I want to buy some violets from a grower in California, but I have no idea when to make my purchase because I don't know when it's safe to plant them in Seattle. Any ideas? Thanks.
I am in your area and I just planted seeds of V. odorata as well as natives: V. fletti, adunca, glabella and canadensis.
I am informed that V. odorata requires cold stratification and assume the natives of the Olympic Peninsula are also adapted to freezing.
We have one bunch of nursery violas outside in a pot which still have flowers after freezing and snow, but all the nursery violas we brought indoors died.
I am waiting for warmer weather to plant V. tricolor and V. nigra as these are annuals or biennials and do not require stratification.
I am new to growing Viola so I may not know what I am doing.
>I am in your area and I just planted seeds of V. odorata as well as natives: V. fletti, adunca, glabella and canadensis. Where, pray tell, did you find the seeds for the native plants?!
I got my Olympic Violet seeds from Chiltern's in the UK. I got seeds for three other Natives from Berry Botanical Garden in Portland, OR. - kasper
Kasper's on the right track - nice going for a Viola newbie :)
Sow seeds of any hardy violet in winter and allow them to be damp and cold, preferably sub-zero, for a couple of months. For most species that will break dormancy, though sometimes the seeds may have been put into deeper dormancy which will require longer to break. In the natural cycle of things that would mean another year, but in the fridge it should just mean being patient for a few more months!
Protect the sown seeds from heavy rain and vermin. If you sow thme in the fridge, look in on them now and then, and move them into a cold greenhouse or frame as soon as germination starts. If, however, they spend some time trying to grow in the dark of the fridge, and have become tall and thin and pale as a result, move them out into the cold frame just the same and with a bit of luck they should green-up and survive. In the cold frame, keep them in good light, preferably not too one-sided (else thin seedlings may topple over), but out of direct sunlight.
Use sterlized seed compost or sterile tissue paper to sow them in/on. That will help reduce the chance of the seedlings being killed by damping off (fungal disease).
by "plant" do you mean by seed or transplant? you can transplant perennial violets just about any old time here in seattle, as long as they get dependably watered if it's dry. You can transplant annual ones any time between March and November, as long as they're watered when it's dry. We don't get enough frost usually to kill perennials or prevent them from establishing.
Thank you...what I meant was when should I purchase violets from catalog and plant them. I'm pretty sure your answer covers that.