How to Care for Annual Viola Flowers

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The viola group of flowers includes popular flower varieties like pansies and violets. They come in several different colors, including violet, white, pink and yellow. According to the National Gardening Association, violas are edible and have a sweet flavor. They may be grown for food, but gardeners commonly grow them as just a garden decoration. Violas are annual flowers, meaning that they usually bloom once during the year, die and then are replaced with new violas the next year.

Things You'll Need

  • Viola starter plants
  • Pine bark or composted leaves
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Tiller
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Prepare the soil before planting the violas. Violas grow best in soils with good drainage that are not clay soils. North Carolina State University (NCSU) recommends adding pine bark or composted leaves to clay soil to improve its drainage and nutrient contents before planting annual flowers. NCSU also suggests adding some 10-10-10 fertilizer and lime to the soil and tilling them in.

  • Plant the violas during the early spring in cold areas, and during spring or early fall in warmer areas. According to the National Gardening Association, violas bloom during winter and fall in warmer climates. In cooler climates, winters may be too harsh for violas, but they still bloom in the spring.

  • Add a layer of mulch over the top of the soil, to prevent weed problems. Mulch makes it difficult for weeds to grow in and compete with the violas for root space, sunlight and water.

  • Water the violas regularly. North Carolina State University suggests watering flowers with lots of drainage more than flowers in soil with poor drainage, and watering more in hot temperatures than in cool temperatures. In general, the flowers' soil should never get completely dry below the surface.

  • Remove dead flowers. According to North Carolina State University, removing dead flowers will help the plant focus its energy on growing more flowers, rather than on producing seeds for new plants.

Tips & Warnings

  • Reduce the risk of plant fungi and other diseases by watering violas at the base of the plants with a drip-hose.

References

  • Photo Credit purple pansies image by Adam Fuller from Fotolia.com
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