Tips on how to Grow and Care for Violas
A garden plant that is worth our attention is violas, these beauties can fill your garden with amazing colors that are just breathtaking. There are about 500 plus species of violas which gives you so much to choose from. Some species of violas are native to North America, the Andes, Hawaii, and Australasia.
Among this large family or group of violas are annuals, perennials, and biennials, violas are basically cool-season plants. What I found out is these garden beauties are considered weeds, well if that is the case then these are weeds that I would love to install as a part of my overall garden design.
What I have also learned is that the flowers are edible even though the thought has never crossed my mind to see how tasty they are I am not that daring and would rather prefer to grow and enjoy them for their beauty.
Though violas are considered to be cool-season plants they thrive well in full sunlight so ensure that your violas are planted under this condition. These garden beauties can reach heights of 6-10 inches.
Violas love and organic-rich well-drained soil with a ph of 5.4-5.8
When watering your violas ensure that the soil is moist and not waterlogged which can lead to root rot, allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering before giving your violas another drink.
Fertilizing your violas in the spring and again during the late summer months with a slow-release fertilizer that promotes flower bloom will help your violas to bloom in the fall.
Garden insect pest of violas
Keeping a watch for and treating these garden insect pests will keep your violas in tip-top shape.
- Spider Mites
- Flea Beetles
Mealybugs are very common among garden insects pest and feed on a host of garden plants. Mealybugs can be easily identified by a white waxy mealy covering that looks somewhat like cotton. These garden insect pests cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids or sap, the use of insecticidal soap will bring them under control.
Aphids are tiny pared shape insects that cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids turning the leaves yellow followed by leaf drop. Aphids are among the easiest of garden insect pests to eliminate. A strong spray of water from a garden hose will knock them off your plant eliminating them however this strong spray of water can also break the leaves.
The use of insecticidal soap will give good results or a homemade remedy that has proven to be effective is soap liquid and water. Add a tablespoon of soap liquid to a gallon of water shake well and apply to a 32 oz spray bottle. When applying this mixture get both the top and the underside of the leaves. Adjust the head or the spray nozzle so that this solution can come out fine and misty getting full coverage.
Coarse droppings will be ineffective. This solution should be applied on a few of the lower leaves to see if it doesn’t have an adverse effect on your plant, wait for at least a day or 24 hours. If there is no adverse effect then go ahead and spray the entire plant. Wait for seven days and if there are still signs of aphids repeat the application and follow as was directed.
Spider mites are very tiny but can cause huge damage to our garden plants, to know if your plants have spider mites look for spider web along with your plant taking on a dusty appearance.
Spider mites cause yellowing of the leaves, removing the infested leaves along with leaves that are dead and applying insecticidal soap or horticultural oil will bring this garden insect pest under control.
Whiteflies are tiny white-winged insects that feed by sucking the plant’s fluids which can lead to yellowing of the leaves followed by leaf drop. To identify whiteflies gently shake or tap your plant if a bunch of white insects dislodges from them and then quickly re-attaches they are whiteflies. The use of insecticidal soaps will bring these garden insect pests under control.
These beetles are shiny, small, and black, they feed on the shoots, blossoms, and leaves. The use of white sticky traps will catch them when they jump, the use of neem oil, insecticidal soap, and diatomaceous earth may offer some help. Malathion and Carbaryl are also a great choice but these should be the last resort only if the infestation is out of control. Keeping the plant bed free of weeds will help also.
Snails and Slugs
Snails and Slugs also seek to make a meal out of violas by eating the flower buds and the blooms, a sure sign that you have snails and slugs is by their trail of dry mucus. To eliminate these garden pests keep the garden bed free of debris and litter, monitor the amount of water you’re giving your violas, handpicking and throwing snails into a bucket of soapy water, using snail baits and diatomaceous earth will bring them under control. Before applying treatment read and follow the manufacturer’s label.
Diseases of violas
Below is some disease to keep an eye on.
- Powdery Mildew
- Stem Rot
- Pansy Scab
Rust causes rounded swelling to develop which contains yellow spores that appear on the upper leaf surface, spots that are pale green may be seen on the leaves undersides. Spots may also appear on the stems and the petioles. The use of sulfur will offer some help.
Powdery mildew is a white powdery looking substance that forms on the leaf surface, control this disease by watering plants early in the morning so that the leaves can have time to dry, applying baking soda to the plant’s leaves will offer some help, the use of drip irrigation is ideal.
The stems of garden plants that are infected by this disease leaves turn purplish-black color with streaks. The plant’s tissues become brittle and black, at the soil level the stem begins to rot, tissues that are infected dry up and become brown. Plants with these symptoms should be uprooted and discarded because there is no control.
Plants that are infected by this disease have blotches with the leaves turning brown, the flower petals also develop spots. The margins of the plant also become black, no control is known except to remove and destroy the plant.
The entire plant is infected by this disease, signs of this disease include lesions that are elongated to circular. Brown-yellow spots may also be seen, the stems which are infected die. There is no treatment for this disease except to remove the old leaves and properly dispose of them.
Ideas on where to install violas
Here are just a few ideas on where to install violas
1. Violas can be used as front drop-in garden plant beds.
2. What looks so amazing is to plant them in masses.
3. Install them along a garden path walkway.
4. Plant them alongside a wall.
5. What about alongside a fenced area?
6. Place them around a pool area.
7. How about growing them in masse around the trunks of trees provided they are getting sufficient sunlight.
8. Install them in containers and place the containers on either side of your door entrance or what about placing the containers on your patio or porch.
Growing violas from containers
Growing violas in containers make a great choice, the container should be large enough for your violas to sit comfortably. The soil should be a good potting soil that is well-drained, also the container should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain.
Placing a one-inch layer of pebbles inside of the pot at the bottom and then adding the soil will help with drainage. The container should be placed in an area that gets sufficient sunlight because though these plants are cool-season they thrive in full sunlight.
The soil should be kept moist and not waterlogged, allow the soil, however, to dry out a bit between watering before giving them another drink. Fertilizer as stated above with a fertilizer that promotes flower bloom keep an eye out for garden insect pest and disease as discussed. Deadhead fade or spend flowers as direct in the section below.
Deadheading is a great way to promote flower bloom. Pinch the faded or spent flower, the faded bloom should be moved at the base of the flower stem. Cutting back overgrown or leggy violas to 4 inches will rejuvenate them causing your violas to become full with more flower bloom.
The final word
Violas are garden beauties which are just simply amazing the color and the designs of these flowers are really a show stopper. For a colorful garden that is inviting violas are the plant to have. Give violas a try as you light up your garden with their color bloom.