Violas flower every year over winter. There are around 500 species of viola, some will need to be planted each year, others will grow all year. If you live in a warm area, they will die off over the warmer months and will to be re-planted at the beginning of fall. If you let the seeds fall to the ground, they will grow and flower every year in the same spot you planted them the year before.
Violas are so easy to grow by seed and will easily re-sow themselves. Violas are a bright, fun flower that makes your winter garden cheery each year. They are great for tiny urban backyards as they are small and can be easily grown in pots.
Do violas come up every year?
Violas will come up every year if you look after the soil and keep it moist at the beginning of fall. Violas are winter growers so when the weather warms up the leaves or even the whole plant will die off. If you let the flowers set seed, the seed will drop onto the ground and the violas will grow again in the next winter.
In cooler areas, they can a survive most of the year but will still drop seed and re-grow. If you have mild summer weather, trim back the dead leaves and dead flower heads and your viola should re-sprout when the weather cools again in fall.
What to do with violas after flowering
When your violas have finished flowering, remove the dead flowers and leaves. When the weather warms up the leaves will die off, but the plant can survive as long as the weather doesn’t get too hot.
If your plants do die off completely, remove the dead plant, shake off the seeds onto the soil or save them in a paper bag. You can then replant them the next year.
I like to replant my violas each year. I will still water the area that they were planted in the previous year and always get some that self-seed and grow as well.
You don’t have to worry about them self-seeding and taking over your garden as they aren’t invasive and can be easily plucked out if they end up growing somewhere unwanted. If you don’t want them to grow again, cover the area with a layer of mulch will stop them growing the next year.
How to Grow Violas
The simplest and easiest way to grow violas are to buy seedlings from your garden center. I just bought 2 punnets with a total of 12 plants, which is plenty for my small garden.
1. Prepare the garden bed
Dig in some composted cow manure and remove all of the weeds.
2. Dig a small hole
Viola seedlings are small so make sure the hole matches the size of the seedling.
3. Remove the seedling from the pot
Carefully pull the seedlings apart if they are joined together.
4. Place the seedling gently in the hole
Backfill the hole with garden soil.
5. Water your seedlings
Add extra seaweed solution to the water to help the roots to settle in.
Are violas perennial?
Some violas are annuals and some are perennials. It depends on the climate you live in. If you have hot summers, violas will die off each year, but will re-seed and come up when the weather cools off again. In cooler areas they can grow the whole year (perennially).
There are around 500 varieties of viola some that are hardier in the warmer months. I always buy mine to replant each year as we have warm summers and they re-grow easily each year by self-seeding.
Do violas survive winter?
Violas grow their best over winter. Unless you live in an area that gets snow, they love the mild, cooler months. They are the perfect plant to add some winter color to your garden. You can even plant them in your vegetable garden to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. The pollinators will help winter vegetables to grow like snow peas and winter strawberries.
Will violas grow in shade?
Violas will grow in shade but a part sun and part shade position is best. They will also grow in full sun if you plant them in a more open position. As long as they have bright light, they will flower well.
Viola vs Pansy – What is the difference?
Pansies are a type of viola, they generally grow bigger flowers and bigger plants. It can be quite difficult to tell the difference but flower size is the best way.
Why are my violas dying?
The weather is too hot
Violas hate warm weather so if you get hot weather over summer the leaves will die of or the plant can die completely. Cut the dead leaves back and keep the plant watered and it might grow back when the weather cools off. Violas grow best in temperatures between 40F and 70F.
Not enough water
Keep the soil moist and if you don’t get a lot of winter rain, give them a regular water. If you buy seedlings from the nursery, make sure you water them well for at least the first week. They are used to daily watering in nurseries so they will be expecting regular water at the start.
Violas are really easy to grow and won’t take much effort at all. The best tip is to keep the garden bed well weeded and to mulch around the plant. This will help the soil to stay healthy, to keep it moist and stop the weeds from growing.
Are violas edible?
Viola flowers are edible and are often used in the best restaurants or on the top of beautiful cupcakes in bakeries. They have a mild minty taste but are mainly used as decoration. You can even sprinkle them on salads to add some color.
Wash them in cold water or paint them with thin egg white and scatter with caster sugar. Leave them to dry and the petals will crystalise. They are perfect to use to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.