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Super Spreaders?

Posted by cookie8 zone 5 ON (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 7, 05 at 9:45

My neighbour planted some violets two years ago and now they are absolutely everywhere! All over my lawn, in all of my gardens. Are they always this aggressive? They don't look bad where they turn up, but should I try and control them as I am amazed at how they grow so quickly and self seed.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Super Spreaders?

Hello Cookie,
A lot of violet types will spread extremely well with no help,as you have seen.I have them all over my yard and don't control them.Of course I am a violet fanatic so my advice may be bias!I also have a bunch of varieties of violets planted,on purpose,in beds around my yard.Your's will probably continue to multiply in your (and other neighbor's!)yard.I can't advise to kill them because it is against my violet nature,but maybe you could dig them up and give them away.You can swap plants and seeds on the gardenweb site.Maybe someone wants your violets and you want something they've got?Check it out and happy gardening!!VIOLETS FOREVER!!
-The Violetvamp in Virginia

RE: Super Spreaders?

So, are they seeding or spreading? I really can't tell. Thanks. I know they are seeding but in the clumping area, what is happening.

RE: Super Spreaders?

Some violets are indeed terrible weeds when they're not wanted - very aggressively spreading, especially those that move by seed. Others can be downright finicky at times and difficult to coax into multiplying. My guess is that yours are particularly of the mass-seeding type; Viola sororia is one of the very fastest to spread around in my garden. That particular type does not spread by runners, so in the "clumping area", the density might be simply explained the result of a majority of seeds landing close to the parents. If they are sweet violets (Viola odorata) with fragrant flowers, then perhaps they are doing some of both - runners and seed. But I have not found them to be nearly so aggressive, especially in the north, so I believe it is more likely that yours are a North American native species. There are many other possibilities as well, but making guesses about those species would require a more thorough description of your plants.


RE: Super Spreaders?

Thanks. I will probably just keep as is and pull when I feel ambitious. I even have some albino? ones mixed in.

RE: Super Spreaders?

I have tons of the clumping violets, too. They were all over my side yard, and my back yard, and my front yard, and in my beds, and...well, you get the picture, I'm sure!! I had never paid them much mind until I started landscaping my property and got ready to put weed block and mulch down over an area where they had always grown up heavily. I thought to myself 'wouldn't it be a shame to lose all of these?' and so I dug several clumps and used them as edging along the pathways through the gardens. Over the years, they have spread, but the original clumps that I planted have gotten huge and they have made the most gorgeous edging, especially in the shady areas!! I am so happy that I saved them. So just try to learn to love them--and maybe do something creative with them in your existing beds!!!

RE: Super Spreaders?


When I moved to my present home 25 yrs ago, I was not happy with the violets. I think it was because they were white and very plain and had no fragrance and foliage that was larger. They are everywhere.

Now I have adopted the attitude of "if you can't beat them join" I have found violets that I just love. Even a native viola labradorica which has chocolate leaves and tiny purple flowers. I am adding violas as well as violets and I am enjoying them so much I don't care how much they reseed and travel.

I still dislike the original violet I started with and pull it out every chance I get.


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