Folk names for pansies include Johny-jump-up and Heartsease. They're a very common flower throughout North America and Europe, and feature heart-shaped petals. While the plant itself can grow for more than one season or self seed, most people use pansies as an annual, replacing the plant as needed. Pansies prefer mildly acidic soil and a cooler environment. On average pansies grow to about 8 inches tall. They come in a wide variety of colours.
The most striking part of the pansy is the flower. Cultivated pansies have many different hues, some being two-tone across a diameter of 2-3 inches on average, some having stripes moving from the centre of the flower outward, and others bearing just one colour. Texturally pansy petals feel soft and somewhat velvety. If your pansy flowers turn yellow it's often an indication of root rot that will stunt your plant's growth.
Pansy leaves found on the stem have an oblong shape, whereas heartlike leaves emerge closer to the base of the plant. They are a mossy green colour and feature notched edges.
Stems & Roots
Pansy stems snap near the root, particularly after the first year of growth when they become long and thin. From the main stem other branches form that reach about 5 inches in height. Pansy roots should be white. Black spots on feeder roots are often a sign of root rot, which mainly occurs from over-watering.
Fun Pansy Facts
During the Middle Ages pansies became part of love potions. The name pansy derives from a French term that translates as "thought."
Pansies are a completely edible flower and taste a bit minty. Try them in a light green salad.
To encourage pansies to blossom more, just keep picking their flowers.