Viola, or pansies, is one of the most unpretentious ornamental plants that blooms continuously from spring to autumn frosts. Biennial pansies are also grown as a perennial. True, with each new season the flowers may become smaller. Like annuals, they reproduce by seed. Moreover, the viola is able to do this without your participation: having sown it once, in subsequent seasons you will meet new bushes in different parts of the garden.
When to plant viola
Seeds can be sown in the first half of May, when the soil warms up to at least 10 degrees. In this case, the plant will bloom in the summer. But it is not too late to plant a viola in June-July to see flowers next spring.
How to prepare a flower bed for growing viola
This plant can be planted in partial shade, but it is better to choose a sunny place – so the flowers will be brighter and larger. 1–2 weeks before sowing, apply 20 g of ammonium nitrate and superphosphate per 1 m² of flower beds, dig a shovel onto a bayonet and level the surface with a rake. Moisten the soil generously with water.
How to plant pansies
If everything is done correctly, seedlings will appear in 1-2 weeks. Seeds germinate more slowly in spring, and faster in summer due to warmer weather.
Make grooves or holes
They should be shallow – only 0.5-0.7 cm. If you plant the viola in several rows, keep a distance of about 10 cm between them. Instead of furrows, you can make holes of the same depth with a distance of 5-7 cm. Spill the holes with water and wait for it to soak in.
Sow the viola
Spread the seeds at the bottom of the furrow at 5 cm intervals, and 2-3 pieces should be placed in the holes to increase the chances of germination. Fill them with soil, lightly compacting it with the palm of your hand. Moisten the flower bed with water from a watering can with a diffuser nozzle so as not to wash out the soil. Cover the crops with a film or non-woven material, securing the edges with something heavy.
Wait for shoots
As soon as you see a lot of sprouts, remove the shelter. If you planted a viola in the holes of several seeds and all sprouted, carefully pull out the weaker specimens, leaving one plant each.
How to care for viola
Give a little attention, and pansies will bloom in a lush carpet.
water the viola
She will not be offended if you suddenly forgot to water her, and as soon as she gets water, she will quickly bring wilted leaves back to normal. But still, try not to test the plants for strength and regularly moisten the flower bed. Do this as the soil dries out. Watering should be moderate – do not turn the flower garden into a swamp, otherwise the roots of the plant may rot. It is better to carry out the procedure in the morning or in the evening, so that the viola has enough moisture on a hot day.
Feed the viola
For vibrant and continuous blooms, apply supplemental nutrition every week, alternating between two formulations. The first is a mineral fertilizer with an even distribution of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – for example, 18:18:18. The dosage can be found in the instructions on the package. The second remedy – potassium monophosphate – is diluted at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 10 liters of water.
You can pour fertilizer under the root on wet soil so as not to burn the roots of the plant. Or spray the leaves in the morning or evening with the nutrient mixture so that the sun does not evaporate the solution before it has time to act.
Cut dry florets
So the plant will not spend energy on the formation of seeds. The stems of the viola are quite strong, and it can be difficult to remove dried flowers with your hands, so it is better to use scissors or pruners.
How to prepare pansies for wintering
In autumn, when the air temperature begins to drop below 5 degrees, stop watering and fertilizing, and remove all flower stalks. In the southern regions, you can not cover the plants for the winter, and in the central and northern regions, it is worth pouring sawdust around the base of the bushes with a layer of 5–7 cm or cover them with spruce branches. In early spring, as soon as a stable positive temperature is established, the shelter must be removed.