Violas have always made a beautiful border for nearly every garden. Able to grow in mild winter climates, violas can bloom all year long. However, in North Texas and other areas where summers get blistering hot, much watering is needed to keep them from dieing off.
The colors found in violas take up the entire color palette. They can be white, blue, red, purple, yellow, lavender, etc. The more common variety sold at plant nurseries are the ones that have a distinct dual color pattern. Purple violas seem to be more fragrant than most others.
Growing violas is not as difficult as one may think. I went an entire month without watering mine, and only lost two out of 20 plants. Therefore, keep them watered. A rich loamy soil is good for them. If you have high clay conditions in your soil, don’t worry. They can thrive in that, too.
Many gardeners who like violas will grow them in hanging baskets or a pot to accent their patios. If you planted several hanging baskets with the deep purple violas, you would have a very fragrant patio.
Another interesting note on violas is that most of them are edible. They have been used in cakes, salads, or just as decoration on the side of plates with a snazzy meal.
Grown with alyssum, violas will stand out and their foliage well protected from blistering heat. Well known for attracting aphids, keep a watchful eye out for these nasty pests.
The average height of violas is anywhere from 6 to 9 inches tall, and spacing them 5 to 6 inches apart will be ample room for them to grow without crowding into one another. As a border for a garden, violas can be quite a stunning view.
Often mistaken as pansies, violas do have a distinct pattern in the way that they bloom. With only four to five petals, rarely six, a viola can be identified by a single petal that inevitably will point straight down to the ground. They like to be photographed, too.
Full sun is their favorite, but violas can be grown in partial shade. With time and patience you may be able to develop a hybrid that can grow in the shade. Growing violas indoors will require an east, south, or west window as they need direct sunlight.
Plant seeds ¼ an inch into the soil and keep moist. Water lightly daily for two weeks and you will see results. Do not feed the plants until they have had at least three weeks of growth. Good luck with your violas.