When to cut back common violets

hansiregi(z8 NC)May 7, 2005

Dear Friends,

I am new to the forum. I live in NC and have violets in my yard that have never become invasive. Occasionally I have transplanted them and have been surprised at how well they do that.

I couple of years ago I noticed that some of the plants' leaves were getting very large and ratty toward the end of autumn and that they didn't produce many blooms the following spring. Last fall I cut all of the leaves back and this spring they absolutely exploded! I had blooms galore.

My question is this: In the few weeks that my blooms have faded, the leaves are getting quite large again. Should I cut them back now or wait until fall?

Thanks, all.

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etii(France 8)

Hello !

Are you sure you have violet (more or less invasive), aren't they pansy (not invasive)? Violets don't like to be cut much however pansy do like.
What kind of violet do you have in your yard ? Have a photo ?
Really, don't see the point between cutting the leaves and blooming for violets...does someone have an idea ?
Anyway, if you cut, don't do it now wait the fall.

Take care :-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 5:58AM
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hansiregi(z8 NC)

Cher Thierry,

The photo with the cat shows my violets. It was a taken a few weeks ago. I'll post a photo showing how much the leaves have grown.
I'm pretty sure these are common violets. Perhaps they have not been more invasive since it can get so hot here in the summer.

Merci pour la réponse!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 9:12AM
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Dear Hansi
Cutting the foliage imposes a rest on the plant so that it can "save energy" for blooming...You should go on doing that during mid summer/early fall as the young leaves that comes just after blooming helps to restore reserves in the roots and initiate the next flowers..
This also helps to prevent red spider mite and others insects and/ or when the foliage is ugly during hot summer...

Outstanding foliage all the same!!! ( Don't you go too far with fertilizer levels?! :- )

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 4:57PM
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hansiregi(z8 NC)

Salut Natalie,

Thanks for the response. I suspected that my violets did so well this spring because I cut them back last fall.

I'm still a little confused by your message -- can I trim those large leaves now, or should I wait until mid-summer or fall?



    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 6:47AM
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Dear Hansi

Sorry for my confusing english!! lol

I'd suggest to wait until mid summer to cut the foliage....

Any other experience out there?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 9:36AM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

i also think it is a good idea to cut back violet foliage.
i agree with nathalie, the old foliage can become damaged by red spider and ugly! i remove about 2/3 the height when the heat of summer is passed and autumn is about to begin. i fertilse with a high potash fertiliser at this time, too.
i have read that allowing the sun to the crowns of the plants matures them and improves flowering. i'm not sure this is the reason, but cutting back does seem to improve flowering...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 6:17PM
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rob_peace(VIC Aust)

your common violet is the sister violet, yes?
viola sorroria? it looks that way when i examine your photos more closely....perhaps the advice is then not quite the same...please let us know!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 4:42AM
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