Viola tricolor var. hortensis. The classic heirloom Swiss Giants Mix Pansy seeds blend has single colours with blotched faces and some bicolours, with flowers held high above the leaves. Technically a perennial, this plant is usually grown as a cold hardy annual that will bloom in mild climates from October through to May from a late summer sowing. Swiss Giant Pansies grow to about 20cm (8") tall, with a really beautiful range of warm colours and markings that seem to lend the flowers even more personality. This pansy blend works very well in containers and hanging baskets, but the real show is from mass plantings in a flower bed display.
Perennial (Grow as a hardy annual)
Hardy annuals that are variously known as pansies, Johnny-Jump-Up, and Heartsease.
Violoa tricolor & V. x wittrockiana
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Start indoors 10-12 weeks before planting out. For spring planting after last frost, that means up to 3 months growing time indoors. On the coast you would sow seeds indoors for early spring planting in early January. Otherwise, sow direct outdoors in summer to early autumn. For winter-flowering pansies in Zones 7-9, start your seeds in mid to late June.
Even though the seeds are tiny, they need to be sown 5mm (¼”) deep. Keep the soil at 18-25°C (65-75°F), in complete darkness until they germinate in around 14 days. Then provide bright light to keep plants compact. Space at 15-23cm (6-9″) in the garden.
After germination, violas are easy. Fertilize once or twice in early growth and provide a mulch around plants to keep roots cool as weather warms. Deadhead to prevent self-sowing, particularly with Johnny-Jump-Ups.