Direct sowing viola odorata?

MrsBartholomew(6a Canada)October 27, 2003

I have a large patch of rich, moist soil under an apple tree that I would like to fill with sweet violets. I would like to sow my viola odorata seeds directly there and cover with an inch of straw for the winter, but don't know if this is feasible. I have a lot of critters (mostly stray cats) that pass through my yard and they have dug up every outdoor potted plant I've ever had, so the usual winter sowing in pots or flats is just not an option for me. Does the direct sowing of these seeds that I've described sound feasible?

I posted a similar question about direct sowing to the winter sowing forum, but not specifically about violets. However it occurred to me after posting there that violet specialists were what I really needed! Thank you so much.

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Mike Hardman(Cyprus, 100m altitude)

I would think you'd be OK sowing them directly in the soil, but:
- only give them a thin covering of soil - just enough to conceal them
- sow them in many small patches, each one covered by an upturned hanging basket or some such protection from cats and other critters
- I wouldn't bother with the straw; it would make it difficult for the little seedlings, and the seeds will benefit from a good freezing

That's my opinion; others may have different ideas...

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2003 at 1:29PM
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MrsBartholomew(6a Canada)

Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2003 at 1:05PM
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camiafan(Killeen, TX)

Where can I buy seeds of viola odorata? I found a plant at a local nursery last Spring. It was thriving, and had some of the false flowers (how do you call them? they do not really open), until something started to eat a lot of the leaves off. New leaves came back up, and I was surprised today when I found one real blue violet blossom. I have kept this one plant in the pot that I bought it in, but I want to have more of the plant. Please let me know where I can order the seeds. Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2003 at 6:02PM
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kasper(Olympic Peninsu)

I got mine from In Harmony Herbs of California. Chiltern's in the UK has the best selection I have seen. - kasper

    Bookmark   November 30, 2003 at 10:13PM
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Mike Hardman(Cyprus, 100m altitude)


Are you sure there aren't seeds in the pot already?
By now, I would expect the plant to have produced good seed pods and have shed some seed (it just tumbles out slowly, unless helped by ants). Have a look. If you have seeds, they will most probably have come from pods from the cleistogamous flowers (the ones without petals) - and these will probably produce plants true to your original.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2003 at 8:33PM
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joanmary_z10(z10 Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

My Viola Odorata put out runners during summer, so I was able to keep moving them around the garden. Moved many to Florida and found they died very quickly. In Florida, I now have a few violets in pots and they are thriving. Try leaving them in the pots in shade keeping them well watered. Bet you have baby violets in no time! Good luck.

p.s. have you tried the Parma Violets. They are also highly perfumed and beautiful with double flowers.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 7:02PM
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I live in Fresno, CA, between zones 8 and 9. Is it possible for me to directly sow viola odorata seeds? Do I need to prepare them first by bagging them in soil and refrigerating them? Or can I just toss them from the packets into pots or shady, moist sections of our garden? Also, WHEN do I sow?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:46PM
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etii(France 8)

Hi !

Maybe someone having any experience in your zone will complete but, I'm afraid some cold is needed for odorata to germinate.
Puting seeds in small pots in the fridge during several weeks could be a good idea.

Kind regards :-)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 6:59PM
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