Plant of the Month – March

March 4, 2022 by Cherry Lane

March’s Plant of the Month

By Rachael – Content Editor

Published March 2022

  Our plant of the month for March is the ever-popular, Pansy. A common sight in many gardens, pansies are one of the most popular bedding plants in the UK. Wild pansies are often referred to by the name “Heartsease” and are a familiar resident in the Scottish Highlands.
Where does the name ‘pansy’ stem from? The name pansy originated in France with the word pensée, which means “thought”. The types of pansies that inspired the name were considered to resemble a human face deep in thought.   Latin name: Viola x wittrockiana Family: Violaceae Origin: Asia and Europe Characteristics: Bushy green leaves with multi-coloured blooms that usually have a darker coloured centre Preferred neighbours: Spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips Top Tip: Avoid direct sunlight Fun fact: Pansies are called “flammola” in Italian, which means “little flame”   Are pansies easy to grow? Pansies are quite a hardy bedding plant, making them nice and easy to grow. Plant them in an area with excellent soil drainage and some light shade, keeping them moist in warm spells. Keep on top of deadheading to ensure regular new blooms. When does a pansy flower? The flowering season for pansies is very versatile, depending on when they are planted. When planted in autumn, you can expect blooms throughout late winter to early spring. Planted in spring, pansies will bloom throughout summer. Are pansies good for wildlife? Whilst they are stunning to look at, pansies do not provide enough nectar to help pollinators. However, the bright colours of pansies do attract bees, making pansies the perfect planting partners for other nectar-rich blooms. Did you know? Pansies belong to the Viola family, and collectively they have over 500 species! Their petals are available in almost any colour you can think of. A little history… These beautiful blooms have been around for hundreds of years but became a popular garden flower in the early nineteenth century. Pansies have a close relative, the Viola, which was popular as far back as 400BC due to its medicinal properties.
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