PANSY POWER!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: April 21, 2024

Pansies are one of the first flowers to bloom in Big Sky Country. These multicolored flowers are perfect to put into hanging baskets or around your gardens. They are also inexpensive and attractive.

These flowers are better and stronger than their name implies. People call each other a “Pansy” if they are weak, fragile, or simply wussies”. That’s another name for people that are afraid to tackle a challenge or seek out an adventure. If they quit too soon then they are a Pansy” and they “Wussed out”.

Being called a “Pansy” might be a compliment! These plants are hearty, strong, and durable. A long lasting and strong friend could be called a “Pansy.” These flowers are also considered “cheerful and thoughtful.”

Pansies are a relative of the Violets. “Shrinking Violets” are also n\known as soft and shy. Perhaps since pansies are a hybrid of Violets, this may be why the fragile name exists. The Pansy came to be in the 1800’s when Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennett created the first hybrids, in her English garden. Others enhanced these flowers into 400 variations. The first yellow blend happened in Russia. Swedish botanists created the multicolored varieties. 

Pansies have 2 petals up and 3 petals down. They have also been called the “Stepmother Flower”. In Slovenia they were called “Orphan Woman’s “flower. The month of February highlights the Pansy as it’s birth flower. Each variety has a unique meaning, myth, or symbolism.

Pansies are strong enough to bloom in the Spring and Fall. They require little water and can also thrive in a mild Summer. These flowers bloom longer than most. Pansies thrive in Growing Zones 4-8. 

You can “Deadhead” or remove spent flowers to promote longer blooming. The seeds will regenerate but the main plant will die like an Annual. Keeping and drying seeds can help a gardener replant each Spring. 

 I have often found Pansies growing along Montana watersheds. The durable seeds will float and transplant along high banks. I remember tossing some Pansy flowers into the Madison River and watching big trout rise to eat them!

 Pansies were brought to Montana by pioneers that would grow and harvest them, like Dandelions. Finding a large plot of Pansies, or Dandelions, often indicates an old homesite. 

Be Pansy Proud!

Montana Grant

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