This popular plant is a favorite of rich and poor alike, everyone, who has a garden, growing a few Pansies. This is deservedly so, in view of its wonderful variety of color and its free-flowering habit together with the ease with which it may be grown. The Pansy delights in a cool moist situation, and generally gives its best flowers in cool damp weather in early Spring. As soon as the hot dry weather commences, the flowers become small, and the growth spindling and weak. The soil for Pansies should be of good strong loam enriched with a generous addition of well-decomposed cow- or horse-manure.
Plant, in October, one foot apart, and give a good mulching of old manure after planting; as the Pansy thrives best in a moist cool soil, watering should not be neglected, and the soil must be kept moist at all times; if the soil is allowed even once to become dust-dry the crop for that season will be injured.
Propagate by seeds sown, to the depth of an eighth of an inch, in a cool frame or lath-house and shaded from the sun by the glass being covered with burlap or other shading material. July is about the best season for sowing the seeds. This will allow the grower to have strong bushy plants ready to be set out by October first, or as soon as the Summer-blooming flowers are over, when the Pansies may take the place of those finished blooming, and occupy the ground through the Winter and early Spring; along the cool coast counties a second sowing may, in January or February, be made for Summer-flowering. As soon as the young plants are large enough to be handled, they must be pricked out in beds or boxes in light, rich soil composed of one-third good friable loam, one-third leaf-mold and one-third equal quantities of sand and old manure, the whole being well mixed together by being turned over several times. It is important that the young plants be well rooted, and planted with a good ball of earth adhering to the roots.
Varieties of Pansies are divided into three sections, viz.: Selfs, White-grounds and Yellow-grounds.
Selfs are all of one color and are either black, maroon, white or yellow. White-ground and Yellow-ground varieties are those which have a large dark center, then a central ring of white or yellow and an outer band of dark color.
The fancy division has the various colors and tints curiously blotched, striped and edged. Still another section, though not the true Pansy, is the Viola cornuta, or horned-violet, which, with its many showy self colors, makes an excellent bedding plant during the Summer months.