pulling out of Wendy’s and noticed a bed of Pansies that were in full bloom… despite our off and on again warm weather.   Yes… Spring is around the corner!


When I was growing up, our neighbors, the Barlows, grew Pansies.  My mom was a Petunia lady… no Pansies at our house.  But I loved them anyway… their little faces fascinated me.   I especially love the orange ones… and so when I purchase Pansies, I make sure there are plenty of orange ones in the mix.

The flower is traced back to the 4th century B.C. in France and was named “Pensee”   The French word means thought or remembrance.  However, during Elizabethan times, the word became a disparaging term for a man or boy who was effeminate.    (Perhaps, that’s what caused the tiff between France and England.)   Anyway… I think Pansies get a bum wrap.


My grand daughter Ella’s birthday is March 4th.  A take home prize for each of her tea party guests was a potted tea cup filled with Pansies.  Actually, I think the mom’s loved them more than the girls did.  The kids probably would have preferred a little bag of candy.    Katie, my daughter, picked up the cups and saucers at a thrift store and we filled them up with Panseys.  Purple was the favorite of the day.   Of course, in the cup, they don’t last forever… but it is a bright ray of sunshine sitting on the window sill after a long cold winter.

Give it a try!

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana.

P.S.  Pansies like rich soil.. so fertilizing them will give you lots of blooms.  If you plant Pansies in areas that will become shaded when the trees bear their leaves… they will last longer into summer months.  Pansies are a cool weather friend… so protect them from the direct sun.

4 responses to “Pansies Take A Bum Rap”

  1. Pansies are one of my favorite! they come in such bright colors.

    There is a new variety of pansy that will tolerated sun and heat.

    Be sure to pick of the dead blooms to keep them blooming longer.

  2. Living in the milder British Columbia climate we are able to grow pansie very well. I usually buy flats of them in the fall and place them in pots all over my patio, steps and any other place I need a bit of color. My favorites are the violet/blue shades. Last year I had a bumper crop and with regular dead heading they looked great. One afternoon my 5 year old grandson was visiting and I asked him to deadhead for me. He’s done it so many times I wasn’t worried about leaving him to do the job alone. I went to check on him a few minutes later and saw that most of my pansies were down to little stumps. He was almost in tears but I assured him that they would come back. I’m amazed at how quickly they grew and got right back to blooming. I never did find out why Lucas cut them so short.

  3. Julie… Thanks for the great story. I love having the Grands help. Maybe Lucas has taught us all a lesson… “Don’t be afraid of cutting pansies Waaaaay back.”