Back to Black

Back to Black

SKU: FL1217
We loved this petite pansy as soon as it bloomed, and it bloomed in the first year, over a long period. Just 14 to 16 weeks after seeding, its small, very dark, and flat-faced flowers began to appear. With regular deadheading Back to Black just blooms and blooms. Read More

Exposure Full-sun to partial shade

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More details about Back to Black

Viola cornuta. We loved this petite pansy as soon as it bloomed, and it bloomed in the first year, over a long period. Just 14 to 16 weeks after seeding, its small, very dark, and flat-faced flowers began to appear. With regular deadheading Back to Black just blooms and blooms. The foliar growth is vigorous, but the stature of the plants remains compact at about 15cm (6") tall. It would look great in containers or window boxes, but it takes on a wonderful appearance in mass plantings. The flowers are actually very deep purple, but so deep that they appear black from a few feet away. Each delicate flower is streaked in the centre by a brush of golden yellow. The edible flower petals look amazing scattered on ice cream. Sow in early spring for summer flowers, or as late as July for winter blooms. It's hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Perennial

Quick Facts:

    • Compact growth
    • Edible flowers
    • Long bloom time
    • Hardy perennial

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All About Back to Black

Latin

Latin
Viola tricolor, V. x wittrockiana, V. odorata
Family: Violaceae

Difficulty

Difficulty
Timing can be tricky, depending on the variety. Johnny Jump-Ups are very easy.

Season & Zone

Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zone: 3-10

Timing

Timing
Start indoors 10-12 weeks before planting out. For spring planting after last frost, that means up to 3 months growing time indoors. Otherwise, sow direct outdoors in summer to early autumn. For winter-flowering pansies in Zones 7-9, start seeds in mid to late June. For V. odorata: Direct sow in autumn or early spring. This variety benefits from a long exposure to cool soil.

Starting

Starting
Even though the seeds are tiny, they need to be sown 5mm (¼”) deep. Keep the soil at 18-25°C (65-75°F), in complete darkness until they germinate in around 14 days. Then provide bright light to keep plants compact. Space at 15-23cm (6-9″) in the garden. For V. odorata: Barely cover the tiny seeds. Sow in flats sunk into the ground against a north-facing wall, and cover with glass or plastic. Remove cover when seedlings emerge. Germination can take up to 50 days, so be patient.

Growing

Growing
After germination, violas are easy. Fertilize once or twice in early growth and provide a mulch around plants to keep roots cool as weather warms. Deadhead to prevent self-sowing, particularly with Johnny-Jump-Ups.
For V. odorata: Transplant after last frost or in the autumn where winters are mild, spacing at 15-30cm (6-12”) apart. Grow in partial shade, or in full sun where summers are cool. This variety prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. Add well-rotted manure at transplant time.

How to Grow Viola

Step 1: Timing

Start indoors 10-12 weeks before planting out. For spring planting after last frost, that means up to 3 months growing time indoors. Otherwise, sow direct outdoors in summer to early autumn. For winter-flowering pansies in Zones 7-9, start seeds in mid to late June. For V. odorata: Direct sow in autumn or early spring. This variety benefits from a long exposure to cool soil.

Step 2: Starting

Even though the seeds are tiny, they need to be sown 5mm (¼”) deep. Keep the soil at 18-25°C (65-75°F), in complete darkness until they germinate in around 14 days. Then provide bright light to keep plants compact. Space at 15-23cm (6-9″) in the garden. For V. odorata: Barely cover the tiny seeds. Sow in flats sunk into the ground against a north-facing wall, and cover with glass or plastic. Remove cover when seedlings emerge. Germination can take up to 50 days, so be patient.

Step 3: Growing

After germination, violas are easy. Fertilize once or twice in early growth and provide a mulch around plants to keep roots cool as weather warms. Deadhead to prevent self-sowing, particularly with Johnny-Jump-Ups.

For V. odorata: Transplant after last frost or in the autumn where winters are mild, spacing at 15-30cm (6-12”) apart. Grow in partial shade, or in full sun where summers are cool. This variety prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. Add well-rotted manure at transplant time.

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