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Growing Viola: Varieties, Reproduction, Preparation Of Seedlings
Growing Viola: Varieties, Reproduction, Preparation Of Seedlings

Video: Growing Viola: Varieties, Reproduction, Preparation Of Seedlings

Video: Growing Viola: Varieties, Reproduction, Preparation Of Seedlings
Video: How to grow violas and pansies from seed 2023, November

Wonderful pansies, culture features

Viola, violet, pansies
Viola, violet, pansies

Violet blooms

Viola can be called without exaggeration the favorite of all peoples and all times, it is one of the most ancient flowers that was grown in culture.

Viola, or the violet (Viola), which is more familiar to our hearing, belongs to the genus of herbaceous plants from the Violet family, which has more than five hundred species. They are widespread throughout the world, with the overwhelming majority of them known to man since ancient times.

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The real flourishing of viola is considered to be the 16th century, when the viola appeared in large quantities in the gardens of Europe. Viola varietal forms appeared several decades later - at the beginning of the 17th century, the very first of them were obtained by breeders in England. There are quite a few interesting stories connected with violets. However, viola varieties began to be produced in mass quantities only in the 19th century, at the same time, having filled Europe, they appeared in small quantities in Russia.

The vast majority of currently known varieties of violets are very complex hybrids that are obtained using tricolor violets (Viola tricolor), Altai (Viola altaica), yellow (Viola lutea) and a number of other less known species, all of them are combined under one the name is Vitrokk's violet.

Violet Vitrokka also has a closer name to us - garden pansies (Viola wittrockiana), it blooms profusely and for a very long time, often dying under the first autumn frosts. This is a short plant, rarely exceeding 30-35 cm, with numerous satin or single-sided and velvety-like flowers of the widest range of colors.

The very name of the species comes from the common name Veit Vitrokk, which was worn by a Swedish professor of botany and director of the Bregen Botanical Garden and the author of a book that tells the whole long history of this plant.

Viola varieties

Viola, violet, pansies
Viola, violet, pansies

Viola Vitrocca

Now the overwhelming majority of the wide variety of violets are complex heterotic hybrids, which are characterized by very rapid growth, early and long flowering, resistance to disease and drought.

Cultivars such as the Snow King with a white flower color, Red Riding Hood with a bright red eye, Winter sun - yellow color with an eye, Surf - pale blue color, Elbe Water - deep blue, Purple stone - blue are widely cultivated in gardens flowers with white, Black crystal - velvety, dark, almost black color. Nowadays, variety mixtures have also become very popular, they are good because they guarantee products that are aligned in most parameters. Of the wide variety of mixtures, the most popular are the following:

Alpha is a series of early large-flowered viols, their flower diameter often exceeds 8 cm. Plants are aligned, compact, branch abundantly and reach a height of 20-25 cm. Seedlings are resistant to stretching in low light conditions, perfect for growing in pots and containers. The color of the flowers is from white to purple.

The boss is this variety, the richest in the number of colors, one listing of them would take more than a leaf, so it's worth noting that it varies from snow-white to black. The plants are also aligned, have very large flowers, reaching a diameter of up to 10 cm. The height of the plants is barely 15 cm, they are compact and suitable both for growing in open areas and in containers.

Chalon Supreme - this group has corrugated petals - the result of many years and very painstaking work of breeders. The plants are quite compact, reaching a height of 15 cm, and their petals are painted in a variety of tones from all shades of pink to all shades of blue.

Romeo and Juliet - this variety contains perfectly matched delicate flower colors in more than a dozen shades. This is perhaps the most abundantly flowering viola series. Plants are not very tall (15-20 cm), they will be an ideal solution for decorating a flower garden or flower beds in a suburban area.

Among the new products, it should be noted, first of all, a mixture of Aurora Shades. This is a series of large-flowered viols with a unique azure border on each petal. Plants grow to a height of 20 cm, they are very resistant to drought, even tolerate slight frosts, and bloom early and profusely.

Kiska's mixture is a great hybrid, its flowers have contrasting strokes on the petal, reminiscent of a cobweb. Plants are very expressive, reach a height of 15 cm, bloom early and for a long time, and they can even withstand partial shade.

The Moulin Rouge blend is the first viola hybrid designed for cutting and featuring unique, crimped petals. Plants are very compact, reach a height of 20 cm, are resistant to cold and drought, very fast growth and long flowering.

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Viola breeding methods

Viola, violet, pansies
Viola, violet, pansies

Viola varieties Purple Pansies

Biologically, viola is a typical perennial, but most often it is grown as an annual or biennial plant. This is done by flower growers because with age the viola bush loses its resistance to cold and most often freezes completely. Sometimes old plants degenerate, they lose their decorative effect, which manifests itself in a decrease in the size of the inflorescence, in a weak and shorter flowering.

The main method for producing viola flowers is sowing its seeds in open ground or in containers in protected ground. Sometimes viola is propagated vegetatively, but this is rather an exception.

Viola's seeds are quite small, one gram contains about a thousand seeds, sometimes a little less. The seeds will retain their germination capacity under normal storage conditions for a couple of years.

Viola is used most often in flower beds, for example, in Europe, they create early spring or autumn-winter flower beds. With this in mind, the seedlings are also being prepared for planting in time - for early flowering, seeds are sown in the fall, and for autumn - in the summer.

In Russia, viola is most often placed in spring flower beds, however, it is possible to achieve flowering of viola, ranking the sowing dates, at any time of the year.

Growing seedlings of violets

Viola, violet, pansies
Viola, violet, pansies

According to the standard technology, seeds are sown in open ground or in cold greenhouses on soil that is prepared in advance. The optimal time for sowing viola is the end of June or the beginning of July in central Russia.

The soil prepared for sowing should consist of simple garden soil, humus, peat and river sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 2: 1. Viola seeds are sown in rows in shallow grooves, which are located at a distance of 9-12 cm. Sometimes the seeds are sown randomly, followed by embedding them to a depth of about 5 mm. In this case, the seeding rate is 2-3 grams of seeds per square meter.

Usually, with sufficient moisture and the presence of heat, the first shoots begin to appear a couple of weeks after sowing. They grow very slowly initially and, being weak, can suffer from direct sunlight, so they need to be shaded.

About a month after germination, when the seedlings form a pair of true leaves, they must be cut at a distance of at least 5 cm from each other. A week after transplanting, you can start feeding young viola plants. This is done approximately once every two weeks, alternating complex mineral fertilizers and organic matter. Further care is simple, it comes down to periodic watering, loosening the soil and removing all weeds.

Around the beginning of September, already thoroughly grown plants must be transplanted to a permanent place.

Viola, violet, pansies
Viola, violet, pansies

If you decide to grow a violet in a biennial culture, then in the first year it will form only a few pairs of leaves, but you will only wait for flowering next year - it will come in May or early June and last until mid-summer.

If you have the opportunity to build a heated greenhouse on your site, then you can use the one-year option for growing viola. It ensures later flowering of plants, which will end with the first frosts.

I think that many readers will be interested to know: how do you need to grow viola seedlings? And this is done this way: initially you need to decide - by what time you need to get it, because the timing of sowing seeds can be very different.

For example, to get non-flowering seedlings for planting in a flower garden in May, you need to sow seeds around the end of February or early March, then the violet will bloom in early summer. If you want to get already flowering seedlings, which are ideal for planting in containers and flower beds, then you need to sow the seeds around the end of January or in February. In this case, the seedlings will be ready in early May, and full flowering plants will be obtained in early June.

To obtain such seedlings, seeds must be sown in the soil of a heated greenhouse or in small containers that can be placed in a heated room. It is better to use the soil light and well-drained, as well as sterilized. Seeds are usually sown randomly, only slightly sprinkled on top and must be moistened. The optimum temperature for seedlings should be within + 17 … + 20 ° С, in which case they will appear a week later or a little earlier. As soon as most of the seeds sprout, the temperature will need to be lowered to + 13 … + 17 ° C. And you can already start feeding with complex mineral fertilizers.

Read the next part. Viola: agricultural engineering and landscape use →

Irina Guryeva

Junior Researcher, Berry Crops Department, VNIIS im. I. V. Michurin.

Photo by Natalia Myshina and Natalia Butyagina