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The violet flower: Tips and How to Grow it


The violet (Viola) is a cool-season plant that has bloom markings that make the flower look like a smiling face. This happy little plant is easy to grow and can provide bloom color in early spring and aging in the fall. In climates with mild winters, violets may remain in bloom throughout the winter.

Growing violets is easy, the plants are maintenance-free and practically grow themselves. Use these tips for successfully planting and growing violets in your garden.

Planting Location

Select a planting location that will be in full sun during the early spring months. Violets, which are closely related to pansies, grow and bloom while the weather is still cool but the plants need plenty of sunlight to produce their best bloom color.

When the temperature becomes to warm in late spring and direct sunlight too intense the violet plant will die-back. Underground runners may survive to produce new plants in fall if the planting location is favorable.

A planting location in dappled sunlight, like near the base of a deciduous tree, will extend their life-cycle.

Soil Requirements

Violets are native woodland plants and grow best in moist soil that is rich in organic matter. Mix plenty of organic compost into the soil before planting to create loose, well-draining soil.

Add a 1-inch layer of shredded leaves or compost as mulch after the plants are 2-3 inches high to keep soil cool and moist.

How To Plant Violets

Violet seeds will yield the best results when they are planted in the fall. The seeds require cold stratification, so fall planting will allow the cold winter temperatures to prepare the seeds for spring bloom time.

Seeds can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last predicted frost date spring and transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed.

Violet plants can be planted in early spring or late summer for spring and fall bloom color.

After Care

Regular watering is essential to keep plants happy. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy, at all times. Feed violets once a month during their bloom season with water-soluble plant food. Remove faded blooms to keep plants looking well-groomed and encourage new blooms.


Create new violet plants by cutting a stem off the plant near the root, then place the cut stem in a small container of moist potting soil. Place container in a bright location that is protected from the elements and keep soil moist.

In 6-8weeks the new violet plant will be ready to transplant into a larger container or planted outdoors.

Plants can be divided in early spring to fill in a garden area. Use a sharp hand-held trowel and slice through the soil and plant roots to around a 4-inch depth. Try to keep the soil around the roots intact and gently lift divided portions out of soil and transplant into a new garden location.

Growing Habits

The blooms of these cheerful flowers are usually purple but can be blue, red, white, pink, orange, or yellow. Violets are self-seeding and produce hybrids that look nothing like the original plant when allowed to self-seed. The underground runners will produce the same plants, but not the seeds.

The plant will reach a mature height and width of 6-12 inches and will make an ideal border plant or container plant.

Violets are fragrant flowers and can be used for culinary and decorative purposes. The plant grows equally well indoors or outdoors, in-ground or in containers, spring or fall.

Planting Idea

Planting violets in a strawberry tower will create the appearance of one tall flowering plant covered with blooms. A strawberry tower makes plant care extra-easy – just add water bi-weekly and water-soluble plant food once a month to the top of the tower and dead-head plants as needed.

A strawberry tower is also portable and violets can be moved as needed to decrease or increase sun exposure.

If you would like to find out about other purple flowers, don’t miss to check out our dedicated purple flowers list

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