Growing Guide

Where to plant

Full sun/partial shade. Well drained soil.

Sow depth


Space between seeds / seedlings


Row space


Size of pot needed (width / depth)


Seedling Sow Depth


Best practice

Directly sown

Germination (days)


Maturity (days)


How to Grow

From seed

Direct sow violas in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil in fall in the South.

Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.

Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter.

Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time.

If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost.

After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.

Sow thinly and evenly and cover with 0.5cm of fine soil.

Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.

Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on the soil and weather conditions.

From seedling

Select a location in full sun to part shade with well-drained soil.

Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.

The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.

Plant on a cloudy day or in the late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.

Dig a hole for each plant, approximately 12-14 inches apart large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.

Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.

Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil.

Fill with soil to the top of the root ball.

Press soil down firmly with your hand.

Water well.

In a pot

Sow indoors 8-12 weeks before the last heavy frost using a seed starting kit.

Sow seeds thinly in a small-medium sized container and evenly in seed raising mix.

Cover completely as seeds need darkness to germinate; firm lightly and keep evenly moist.

Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days.

As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night.

Raise the lights as the plants grow taller.

Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot.

Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.

Thin to one seedling per cell when they have two sets of leaves. Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.

Transplant hardened-off seedlings to the garden after the heavy frost.

Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”.

Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week.

Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first.

If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.

This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Collect seed

Violas form seed pods.

If you're trying to figure out where the seeds are on viola plants just look for the sepals or spent blooms.

When the pod is brown and crispy you can safely remove it from the stem and break it open to release the seeds, then set the seeds out to dry.

When to Grow


Zone 1 - Cool

March , April , May


Zone 2 - Temperate

March , April , May


Zone 3 - Subtropical

March , April , May

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

Excellent in beds, tubs, planters, and of course the cute flowers are edible.

Sow in spring and autumn for months and months of flowering.
Violas can take a light frost
Violas can be cut back in midsummer as they get scraggly, which encourages new growth and re-blooming when cool temperatures return in the fall.
Add violas to mixed plantings with low-growing perennials.
Viola flowers are edible and can be added to salads or used to garnish plates.

Pests & Problems