Heartsease

Viola tricolor

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Heartsease (Viola tricolor)
vy-OH-lah TRY-kul-or
Synonyms:  Erpetion
Genus:  Viola
This annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial is grown for its long season of pansy flowers in shades of purple, blue, yellow, and white. Viola tricolor is pretty in containers, as edging, or as a companion for bulbs. It self-seeds readily.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Native to Europe and Asia. Heart-shaped leaves. Familiar, pansy "faces" with darker "whiskers."
Care:  Grow in full sun or part shade in fertile, organically rich, moist but well-drained soil. Deadhead regularly.
Propagation:  Sow seed in a cold frame as soon as ripe or in spring. Also self-seeds freely.
Problems:  Violas are prone to mosaic viruses, downy mildew, powdery mildew, crown and root rot, rust, Botrytis, spot anthracnose, and other fungal leaf spots. Also common are slugs, snails, aphids, and violet leaf midges.

Overview

Height
Less than 6 in.
Spread
Less than 6 in.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Self Seeds,
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Early Fall,
Early Spring,
Early Summer,
Fall,
Late Spring,
Late Summer,
Spring,
Summer
Flower Color
Blue Flower,
Purple/Lavender Flower,
White Flower,
Yellow Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Annuals

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