Plant of the week: Pansy

Common name: Pansy

Scientific name: Violax wittrockiana

Type: Annual

Height: 6-8 inches

Width: 6 inches

Blooms: Early spring, summer, late fall into early winter

Where to plant: Full sun, part sun

Water requirement: Average

Preparing the soil: Compost enriched soils, container soil

Hardy: Zone 3 (up to 10,000 feet)

Tired of looking at bare soil in your window boxes and containers? With our last frost day, on average, still more than a month away, you can add some vibrant color to the landscape by planting pansies.

Pansies are ideal plants for spring color because they are frost hardy (can withstand 20 degrees or less) and can handle snow cover while continuing to flower. While pansies prefer cooler weather, advances in plant breeding have improved their heat tolerance so they now will continue to bloom all summer.

Flowers can be found in almost any color and many are multicolored, with all bearing a resemblance to a face. Named from the French word (pens?) for thought, they are the symbol of remembrance and are edible. Great companion plants to pot with them include kale, ornamental cabbage and Alyssum.

Julie McIntyre, Summerland Gardens