Viola tricolor. These perky little flowers are old-fashioned heirloom favourites and look like miniature pansies with lavender, yellow, and white faces. Direct seed Johnny Jump Up viola seeds from April to July. Sow seeds 0.6cm (0.25″) deep, and they should germinate in 12-14 days. Johnny Jump Up viola seeds self sow fairly readily, but they do not take over, and can be easily raked under if unwanted. These look rather good in containers, and their flowers are edible. If you want to try your hand at making candied violets, Johnny Jump Ups are the place to start. Or simply pick some of the fresh flowers and scatter them over salads and summer meals.
How to Grow Pansies & Violas
Hardy annuals that are variously known as pansies, Johnny-Jump-Up, and Heartsease.
Violoa tricolor & V. x wittrockiana
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Start indoors 10-12 weeks before planting out. For spring planting after last frost, that means up to 3 months growing time indoors. On the coast you would sow seeds indoors for early spring planting in early January. Otherwise, sow direct outdoors in summer to early autumn. For winter-flowering pansies in Zones 7-9, start your seeds in mid to late June.
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.
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.
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