Viola Care Guide

By Jessica Mcnamara

Mar 30, 2021

Garden border filled with mixed colour viola plants

Welcome to your Viola care guide! Here you will find all of our Growers' knowledge of how best to look after your Viola, and what to do if you get stuck.


small plant

Plant name: Viola
Latin name: Viola odorata L.
Varieties included: Viola Vibrante

A staple for your Spring and Autumn garden! The Viola is one of the most versatile, beautiful and easy to grow plants for these seasons, with the dainty and colourful blooms densely scattered across lush green foliage.

Many varieties of Viola plants grow fantastically as a filler for beds and borders, can be mono-planted in a container of hanging basket, or used alongside other seasonal bedding plants to create an eye-catching planting arrangement for your patio. No matter what your garden situation is, Viola can take your garden to the next level! Viola Tricolor is one of our favourite edible flowers and can be grown any month of the year.

Bedding plants

Plant type: Bedding (annual)
Hardiness: Hardy annual plant/hardy perennial
What does this mean? Violas will survive cool weather during the winter and early spring months, but do not enjoy the hotter early summer months and are therefore unlikely to survive through the summer to the following winter, so have a fairly short lived growing season. There are both perennial violas and annual violas available. 


plant in soil

Before You Start

If you are growing violas in a garden container, make sure it is clean and has drainage holes in the base.  You will need a good quality compost, trowel, watering-can and gloves may also be useful.


plant in pot

Planting Guide

When planting viola flowers directly into a garden bed or border it is often best to lay out your plants still in the pots so you can make sure you plant them in the best place to get the overall visual impact you are wanting. 

Once you have decided where the plant is going dig a hole a little bit bigger than the pot size in the garden bed / border. 

Next, take the plant out of the pot.  This can be done easily by squeezing the sides of the pot between your thumb and fingers, then releasing your grip on the pot. This helps the roots come away from the pot. 

Then hold the plant by the base of the stem, close as possible to the pot and remove the plastic pot. Hold your plant by the root ball and position in the middle of the hole. 

The top of the compost around the plant should be a little lower than the level of the bed / border.  If you need to dig a little deeper take the plant out and make the hole a bit deeper.

Once the Viola plant fits in the hole you can twist it around to get the best side of the plant facing forwards.  When you are happy with the position fill the hole back in around the root ball and firm the soil back in. 

Finally give the garden plant a good water, wherever possible trying to avoid getting water on the flowers.

Avoid planting during the hottest parts of the day. They prefer to be planted during the cooler part of the day as this reduces their stress levels (and nobody wants to see her stressed believe us!)

sunny garden


Violas will be happy in any part of your garden, but they will thrive in full sun if you can find a sunny spot for them.


watering can

Watering & Feeding Guide

Keep your violas well-watered, especially in warmer and windier weather, as the soil will dry out a bit quicker in these conditions.

They will benefit from liquid feeds every week or two, using a multipurpose feed.

Soil type: Violas can be planted in any type of soil. Use a potting mix compost for containers and hanging baskets for better moisture retention and drainage.


Medium plant

Top Tips

Deadheading will prolong the flowering period. 

Pansies Viola? Pansies were actually derived from violas, so technically all pansies are violas but not all violas are pansies. Pansies do have much larger, more noticeable blooms than violas, they can create a bigger pop of colour in your garden. They're a bit taller—6 to 12 inches—than violas. Viola x wittrockiana would be a example of a pansy.