Tips for Growing Sweet Violets – Viola odorata

Tips for Growing Sweet Violets – Viola odorata

A century ago Sweet Violets were part of the Victorian way of life. Florists and street vendors sold them and ladies carried or wore them. Since ancient Greek times and through medieval times Sweet Violets were more than a flower or scent, they were used as a sweetener, a deodorant and medicinal uses. They were also a symbol of love used on St Valentines day and there are many Violet stories surrounding Napoleon and Josephine where the flowers are still popular in France.

Gardeners Tips For Growing Sweet Violets

  • Grow from seed or propagate from the stolens (runners)
  • Sweet Violets like a moist soil.
  • Feed them with a high potash feed or low nitrogen feed to optimise the flowers.
  • Violas are very easy to grow and tolerate of most soil types.
  • Viola odorata are perfect for partial shade and once established multiply quickly.

Recognising Sweet Violets – Viola odorata

  • Viola odorata is a perennial that spreads by runners and grows about 4″ high.
  • In the wild they grow in light woodland or under a hedge row in a humus rich soil.
  • The scented flowers are available in white as well as the deep violet.
  • Viola odorata has short spurred flowers that are very fragrant and a dark – purpleish blue colour.
  • The leaves are rounded, almost heart shaped with crinkled edges.

Viola odorata var. subcarnea
Also available in Pink is the viola odorata subcarnea.

Other Links for Viola odorata

Read about Growing Dogs Tooth Violets
For other fragrant and scented plants read Gardeners Tips
Look at the Violet Group on Flickr

Viola varieties available from Thompson & Morgan

Sweet Violet by Strobilomyces cc
Viola odorata var. subcarnea by –Tico– CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Maarts Viooltje by hans zwitzer CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Maarts Viooltje

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