The beauty of plants belonging to the Viola genus means that they are an often grown plant in gardens and parks.
Viola are hardy or half hardy perennials. They range from 5 to 30 cm (2 to 12 inches) in height.
The time that plants bloom at is species dependent, and can occur at any time in the year.
Flowers can be one colored or multicolored and patterned. Some Viola species, such as pansies, are often said to have smiley faces.
Viola tricolor by Fabrizio.binello; Creative Commons.
Colors include purple, violet, blue, orange, red, yellow, and black amongst many others.
Some common names for Viola include violet, Pansy, Johnny jump up, Horned violet and Tufted pansy.
See also, How to Grow Sweet Violet.
Viola cornuta (Horned Pansy / Horned Violet), photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.
Viola tricolor (Wild Pansy / Johnny Jump up / Heartsease), photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.
Viola alba (White violet), picture by stanze; CC.
Common Names: Violet, Pansy, Wild Pansy, Heartsease, Sweet Violet, English Violet, Violetta, Johnny Jump Up.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial. Hardy perennial. Hardy biennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners (Viola tricolor).
Height: 3 to 12 inches (8 to 30 cm).
Native: Americas, Europe, Asia, Australasia.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 10.
If growing Viola species such as pansies and violets outdoors from seeds, then sow either at the start of autumn or spring.
Once sown, Viola seeds should be lightly covered. Viola should be planted with a spacing of 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches). Locate in a partially shaded part of the garden for best results.
Ideally the soil that pansy, violet and other Viola plants grow in should be rich, have good drainage, be slightly acidic to neutral in pH (5.5 to 7), and moist.
If first growing Viola indoors, then start about 10 weeks in advance. The seeds should first be put into soil within a plastic bag. Put the bag containing the Viola seeds in the fridge for two weeks. Then sow the seeds in the dark at 18 to 25 degrees centigrade (64 to 77°F). It should take about two to three weeks for Viola to germinate.
Viola plants prefer moist and cool conditions, so supply them with a mulch and keep well watered.
Ideally violets and pansies should be fertilized when they are young. Following flowering, deadhead the plants to prolong blooming. At the end of the first bloom cut back stems; this may result in a further bloom.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Viola plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides on coneflowers, which are often grown as altenatives to – or alongside – violets: How to grow Rudbeckia, Echinacea purpurea, and Echinacea plants.