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How to Grow Viola Flower Plants


Violas are an early, profusely blooming plant that thrives in cool, moist weather. They are early bloomers in late spring to early summer. Then, they shrivel in the mid summer heat. They are native to  the southern hemisphere: Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Pansies, and Violas are all part of a closely related family.

Viola plants are small, growing about six inches. They produce an abundance of small, dainty flowers with fragrant blooms. Colors include yellow, apricot, blue, scarlet, white and violet.

Viola are popular, easy, and fun to grow. Viola are perfect bedding plants. They also are great in windowsills and containers.

Plant Propagation:

Violas are grown from seeds. Viola can be directly seeded into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later.

For spring blooms, start Viola seeds in pots and containers indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost.

Seeds germinate slowly. We recommend an indoor start, using a heated germination mat.

How to Grow Viola Plants:

Viola plants like full to partial sun. They thrive in cool, moist weather. In warmer areas, we recommend partial shade. They  prefer rich to average soil that holds moisture. Mix in plenty of compost to increase soil retention. Add a general purpose fertilizer when planting them, then once a month after that.

Sow Viola seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" soil. Water thoroughly.

Transplant Viola seedlings into the garden after the last frost date for your area. Space them 6" apart. They will tolerate a little crowding. If you are creating a flower bed, you may want to create a pattern or color scheme prior to planting. Or, use mixed varieties.

Once your Viola plants are established, they should grow well, even if left unattended. Soil should be moist, but not wet. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Keep them well weeded. Mulch around plants to help retain moisture and for appearance.

Deadhead flowers to extend the blooming period. This will also keep the appearance neat and beautiful.

Insect and Disease:

Insects can be an occasional problem, most notably red spider mites.

Apply insecticides and fungicides as needed.

More Information:

Also see Johnny Jump Up, a variety of violas

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