Alphabetical Plant Listing

Viola odorata (Sweet Violet)

Sweet Violet, March Violet, Sweet Pansy, Wood Violet, English Violet, Florist's Violet, Garden Violet


Deliciously scented, Viola odorata (Sweet Violet) is an indispensable perennial for the shade garden. Blooming in late winter and early spring, it provides attractive foliage, fragrance, and color at a season when few other plants are at their peak. Short spurred, the delicate flowers are predominantly dark blue or purple but lilac, pale rose or white variations are also frequent. The sweet-scented flowers arise from the attractive evergreen foliage of heart shaped, slightly downy, dark green leaves. A brilliant way of coloring shady areas!

  • Easily growing up to 6-10 in. tall (15-25 cm) and 12-18 in. across (30-45 cm), Sweet Violets will spread by runners and multiply at a moderate rate, once established.
  • A part shade lover, it is best grown in fertile, moist, well-drained soils. Full sun may be tolerated in cool summer areas.
  • This plant is very versatile and can be used in beds, borders, underplanting shrubs and roses, cottage gardens, rock gardens, woodland gardens, containers or as ground covers. Flowers are excellent for cutting and edible, eat them fresh or candied.
  • Watch for slugs, snails, glasshouse red spider mite, violet gall midge, pansy leaf spot and powdery mildews, it is rabbit and deer resistant.
  • Remove spent flowers to extend the flowering season. For an improved spring floral display, cut runners and prune off spindly growth in late fall. Divide in fall or just after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed or division.
  • Native to Europe.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Viola - Violets
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 6" – 10" (15cm – 25cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 15" – 18" (37cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United Kingdom
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

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Rustamank, Shutterstock, 123rf

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Viola - Violets
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 6" – 10" (15cm – 25cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 15" – 18" (37cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United Kingdom
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Viola - Violets

Guides with Viola - Violets

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