Violets are native plants and grow wild in the local latitudes in shady meadow areas and in sheltered locations in forests. These dainty flowers are also ideal for private gardens. The garden violets bloom early in spring and bewitch with colorful flowers and a lovely, sweet scent. The perennial varieties are very easy to care for and an ornament for any garden bed, if you let them they will spread throughout the garden area. In combination with other flowers and perennials, violets create a harmonious overall picture and beautify any garden with their beautiful flowers.

Ideal location, soil, planting and transplanting

Violets originally come from the area around the Mediterranean Sea and used to be widespread up to the mountains in the Caucasus, next to large bushes and at the edges of forests. In the meantime, they have become naturalized and successfully established throughout Europe and in the eastern part of North America. The small flowers prefer shady locations, under larger flowers, perennials and shrubs, but also need sunlight for a certain time of the day. A partially shaded to sunny location is ideal for lush flowering. Garden violets are a beautiful background for bushes and rose beds, they are equally suitable for planting in tubs and pots on the terrace and balcony.

The flowers thrive in almost any soil condition, but do best in fresh, humus-rich soil that is rich in nutrients and very well drained. Garden violets multiply by themselves, so when you plant them again, you can put them out of the flower pot and into the ground immediately after you buy them. Due to the small root size, planting in densely populated garden areas is possible, the flowers arrange well with the root pressure of other plants. Transplanting due to heavy vegetation is therefore only rarely necessary.

  • Semi-shady to sunny location
  • With a few hours of sunshine a day, more lush flowers will develop
  • Nutrient-rich, fresh and well-drained soil with a high humus content
  • Thrive best in the vicinity and shade of other plants and trees
  • Planting is easy, transplanting is almost never necessary due to the frugality of the violets

Proper watering and fertilizing

Violets are very robust and get by with relatively little water, which is also due to the small size of the flowers. As the seasons change, they can cope well with extremely wet and dry periods. In the dry and hot summer months, extra watering is very helpful and welcome. The plants are very frugal when it comes to consuming nutrients, but needs a small amount for a long-lasting and respectable flowering period. Assuming good soil conditions, additional fertilization is usually not necessary, since the plant substrate normally contains enough nutrients. If the soil is poor in nutrients, a fertilizer should be added occasionally to promote flowering and growth.

  • Normally, the rainwater and dew is enough to keep you hydrated
  • It should be watered on summer days with extremely hot temperatures and little rainfall
  • Fertilize as needed and depending on the quality and nutrient composition of the soil
  • If you want lush flowers and a long flowering period, use special fertilizer for flowers

Transplanting and pruning violets

Violets develop most beautifully when they can spread freely in the garden. These undemanding plants can even conquer pavement joints. However, it can easily happen that the flowers appear unwanted in the herb bed and take up space for the herbs. In this case, it is necessary to transplant the garden violets to another location where they no longer disturb. The digging should be done extensively so that the roots are not damaged. With an intact root ball, the garden violet survives a move without permanent damage and feels right at home in its new location if the conditions are right.

Furthermore, the violets can quickly get out of hand in arranged flower beds and then have to be cut back. Pruning is easy and should be done in moderation to allow the plant to recover without problems. If the growth is extensive, it is a good idea to pick a bouquet of violets, the green leaves of the plant serve as a decoration for the flower stalks. A bouquet of violets decorates every living area and is a beautiful and fragrant gift for Mother’s Day, a birthday or any other festive occasion.

  • Violets can be pruned and transplanted between spring and autumn
  • Do not prune and transplant in late fall as the flower will not be able to fully recover and settle in until wintertime
  • If the flowers spread too much or populate unwanted locations, pruning or relocation should be done
  • With a large spread, bouquets of violets can be picked
  • Dead and brown leaves should always be cut off

Overwinter if necessary

Native violets can spend the winter in the garden unscathed. Most species are frost hardy and survive long winters with frosty temperatures and prolonged snowfall. Foliage is usually retained during the winter months.

Exotic varieties from warmer climes enchant with unusual flower colors and intense scents, but are very sensitive to frost and would not survive a winter in the northern European latitudes. Therefore, these violets must be stored in a winter quarters before the first frosty nights. This should be permanently protected from frost and also have sufficient light, the warmer and brighter, the better. Moderate watering and an additional light source will help the exotic species overwinter and ensure continued growth. Due to their sensitivity to frost, it is advisable not to plant the more exotic violet varieties directly in the ground but in flower pots and tubs and to distribute them in the garden.

If you also want to bring the native varieties into the apartment in winter, you have to consider that violets react strongly to temperature fluctuations. Flower buds only form when the temperature is between 8 and 10 °C. If it is much warmer all the time, the seeds will develop in the buds without prior pollination. Therefore, the violets should be driven into cooler rooms with the appropriate temperatures and brought into the warm room at the earliest with the first signs of blossoming, otherwise the desired blossoming will not occur at all.

The propagation of garden violets

The garden violets can be an attractive decoration in a suitable location for several years and give the garden owner a lot of joy. If the conditions are right, they multiply vigorously on their own. After flowering, the plants produce seeds, which the wind and animals disperse. Ants in particular are crazy about the seeds of violets, collecting and distributing them themselves to very distant places, thus contributing to natural dispersal. If you want to reproduce, violet seeds can be collected by hand and sown in a suitable location. However, if you want to keep certain varieties genuine and pure, you have to prevent sowing. In this case, early removal of the seed pods after flowering is essential. The violet can also be propagated by dividing the entire plant, including the roots. This division should be done in spring or fall.

  • Plentiful self-sowing and with rapid growth, the garden violets ensure their own spread and vigorous propagation if the conditions are right
  • Cultivation is quite easy
  • Wind and animals, especially ants, spread the violet seeds to all corners of the garden
  • However, to keep the varieties clean, the seed pods must be removed
  • Propagation by division possible

Flowers, flowering time and growth height

Violets are in great demand mainly because of their attractive flowers. There are around 500 different species and innovative cultivars, with a wide range of colors that seem to have no limits. However, all color developments always go back to the original primary colors blue, yellow, white and violet.

Garden violets bloom in spring, usually in March and April. In addition to the crocuses and the snowdrops, these are the first flowers to bloom in the garden and delight the garden owner with their beautiful colours. If they have an ideal location and good conditions in the garden, they will usually continue to flower without a break and also reproduce on their own.

With good care, the flowering period can last continuously from spring to autumn. Too much light damages the flowers and stresses the plant, garden violets prefer semi-shady places for undisturbed growth.

Most violet varieties reach a height of up to about 15 cm, only a few varieties can grow up to about 30 cm high.

  • Belongs to the first flowering plants after the winter
  • Unlimited color variety, the original violets are either blue, yellow, white or violet
  • Half-shady location with limited incidence of light for optimal flowering and good growth
  • Under optimal conditions, there is a sustained flowering period
  • With additional fertilizer, flowering and its duration is improved
  • Growth height is up to approx. 15 cm, in exceptional cases up to approx. 30 cm

diseases and pests

The native violet varieties are robust and quite resistant to diseases and pests. However, regular checks ensure that the plants remain healthy. Pests on violets include cutworms and aphids, and diseases include gray mold and powdery mildew. Ladybugs can prevent aphids and mildew in the garden.


  • Aphids are common on plants that live outdoors
  • Rinse the plant with water and wipe off the aphids with your fingers if necessary
  • Wash affected areas with a small amount of washing-up liquid and a sponge


  • Clearly recognizable by traces of feeding
  • The violets wither because the roots are eaten or even bitten through
  • Feeding baits for spreading help against the infestation


  • rotting tubers, visible and gray fungus mats, rotten flower bases and mouse-grey speckled flowers are signs of infestation
  • weakens the plants
  • Special agents against gray mold are available in specialist shops, and advice from a knowledgeable gardener is ideal in order to initiate the appropriate countermeasures


  • whitish, mealy coating on the leaves, especially on the upper side of the leaf
  • the flowers and stems can also be affected
  • thorough pruning of the affected shoots
  • spray with a solution of whey and milk
  • Sulfur-containing preparations also help as an emergency solution

Due to the varied color palette of the flowers, garden violets can be selected to match the other plants in the respective flower beds. The native varieties are undemanding, easy to care for and bloom faithfully over long periods of time. Only the exotic varieties need a winter quarters, the native violets stay in the garden and even get their leaves. A bouquet of violets is a beautiful gift and souvenir that everyone is happy about. The flowers are edible and are even considered a delicacy by experienced connoisseurs. These can be mixed in the herb salad and used to decorate dishes, and there are candied violet blossoms as sweets.

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