Annual Overview: Viola


Discover how to grow violas (violets/pansies) with instructions on planting, care and maintenance, pests and diseases, and more.

Viola Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Viola

Common Name(s): Violet, pansy

Height: 6-8 inches

Soil Conditions: Fertile, moist, and well-drained

Sun: Partial shade

Soil pH Conditions:  5.5-5.8


Notes: Annual/perennial

Best use: Edgings, rock gardens, window boxes.

Starting Viola from Seed

To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sow the seeds beneath the surface of the soil, as they need darkness to germinate. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 70-75°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


When to Start Seed: 8 weeks prior to last frost

Time to Germination: 10-15 Days

Light/Dark Requirements: Dark

When to Plant Viola

Transplant seedlings or purchased plants in the garden as soon as the last threat of frost has passed and the soil reaches 65°F.

Soil Temperature: 65°F

Where to Plant Viola

Should receive full sun only where weather is cool.

Viola Plant Spacing

6-8 inches.

Viola Care and Maintenance

Violas require cool, moist soil so mulching early will help to maintain soil moisture and coolness.

Deadhead spent flowers to encourage flowering.

Viola Diseases

The most common diseases associated with viola include botrytis blight, downy mildew, leaf spots, powdery mildew, root and stem rot, rusts, viruses.

Viola Pests

The most common pests associated with viola include aphids, flea beetles, foliage feeding caterpillars, gall midges, mealybugs, spider mites., whiteflies.


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