One of my earliest gardening memories is planting violas with my grandma in her flower garden in early spring. The name viola is a common name for the flower family “Violaceae”, which includes Johnny jump-up, pansies, violas, violets, and many others

These cheerful, edible, cool-season flowers are easy to grow and a delight in the garden. Learn how to grow violas with these 5 tips. 

How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas

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5 Tips for How to Grow Violas

1. Plant violas at the right time

Violas prefer cooler weather.

Plant after last spring frost date and again in the fall

In the low desert of Arizona, plant viola seeds and transplants beginning in October through November. Violas will bloom in Arizona from March through May

How to Grow Violets: 5 Tips for Growing Violets

2. Plant violas correctly

Scatter viola seeds on top of the soil and then cover with about 1/4 inch toil. Seeds should germinate in 7 to 14 days. Keep seeds moist until they sprout. Thin seedlings to about 8 inches apart. Click here for viola seeds. 

If planting from transplant, choose small transplants and plant at same depth as nursery pots. Space transplants about 8 inches apart. 

Violas grow best in partial shade during warm weather. During cooler weather, violas grow well in full sun. 

For square foot gardening, plant 4 viola plants per square foot.

How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas

3. Care for violas correctly

  • Water violas well until plants are established. Do not let violas dry out; they do best with regular water. 
  • Violas benefit from a light dose of organic fertilizer each month during the growing season. 
  • Deadhead blooms often to encourage fresh blooms. 
  • Hot weather causes viola blooms to fade and plants to die back. 
  • Cut back violas in the fall to reinvigorate the plant and encourage fall blooming. 
How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas

To grow violas in containers:

Violas are a great choice for containers. 

Feed container-grown violas a half-strength dose of fish emulsion every 2 weeks throughout the growing season.

How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas

4. Harvest viola flowers often

How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas

Harvest viola blooms often to use in salads, baking, and as a garnish.

  • Remove blooms at their peak before they begin to fade.
  • Harvest by snipping with pruning snips. (I link to my absolute favorite ones).
  • Harvest in the morning so flowers have the highest moisture content. 
  •  Place flowers in a single layer and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Allow violas to reseed each year

How to Grow Violets: 5 Tips for Growing Violets
Johnny jump-up

At the end of the season, allow flowers to drop seed after blooming. Many varieties (including Johnny jump-up) will reseed easily each year.

How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas
How to Grow Violas: 5 Tips for Growing Violas
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