Viola - Growing Guide

Growing Viola

Violets, Pansy

There are many hundreds of varieties of pansy and cultivated violets, but we stock only two species which are very traditional English garden violets which will spread, crossbreed, and naturalise themselves with wild violet, V. canina, or dog violet, in the dry banks and other warm sunny situations where they may already grow.

V. labradorica ‘Purpurea’, the alpine or Labrador violet, is a spreading, clump forming, semi evergreen perennial. It has dark purplish green leaves and pale purple flowers in spring and summer. You may well desire it to become invasive in a woodland garden context and it soon will!

Viola  purpureaclick for larger image
Viola purpurea

V. odorata, the garden violet or sweet violet, is strongly scented with darkish blue flowers which can vary a little. It too flowers in spring and early summer.

Both species benefit from deadheading to encourage more growth and flowers although you may prefer them to scatter their seed around. They can be divided in spring or autumn. 

V. odorata grows to about 18in with a spread of more than this. V. labradorica grows to only 3-4in and can spread indefinitely.


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