Viola cornuta. Pink and maroon tipped petals surround a bright yellow centre streaked with distinctive black markings. Rose Antique Gem are hybrid pansies that are heat tolerant, but also have strong overwintering ability. Flowering occurs in early spring through late May, and again in the fall, into early winter. Masses of flowers appear atop short plants that only grow 15-25cm (6-10”) tall. This is a good candidate for containers or edging, and it looks great around the edges of raised vegetable beds. The flowers are edible, and are sensational if they are candied before adding to fancy desserts.
How to Grow Pansies and 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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