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The Wonderful World of Pansies


The colorful pansy reigns supreme from Fall through Spring. The name “pansy” comes from the French “pensée” meaning “remembrance” or “thought;” and thus, traditionally, when someone was presented with a pansy, the giver was saying “I’m thinking of you.”The pansy has perhaps the widest color range of any garden annual, including red, purple, blue, pink, yellow and white, and one of three basic color patterns: a single, clear color, a single color with black lines radiating from the center, and the most familiar, a one or two-tone flower with a dark center, known as a “face.”

Pansies will grow 8 to 10 inches, with a similar spread. Mass planting yields an impressive display. They grow best in full sun to light shade, in rich, loamy earth which is moist but not soggy.Pansies have been a specialty at Behnke Nurseries since the 1930s, and our quality is well-known. This year, we’re offering a new series of pansies from Ball Horticultural Company: the Snow Angel® pansies. This series promises to be particularly strong over the winter when fall-planted, even as far north as cold-hardiness Zone 4.


The Behnke Signature Fall collection includes our outstanding fall garden mums as well as a plethora of pansies in colorful seasonal varieties, such as ‘Trick or Treat,’ ‘Halloween’ and ‘Skyline Copperfield,’ which are sure to put you in an Autumn frame of mind.

To show your support for your favorite football team, plant pansies in team colors! Plant yellow, white, red and black to show your support for the University of Maryland, or, if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan, you can plant black, yellow, purple and white.

Of course, Redskins fans can purchase yellow and red. Pansies begin to arrive at Behnke Nurseries from our greenhouses during the second week of September, and are available through October and into early November. Remember to stop in!

by Marian Parsley, Buyer


Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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