Josie's Guide to Pansies & Violas

Josie's Guide to Pansies & Violas

At Cornell Farm, we know a thing or two about pansies and violas. After all, we grow our very own in our onsite greenhouses! Our resident horticulturalist Josie has some great information to share about these powerhouse perennials and how you can use them to maximum effect in your garden this fall.

What exactly is the difference between pansies and violas? As Josie explains, it primarily comes down to the size and quantity of the blooms you can expect:

  • Pansies have larger, bolder blooms than violas, and they are a garden classic for a reason.
  • Violas, on the other hand, have smaller individual blooms, but more of them are typically open at a time. They also tend to be slightly more heat tolerant than their larger counterparts.

In general, you can't go wrong with either of these reliable performers for colorful blooms from fall through spring. And even though most people treat them as annuals, they are actually perennials in our Portland climate.

If you are gardening in containers this fall and winter and looking for something different, Josie recommends looking for the Cool Wave® Series of pansies, which are spreading or trailing varieties that are great for cascading over the edge of a pot or hanging basket.

Josie's number one tip for growing pansies and violas of any variety is to remember to deadhead them, which can be done by simply pinching off spent blooms. This triggers the plants to invest energy into producing more beautiful flowers rather than seeds. And if you want to pinch off a flower or two early, you can actually eat them, as pansies and violas boast edible flowers and leaves!

Cornell Farm is proud to offer a fantastic selection of our home-grown pansies and violas in a variety of patterns and colors each fall, and this year, we are also offering assorted pansies and violas for sale online as a part of our 2021 Fall Collection. If you want to pick out your own pansies and violas, feel free to visit us in person at the Patio, where our staff are always here to help you garden with confidence!