In my neck of the woods, we will start to see viola popping up here and there very soon! Not only are they happy looking herbs but they’re also edible and medicinal!

Today I want to give some tips on how to cultivate them.

The flowers are purple/violet, blue or white/ yellow or multicolored. The petals typically fade to a different color toward the base which are deeply veined. Each flower contains 5 petals: two larger on top and three underneath. It kind of looks like a little face (remember Alice in Wonderland??)

closeup of a Johnny jump-up, viola tricolorEach species of violet is different, but most appreciate moist soil with high organic matter. In the spring and early summer they can tolerate lots of sun, but as temps rise, the ones in full sun will likely die back and the ones in the shade will keep going strong. If you’d like to have violas throughout the growing season, pick a spot that is shaded by a tree, rock or other planting. Seeds have to be stratified, so letting them self-seed is the easiest way to cultivate violet. However, if you want to do it yourself, then you’ll need to mimic stratification (if you’re not familiar with that term, this is something Sean teaches in the Fundamentals of Holistic Herbalism program).

I’ve found that my viola come back year after year without any extra effort on my part. She is generous and hearty, which is why some people call her a “weed.” Well I want her to grow all over my garden, so she’s never a weed to me! ❤️??

closeup of violets and Johnny jump-ups, viola tricolor