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Viola (vye-oh-luh) Violet, Violaceae Family. A large genus of annuals and perennials, Violas are found in temperate zones throughout the world. Most of them low growing plants, with heart shaped leaves and five petal flowers with a spur on the lowest petal. Violets are among the world’s best known and most love flowers, and included in the group are the pansy and the garden viola called the Johnny-jump-up. They bloom in spring, some kinds continuing throughout the summer. Almost all thrive in moist, shady areas, although they will tolerate almost any kind of garden soil and situation.

Violas are easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil; best conditions are in cool, organic, moist, shady environments. Intolerant of drought and hot, humid summers, shade from deciduous trees is ideal as plants receive full sun in the spring, and protection from summer sun. In the south, violas should be grown in partial to full shade and mulched to help the soil stay cool and moist.

To stimulate additional flower production, plants should be sheared back periodically when blooming begins to decline. Plants can also be sheared back in early spring to remove any winter-damaged foliage.

Attributes: Border plants, Container, Cut flower, Dried flower, Edging, Fragrant flowers, Mass Planting.

PLANTING: Set plants 6 inches apart in a sheltered location in sun or part shade (especially in areas with hot summers) where the soil is rich and has ample moisture content. Avoid planting too deeply.
MAINTENANCE: Picking spent flowers will prolong the blooming season. If slugs are a problem, initiate control methods early in the spring. Otherwise, no special care is needed.

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